Turkey
Eray Sarıçam
Turkey

He was born in 1993 in Gebze. A poet, writer and teacher. He earned his undergraduate diploma from the Turkish Language and Literature Department of Aydın Adnan Menderes University, from which he also received his Master’s Degree at the New Turkish Literature Department. His poems and writings appeared in magazines such as Hece, İtibar, Fayrap, Aşkar, Kaygusuz, Mahalle Mektebi, BirNokta, Karabatak, Yumuşak G, Kuruluş, Merkezkaç, and Koza Düşünce as well as in the website of Eleştiri Haber. During his university years, with Tugay Özdemir he published Hezeyan Fanzin. He was on the publishing management team of Kanon 2010 magazine’s first two issues. His poetry collection called Yüzüm Şimdi Cumhuriyet – My Face is now a Republic (Ebabil Publishing) was published in 2017. His books to be published in 2019: Ömrüm Yetiğince Savaş – Fighting As Long As I Live (Poetry, Ebabil Publishing), Şiirin Soğuk Demircisi: Arif Damar – Arif Damar: Steel Bender of Poetry (Research, Ebabil Publishing), Başak Toplayan Şair – The Poet Collecting Ear of Grain (Review, Karakum Publishing).

FEAR AND PRAYER

I.

I got sharpened. By reading, thinking
By thinking till the morning
By tearing my beard
While being silent and speaking
But mostly while speaking
Every time I searched my pockets
One more time
One more time, when seeing the rich kids
From the Aegean region, making love throughout Kordon
I laughed. When I see my friends. And my swearwords
I threw them into this darkness without mincing matters.
I laughed at their back and wept. And at the moment
I don’t remember even the face of the friend for whom I wrote my first poem
Whereas I am twenty-three years old
And the twenty first century is not giving a change to forget
Humans die in the twenty first century, I say humans
More of them, more of them, more of them die
Thousands of dead I don’t know even their names.

(Isn’t that so that death
Makes my poem so sad
While my hair is pitch black at my age)

II.

I got sharpened. By leaving unhappiness aside
By swearing and loving
By running into people in a hurry, in a flutter
At my age: twenty-three.
- I had articulated my age before –
But I did not tell that I wrote my poem at three in the night
In a dirty and messy state dormitory
I did not tell: People are asleep; they are exhausted from thinking a lot
I too got exhausted and I too think a lot
Yet, I don’t sleep.

(I wonder whether God loves more
His subjects who sleep less
His sleeping subjects whose stomach are not full
The ones with their stomach half full)

With this hope, my God
Till the midnight
The ones who think a lot when others are asleep
And the ones who think less and the ones thinking nothing
And the stupid ones
While everybody is asleep
I sat down and wrote this poem
I wrote it by taking refuge in you
By being grateful only to you
I fear only you

III.

I got sharpened. While I have my hands tied
When they are tied, you see how it is
It is you but nobody else
Nobody should see and know my desperation
It is you who left me in despair and filling my heart
With hope.
Do not open my heart, tear it up, my God
In this poem, not being able to cry
Stands against me as it becomes an unbearable shame

English Translation by Mesut Şenol