Fermented poetry

Tuesday 22th of July 2014, Dits - Performance Store,
The Red Lights district, Amsterdam




On 19th of July 2004, in a private performance, in front of couple of friends, I packed all of my poetry written up to that moment to stay packed for another 10 years. The packed poetry included diverse poems, some of them published and awarded, some never read in public, some love poems, some mystical ones, some philosophical and others bloody political. All in all, around 1200 poems or 5 kg of paper.

I packed my poetry to ferment it, to ripen it. And to see if it could pass the test of time and my own maturation and turn into wine or regress into vinegar. The decision was, if I get some wine out of it, I will publish it in a poetry book.

On 13th of July 2014 the packed poetry arrived from Mladenovac (a small town in Serbia where my parents live) to Amsterdam, transferred in the hand luggage of my mother.

On 22nd of July I held a poetical performance, in which, for the first time after 10 years, I opened my poetry and read it to the present audience. I planned to read it in Serbian and without censorship. The moment was overwhelming. As soon as I started everything came back to me. I remembered all those poems so quickly. I travelled in time. I could not censor myself. Very soon those poems which had matured with me and inside of me rediscovered me. I found myself unintentionally and spontaneously translating them into English and giving historical and cultural context to the audience members who were not Serbian. The opening created a bridge between me as a young Serbian poet and the greater world beyond. It brought up so many cultural and historical facts in relation to (post)war Serbia, which were only partially known to my international audience members. The Serbian audience easily recognized the source of the poems. The clash of information which was present in this moment was a powerful bricollage of cultural diversity, which I wouldn't be able to create in any other way. The opening left me with so many things to still think about... and ideas to make in response to this event.