Gonca Özmen was born in Burdur in 1982. She graduated from the Department of English Language and Literature at Istanbul University in 2004. She completed her master’s degree at her alma mater in 2008. In 1999, she was awarded the Ali Rιza Ertan Poetry Prize for her poem. Her first poetry collection, “Kuytumda” (In My Nook) won the Orhon Murat Arıburnu Poetry Prize and was published in 2000. Her poems have been published in many magazines such as “Kitap-lık”, “Varlık”, “Adam Sanat”, “Yasak Meyve”, “Dize”, “Le Poete Travaille”, “Akatalpa”, “Edebiyat ve Eleşgifi”, “Kül”, “Yom Sanat”, “Uç”, “Düşlem”, and “Bahçe”; and have been translated into English, German, French, Spanish and Iranian. She has also translated poems into Turkish. In 2003, Özmen won the Berna Moran Poetry Prize, sponsored by Istanbul University. Her second book “Belki Sessiz” (Quiet, Maybe) was published by Yapı Kredi Publishing House in February 2008. She edits the literary magazine “Palto” (Overcoat), published monthly in Istanbul. She has participated in international poetry readings in Heidelberg, Hamburg, Paris and Slovenia. Currently, Özmen is continuing her doctoral degree at her alma mater.
Said devrim diyor. Benim saçlarım topuz.
Said’le ikimizin ağzı aralık. Sesler alıp sesler veriyoruz.
Sümeyra’ya inanıyoruz. Benim saçlarım topuz.
Yanına kıvrılana git demiyor hiç Said. Kuzum diyor.
Yanıma kıvrılana git demiyorum hiç ben.
Jar ȗ Evin. Jar ȗ Evin.
Yunacak su bulsam su bulsam ben yunacak
Saçlarım böyle topuz. Böyle fersiz. Böyle derli toplu.
Biri kurban olayım deyince korkuyorum ben.
Ben korktukça gövdemin çanları bir başka çalıyor.
Ben korktukça tekeler çiftleşiyor bağır çağır.
Kuzum diyorlar bana – kuzum diyorum onlara.
Said katliam diyor. Benim saçlarım topuz.
Said’le ikimizin ağzı karanlık. Ölümler alıp ölümler veriyoruz.
Süleyman’a inanıyoruz. Benim saçlarım topuz.
Kanacak yar bulsam yar bulsam ben kanacak
Saçlarım böyle topuz. Böyle dilsiz. Böyle fer fecir.
Sayeed says revolution. My hair in a bun.
Sayeed and I our mouths are half open. We breathe sounds in and out.
We believe in Sümeyra. My hair tied up.
To the one nestling beside him Sayeed never says no. He says my lamb.
To the one nestling beside me I never say no.
Jar ȗ Evin. Jar ȗ Evin.
If I could find water, find water to cleanse myself
My hair tied up like this. Dull like this. Neat like this
They say my lamb to me – I say to them my lamb
I’m afraid when anyone says for you I will lay down my life
As I grow afraid, the bells of my body are jangled
As I grow afraid, goats are raucously mating
Sayeed says massacre. My hair tied up.
Sayeed and I our mouths are half open. We breathe deaths in and out.
We believe in Süleyman. My hair tied up.
If I could find a lover, find a lover to deceive me
My hair tied up like this. Mute like this. Half-light like this