Happy to share that I have a story in the Fall issue of CultureCult Magazine


My short story Keeping up with Time was published in CultureCult Magazine’s Issue #8. 
As a token of my appreciation for the utmost care and creative zeal in featuring one of my works in CultureCult n0 8 Magazine Issue, I tongue the words in your ears, with an ardent appeal, to buy a digital/print copy of CultureCult Magazine’s Issue #8. 
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Order a print copy via Createspace e-store: https://goo.gl/Ts4nHU
Order a print copy via Amazon (US): https://goo.gl/YKC1Nn
Order a print copy via Amazon (UK): https://goo.gl/bWn22u
Order a digital copy to read on your Kindle devices and Kindle Android/iOS app via Amazon (US): https://goo.gl/KiATPj
Order a digital copy to read on your Kindle devices and Kindle Android/iOS app via Amazon (India): https://goo.gl/7pV3ko
 
CultureCult Magazine is available in all European nations and most other countries on Amazon, in digital and print versions. Simply search for “CultureCult Magazine – Issue #8”
***
I only hope that you like my literary efforts as much as I appreciate your reader’s attention and literary judgment.
Sharp reader’s mind such as yours is the strongest support and I require it for my essential artistical sustenance.

kp

ko
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Closure


Note: How many times do you wonder why someone is avoiding you and not getting any closure, judicially speaking. Kafka’s stories have no closure. Real life stories don’t either. Let me tell you mine.
Back in the bygone Nineties, I had a friend whom, without delving too deep into her private life’s choices, I had been very close with. We hung out in high school only for her to, all of a sudden, upon graduation, start ignoring all of my calls, moving the other way when she would meet me in Kragujevac (along one street, at the time well specked with hot spots for hanging out – therefore it was easy to run into her and vice versa). I asked her, whenever I managed to get to her, having passed her protective mother, her sister (whom I also used to spend schooldays with) why she was behaving like that. The moment she heard my voice she would have a panic attack, screaming. Later on I would receive strange phone calls at midnight, odd sentence structures uttered by her and I’ll stop there before it drags on longer than the royal bloodline…
It was odd to me what was happening to her and rumors reached me that she had had some “problems”. I connect the dots, some semblance of an explanation was there, but not enough of one. Why is she screaming only when running into me? I felt like Ed Gein, the serial killer.
I found out who her psychologist was (in Kragujevac this was doable) and decided to book a session with him as well in order to learn why a dear friend considers me a Michael Meyers mere hours after a field trip to Greece, and fast forward a few years, screams when seeing me, why she only invites me over on her birthday surrounded by a multitude of people and receives flowers as a gift from me. Psychologists had even then been playing professional ethics and, between two insulin shots, the weary-eyed diabetic psychologist told me all of her secrets, both known to me and unknown, adding ‘The very second you came into my office, by your friend’s description, I knew right away that you’re Leila.’
I mention this because I had openly stated my name and surname as well as my intentions, I added that I had no intentions of delving into the intimate details of my friend’s life, merely to provide additional info to the psychologist so that she might help her… and maybe even begin to realize why the sudden shift of behavior towards me. Were these some midnight cries for help? Still, she had been a remarkable friend to me. She was there for me when no one ever was! I had to find out what was it about me that disturbed her so much. Did I do something wrong? Something I was unaware of? Was I at fault for something?
And I added, maybe I too could get a piece of advice from an expert such as her, and then the psychologist suddenly burst out at me saying ‘She wants you to stop calling her! You’re harassing her! She’s sick! She has–’ and this is where she told me what my friend was diagnosed with.
I repeat, the psychologist growled at me and said ‘Ah! Look at you, as fit as a fiddle, and she’s so frail, and yet you’re the one disturbing her!’
‘But all I want to do is talk to her… Let her know this, and I will stop trying.’
And I really did. But her calls did not cease.
But that is a long story, my vain attempts at trying to reach the person I had spent schooldays with and shared a room with in Greece for five days were just that – attempts in vain.
But you know how it is – when in Serbia, even as an LAPD employee when you go to a psychological consultation, that is where you are – a psychological consultation. Period.
I come to Belgrade and lo and behold, I immediately meet a different, new friend who was there for me in the same manner the last one was – she was there for me when no one ever was! But she had also started avoiding me and in an attempt to prevent this, learned in the antique mysteries, I kept pushing and pushing for her to divulge the secret to her shift, to which she had suddenly said ‘Leila, I have a stomach cramp and I see a psychiatrist every day. You should go to, because I really have no strength to keep on giving advice to you! I really don’t!’
To this I sighed and said ‘Well, I did go.’
Suddenly the friend was flabbergasted and much like my at the moment next-door neighbor upon seeing the Halley’s comet, the second sun of Nostradamus and the follow-up moment of making the sign of the cross, she said in an accusatory, almost Kafkian way ‘Oh, oh so you DID go!’
I stopped trying to talk to her or get any closure, I think about a year or so now…
Did I do something to her? Something I am unaware of? Was I at fault?
giffi

Boris K, the cosmopolitan protagonist


‘The Adventures of Boris K.’ was already published in Serbia, but I’ve decided upon the expanded Kindle edition to have the cosmopolitan protagonist live through cosmopolitan fate, to have him read and loved not only in the isolated space of the Balkans, but also among the aboriginal tribes whom he, often, breaks bread with on his travels.

