Poems by Dostena Anguelova, translated from the Bulgarian by Holly Karapetkova

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Bitter Sweet Melody, Edward Supranowicz

A Key

The key rests on the table,
the tablecloth flames at the fringe
like the smile of the woman across the street
as she pulls back the curtain,
the flash
of her gold tooth.
If I cannot write
about the landscape, he says,
it’s because
a bee buzzes constantly
by the ear of the queen
poised at the end of the chessboard
…one key in the midst of an argument.
For what do I need
this beautiful key?


Ключът почива върху масата,
покривката гори от края
както усмивката на съседката,
когато дърпа пердето
и блясва
златният й зъб.
Ако не мога да напиша
за онези пейзажи–казва,
то е защото
една пчела непрестанно жужи
до ухото на царицата
в края на шахматното поле
…един ключ в разгара на спора.
За какво ми е този
красив ключ?


As if a handful of dirt
were plucked
from the crib of your body,
you sprinkle it
about your head,
sackcloth and ashes—
falling stars.
*A Greek dance where the dancer improvises, endlessly flirting with the borders of balance. Traditionally danced only by men.


Все една шепа пръст
от люлката на тялото си,
а сетне я пръскаше
да посипе главата си
с пепел
падаха звезди.
*ζεϊμπέκικο е гръцки танц в който танцьорът импровизира като непрекъснато флиртува с границата на равновесието. Традиционно се танцува само от мъже.
Anguelova_photoDostena Anguelova is a poet, anthropologist, and journalist. She is the author of four volumes of poetry and has been published and translated widely throughout Europe. She holds a PhD in Political Anthropology and is the author of the influential nonfiction text, Experts of Transition.
Karapetkova photoHolly Karapetkova’s poetry, prose, and translations have appeared recently in BlackbirdThe Southern Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and many other places. Her second book of poetry, Towline won the Vern Rutsala Poetry Prize and was published by Cloudbank Books.

SupranowiczEdward Michael Supranowicz is the grandson of Irish and Russian/Ukrainian immigrants. He grew up on a small farm in Appalachia. He has a grad background in painting and printmaking. Some of his artwork has recently or will soon appear in Fish Food, Streetlight, Straylight, Gravel, The Phoenix, and other journals. Edward is also a published poet.