Creative Work: Poetry “Windows” by Boyana Petrovich

Words, Pauses, Noises features a duo post this weekend. The measure of Creative Workscreative writing teems on the hemline of time and does so with such gravity in the drawn instants of a poem. Follow the minutes in these two poems, steady yourself on the cadence of each work and admire the way in which words can remove you from your present but widen your perceptions all at once. A welcome and inspiring return from Boyana Petrovich and Neil Horabin.  

‘Windows’

By Boyana Petrovich  

London is a Renaissance painting

framed in the white plastic of my window.

Soaked.

Cars and busses inching across

Hammersmith Bridge in the distance lull

my heavy eyelids.

In the bottom right corner, caressed by

the gingko tree –  cumulonimbus

in your savvy sash.

Behind your expanding desk,

hiding your shadow in the bulging drawers,

are you watching back?

You say: ‘They think it’s black, but it’s with stars

and distant galaxies this coffee I’m drinking.’

When daylight is subdued by irony clouds,

when the air is saturated and hard to breathe in

and the window swells with grand gloom

I sit down. I stay still.

It must be windy. Birds are floating like kites.

 

Read the second Sunday post by Neil Horabin

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Creative Work: Novel Excerpt “My Name Is Freedom” by Boyana Petrovich

Creative WorksAs writers, the lasting effects of the lives we have led bleeds into our work, sometimes without the author even noticing. Other times our work has everything to do with that search for identity and our characters are reflections of ourselves. In previous posts we’ve given you a taste of the effect that the sense of ‘place’ has on the writer and their work in poetry. Today on Words, Pauses, Noises, we invite you to sample a piece of prose written by Boyana Petrovich about the lasting effects of place, of heritage, and how it feels to leave the country of your birth to in search of a new beginning. In this excerpt of Boyana’s novel-in-progress, the main character is a woman torn by two cultural identities the result of her dual heritage. Her very name binds her to the old country and holds her back from immersing herself within a new identity. 

‘My Name is Freedom’

By Boyana Petrovich

 

I had a dream last night. I’m standing on the edge of a massive cliff, rope tied around my ankles. You tell me to untie the rope and walk away, but I know that the only right thing to do is jump. And I want to, so much, but I don’t know how. So I’m just standing here on this edge, tied in my jumpless bungee.

My real name is Freedom.

I was born in a country that doesn’t exist anymore. Mom and her parents and their parents were born here, too, only here was somewhere altogether different again. In 1906 here was the Kingdom of Serbia. My great grandmother, Zlata, came from a village called Hellville, three hours’ walk across the mountain to the west. If you’re less poor you could travel most of the way from here on a donkey. Not across the Bishop’s Plateau though, a rocky place where the bishop in question wouldn’t come off his horse and they both fell into the ravine. Poor horse. I don’t know if this story is true, but I do know that everyone gets off their donkey at the Bishop’s Plateau. The selfish git’s legacy. Jovan, my great grandfather, came from a village called A Crow Without a Tail. To get there you’d have to drive further into the depths of The Old Mountain, a few hours to the west, then to the south, quite close to the border with Bulgaria. I’ve seen, many times, Jovan sitting, serious, with palms on his knees and Zlata standing close to him, hands resting on her hips. The faded sepia photograph claims the first page of our family album, but they were gone long before I was born. Continue reading