My husband has returned. A traveller whose flight was cancelled has found his way home. He slowly unpacks while I make space for the unexpected. The house is full of him. I find him everywhere. He hovers in the kitchen and takes over the knives. He lifts paper to the window’s light and slices it with the sharpest blade. I keep saying wash your hands, this virus is deadly. We wait from a distan ... (read more)
Jelena Dinic arrived in Australia in 1993 during the collapse of Yugoslavia. She writes in Serbian and in English. In 2014 she was a resident at the Eleanor Dark Foundation, Varuna Writers' Retreat in the Blue Mountains. The same year she co-edited the Friendly Street Poets Anthology The Infinite Dirt. Her chapbook Buttons On My Dress was published in spring 2015 by Garron publishing. She is currently the principal of the Serbian Ethnic School where she also teaches the language.
I walk through my hometownas an uninvited guest. Divorcedfrom communism the old street has taken backits maiden name. I follow the steps of a lost childwatching myself from the curtainsof memory's windows. The doors of St Nicholas churchare rusty but open. Inside familiar facesand a sign Buy candles herethey are blessed. I count how many are neededfor the living then for the deadtheir sma ... (read more)
after Vasko Popa Always ready to leaveleavingeach time furtherfrom the whispersof the grass. She has forgottenher death,the calf she once was. Curled around an arma new name sewninto her mouthshe's been there, done that. A tramp, living beyondthe stitches of life. Jelena Dinic Recording ... (read more)
for Mia I wore my grandmother's clothesand sat on her doorstep.Monday to Friday.She talked.I lied. 'I'll teach you how to write,' I saidpretending I couldhold a pen.'Mouse will eat your ears,' she smiled. At night we leaned on pillowswatched TV with subtitles.I made up foreign words.I told her it was mostly German. 'Tell me more', she said.'Tomorrow,' I said.'Tomorrow is Saturday,' she ... (read more)
for my grandfather He circles my arrivalon the calendar. It is late Novemberand it doesn't snow. A wooden pallethardens his bed. He dreams of grandmother.He doesn't want new dreams. Two siskins in cages –their song frozen like the air that other Novemberwhen she lost her heart cleaning and bakingfor those who might arrive. Above the fireplace a few fliesare nervous company. 'Not ... (read more)
A little pin-upthree fingersabove the knees. Behind the curtaina dress-up game –pretty things come undone. He chalks lineson raw stitches.I catwalk. My body fits the timeless black.'You can live in it, or die'smile the lips full of needles. Do I look a little deadwith black fabricon bone-pale flesh? Suddenly in the mirrorI see the last party.This dress is me. In the front rowbutton-eyes wa ... (read more)