Two prose poems by İlyas Tunç

İlyas Tunç is an award-winning Turkish poet and translator, with special interests in Nigerian and South African poetry. Read more about him here and here (interviews)


a demoiselle with its filmy transparent wings and blue tail hanging in the air. perhaps a cobra brand chopper equipped with machine guns rippling. that of very young and tender daffodils by the tranquil waters. that of giddy and dreamy butterflies of early summer… maybe one of those butterflies ornating the drawing book of a school child. turning around its axis, that demoiselle descends fast vertically. honeycomb of fear, black speckles of death… men, not much different from a butterfly, as they are! while stroking, their blooms can exfoliate. just then the boat capsizes, and its oars sink into a quagmire…

neither intestinal amebiasis nor an epileptic attack… as if Vietnam syndrome! dream i indulged myself eating into my brain. coded lock on the door, iron curtain for windows… everybody being my enemy, me everybody’s murderer. before dark i drag to the forest the corpses. ferns, ivies, carnivorous plants… a lizard flying in trees, a red snake sharpening its tounge… horror sirens keep prolonging. even if i feed a cat or water flowers, benevolence does not cover savageness. i look behind me.

the murderer of butterfly, demoiselle!

by İlyas Tunç (Translated from Turkish by Mesut Şenol)


black widow

the shadow of the antenna falls through the roof window into the attic, into the mysterious, messy nest of our love. wooden fringe dividing the shade into two equal parts as if acting like a diameter of a circle.  the other half stays on the tiles with the intent of hiding shits of seagulls, carcasses of flies. inside pendulums of spiders sparkling with the remnants of the noon sun, piles of dust, old versions of loneliness… and you! slender, your long legs, soft belly, your heart pounding in your body, your hairy, dark nostrils… suddenly you sink in your frisky claws in my nape. i struggle desperately:

            kiss and kill me! kiss and kill me!

time flies by. window fringe turning into a beam to be tangent to the circle shaped shade. i make sense out of deepening dark, ever thickening belly of this clumsy guitar that i don’t have the heart to abandon, dolly birds, haunting sights of candlesticks… in a while the sun that bathed the hollow navel of the antenna will descend from the roof, and it is going to be replaced by the flapping sounds of the night butterflies. just started swimming of the head, sweating, exuviating… is it love? rescue knobs at the tips of your breasts! death: poisonous spurge of the mouth with no palate! sending away seagulls, i draw curtains:

            kiss and kill me! kiss and kill me!

By İlyas Tunç (Translated from Turkish  by Mesut Şenol)


3 thoughts on “Two prose poems by İlyas Tunç

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s