K&T Meats is my favorite butcher shop on Broadway, in Astoria. It resembles me of those in Vitez, Maglai, and other small Bosnian towns, except this one’s jointly owned by six or seven immigrants—Greeks and Romanians—who, apart from English, speak a meat-market hash of all the Balkan languages, even Hungarian, since their customers’ meat recipes, products, and foods come from  []


To Milorad Pejić I get out of bed – the first step into a new day and the body is flooded with sorrow the very moment it touches the ground, it shakes and whimpers like a plane touching down on a sunny winter afternoon, when kissed by its own shadow. Translated from the Bosnian by Wayles Browne © 2011 Wayles  []

Contemporary American Poetry

I’ve been wondering how woefully few junkies and alcoholics there are amidst NPR’s contemporary American poets, even how few just plain smokers, and how woefully many non-smokers, vegetarians, globetrotters, and environmental activists. How many poetry magazine editors and non-profit publishers there are among all those award-winning authors of suburban and collegetown opuses, multiply divorced and remarried ex-hippies with paid-off mortgages  []

Spasić (More Than a Game)

To Adin While the country I was born in was approaching its forced landing our life and football appetites were soaring high. Deaf and blind to the questions that’d started exploding right in our faces, we contemplated a starry future for ourselves, for posterity, for our national football team. Asked why he kept a player in the center of the  []

On the One-Way Street, Girl With a Dog

Asja P, the girl with a dog: sometimes I meet her walking her beautifully trained Irish setter. Her father was a philosopher, a well-known university professor, so I suppose he named his only daughter after Asja Lacis, who used to be the director of the theater in Riga. It was passionate love for Asja Lacis that made the Jewish mystic  []

Picture Postcard

A nighttime panorama of Sarajevo caught by the light of shellfire, gunpowder flashbulbs, by the dance of silhouettes in which only the persistence of vision can make out the former shapes (calling up flickering skyline lights, orange neon canyons, evening crescendos of headlights tracing their fluorescent snakes on a time exposure). But only this possible postcard can literally catch the  []

Common Places

We’ve changed? Hardly, not significantly. The world has changed. I’ve stayed the same: I live in constant change and I know all about you, all that can be known, all but your address, the city you live in, your children, the language you fill out forms in, where you go in the morning and who you come back to in  []

Wintertime Scene

It rained all night and the first snow showed up in the morning. But the café is cozy. You can sip hot coffee and look out the window at the street. The whiteness emphasizes shapes, movements, the day’s subtle mechanics. Here on the terrace, last summer there was a huge video screen. Now it’s just an empty steel square. Quite  []