by Elif Sezen

Third birthday
in front of me the cake of cut ribbons
as if the ribbons are my hair
newly cropped by them
those watercolor portraits glued to atmosphere
have always been me

Inviting the touch of discouraged plastic
(blackness conceals the palette)
discouraged memory-absorbers
discouraged Christmas decorations sold
by the cashier girl:

…and a poem returned me my breath…

Mould makers, a weird heap
a salutation of sickly exaltedness illuminates my face
spinning, spinning, spinning
transforming my concreteness into red
a voice from behind spells out
the most important word of the century

Her being, on the threshold of a sterile emotion
my immortal sister, her last words:
‘this curtain made of ice never opened like this!’
this offering, smiles of venomous sky-plants
their existence decorated previously, their hands
separate the dimension beyond earth’s

…and an armour-plated Dvorak connected me to life…

Aged three
the cake of cut ribbons
fell on top of us
from a tiny opening
the most beautiful day of our lives.

Elif Sezen

Elif Sezen's picture

Elif Sezen is an Australian/Turkish multidisciplinary artist, bilingual poet/writer, translator and researcher. She obtained her PhD in Fine Art from Monash University (2014). In her doctorate she researched how memory can be reconceptualised through symbolic and metaphorical transformations between visual arts and poetry. Her poetry collection 'Universal Mother' was published by GloriaSMH Press in 2016; her most recent book of poems 'A Little Book of Unspoken History' in 2018 by Puncher & Wattmann. She also published a chapbook 'The Dervish with Wings' in 2017. Her Turkish translation of Ilya Kaminsky’s acclaimed book Dancing in Odessa was published by Artshop Press (2014), and her first collection of experimental mix of short stories and poems 'Gece Düşüşü' was published in Turkish by Hayal Press. Her work has widely appeared nationally and internationally in journals and anthologies. She lives and works in Melbourne. Her website:

Last updated June 09, 2011