Nina Živančević


(For my Louise Landes Levi)

Perhaps ive seen too many things that i was not supposed to see
Why would that "first" Eye go so bad?
The third one was cured by Guru Jee in London in 2005,
that was when i saw you, David, Poyata

YOU had those heart shaped glasses ...
That's one thing i learned from YOU
/ that the sight is in the shape of a heart
We should see
with our heart, fingers, and
not with the eyes of the "real,"
A flaky illusion for us all

Who knows if we were really supposed to meet in music.. .
And the festival of vanity
Goes on and on ..

It's good you told me
" i don't need to hear any people
Tell me about India"

         It's good i closed my eyes to
            see you better just this time
Paris is burning

Paris is burning
The buildings are in flames
kids, cars, faces— shame on color
Shame on white shame on black shame
Everyone is burning with shame
Let me tell you mother, why
Paris is burning, says he,
Let me tell you mother why Paris
Is burning— the police have set children
On fire, the police have set children on fire as
These were tired of social injustice
As they were sick with social injustice
Let me tell you mother why Paris is burning— the police
Have set black kids on fire and they turned red, they turned gray
They turned to burnt flesh
Just because they are black
Let me tell you why Paris is burning,
Nothing bad will happen to me, mother
As I am white, and yet
I understand why Paris is burning,
Kids, buildings, cars and faces
Burning with shame…

( c. 2005)

Now you see it- now you don't see it (a true account of Gregory Corso)

Once I met Gregory in Boulder, Colorado, 
showed him my translations of his poetry which he found
   beautiful and wanted to try my Taurus ring on,
Now you see it— now you don't see it, he said. 
It took Ginsberg two months to return my ring from him.
Once I met Gregory in NYC after my incredible marijuana arrest,
And having heard my story, he took 400 dollars
   from his left boot where he kept money and gave it to me
   "take it, kid, you'd need it for the lawyers;" the story of the ring forgotten;
The last time I saw him in New York,
I was with my dad, buying a TV set,
When Gregory jumped on us, out of nowhere, 
cursing the commercial habits of high capitalism— "don't you come from 
Europe folks," he yelled,  "don't you have some taste and elegance? 
You don't need this junk to fill your brain with non-seeeense", he said
And then disappeared into Astor place 
muggy dust for ever..

Cedric Herrou

Is my hero
He led 123 migrants
To find shelter and food near Marseille and then he was arrested
8 months of prison
Since it is against the 2012 law to help
Migrants in distress
Or should i spell it out in
Different languages:
Evil spreads like a poisonous web
All over this place

Poet, essayist, fiction writer, playwright, art critic, translator and contributing editor to NY ARTS magazine from Paris, Serbian-born Nina Živančević has published 12 books of poetry. She has also written three books of short stories, two novels and a book of essays on Miloš Crnjanski (her doctoral thesis) published in Paris, New York and Belgrade. The recipient of three literary awards, a former assistant and secretary to Allen Ginsberg, she has also edited and participated in numerous anthologies of contemporary world poetry.

As editor and correspondent she has contributed to New York Arts Magazine, Modern Painters, American Book Review, East Village Eye, Republique de lettres. She has lectured at Naropa University, New York University, the Harriman Institute and St.John’s University in the U.S., she has taught English language and literature at La Sorbonne ( Paris I and V), and the History of Avant-garde Theatre at Paris 8 University in France and at numerous universities and colleges in Europe.

She has actively worked for theatre and radio: 4 of her plays have been performed and broadcast in the U.S. and Great Britain. In New York she had worked with the “Living Theatre” and the members of the “Wooster Group”.

She lives and works in Paris. She’s a contributing editor to Minor Literature(s).
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