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Ljubodrag Stojanović, author, A review of the short story ‘Artists’


“ARTISTS”

What I truly love about Samarrai’s writing is the brilliant dislodging of epochs and people, eruditional toying with the documented and the fictitious, the unpredictability, the lavish fancy and terrific dialogues. One should not be Tagore to enter the Garden of her worlds and labyrinths, where Mozart and Trier meet, Wagner and Bach, or rather Bachs. With Samarrai time and space are toys, an occasional means but never an end, rather a limbo where they, in fact, do not exist. In her necropolis living people dwell, , while the dead or undead roam the city streets, and those dislodgings seem quite convincing, realistic, even logical. This writing and Samarrai as the author both deserve a far bigger readership, for the fate of the poem-the verse-the tale is not to be silent nor is it the fate of great authors to be unmentioned.

http://www.alma.rs/autori/lj-stojanovic.html

LJUBODRAG STOJANOVIC WAS BORN IN GNJILANE ON APRIL 22ND, 1972, WHERE HE HAD LIVED UNTIL JUNE 1999. HE WRITES APHORISMS, POEMS, ROCK LYRICS, PLAYS, SHORT STORIES, AND NOVELS.
HE IS CURRENTLY LIVING IN NIS.
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY: ‘THE SERBIAN STORY’ (2002), COLLECTION OF APHORISTIC PROSE ‘BOTH INSANE AND CONFUSED’ (2009).

THE KAFKIAN LEVITICUS (THE BOOK OF THE KAFKAESQUE LAW) – complete


I, Franz Kafka, He who is versatile with light sentences, as well as everyday lexicon, have in regards to finishing all of my novels found a way out by writing this Code of Law, through Kafkaesque De Sade- von Masoch Code- KDSVMC statutes which have a final, totalitarian order, with a well-rounded meaning  and significance which can serve as solace to Kafkaesque characters, suggesting to them and providing them with the materials to conduct independent research as a hobby which will cut their dark days in half and preoccupy their sinful thoughts.

As I read these lines written in a neutral eerie tone and engraved by means of bloody knife into history,

  1. I, Franz Kafka, have permanently relinquished myself of the guilt which haunted me and heavily obstructed me in performing my government job, and have done so by adopting the following Kafkaesque De Sade- von Masoch Code- KDSVMC statute:
  • All of the trials are limited to a Castle of your own choice.
  • All trials are to be conducted solely in the Castle – and we will select what castle it is via fixed lottery.
     

    2. I, Franz Kafka, oppose die Autorität, the Scourge and Saint Attila, by flogging myself. I do not need the Scourge – I will carry out my own justice.

  • 3.Slanderers are not to be flogged but slandered because they are above the law, and he who feels no guilt is the biggest sinner of all. He is to be flogged but exclusively by a three-wire quirt.

THE KAFKIAN LEVITICUS (THE BOOK OF THE KAFKAESQUE LAW)  

This Code was discovered by a washed up actor Simon Culpeper, who was working at a quarry. He found it right next to a bloody dagger.[1]

 
KDSVMC 1. If the defendant chooses to defend him/herself with silence, and is intoxicated, he/she shall drink until he/she regurgitates and begins summoning his/her mother. Upon this his/her mother is to be called to testify in his/her stead. If the mother is passed on, her spirit is to be summoned.
 
KDSVMC 2. If the defendant chooses to defend him/herself with silence,  and is well versed in more than a few foreign languages the indictment is to be read in Swahili, and the trial-less verdict declared in Welch.
KDSVMC 3. If the defendant chooses to defend him/herself with silence,  and is also as sober and aware as rarely anyone else in the country he/she is to be sent on a course of opiate habituation and then returned to the Courtroom.
KDSVMC 4. If the Guilty party admits to the most gruesome of deeds with zero remorse, he/she is to be set free, because the society needs psychopaths to one day reach seats of power. If we eliminate the psychopaths who is it that remains?
KDSVMC 5. If the defendant has committed criminal acts before he/she is to be set free for the criminal world needs experts in the field, since it is an industry experiencing constant growth.
KDSVMC 6. If the defendant has a college degree acquired through string pulling, even if all evidence speaks to the contrary he/she is to be released since there are too many wiseguys pretending to be better than everyone, and worst of all, they really are.
KDSVMC 7. If the defendant voted on the elections he/she is to be sentenced to presidency of the homeroom class in the prison school for the illiterate.
KDSVMC 8. If the defendant did not vote he/she is to be declared president of the electoral commision to make him hate voting all the more.
KDSVMC 9. If the defendant turns out not to be among the living exhume his/her body and declare him/her alive, and then execute him/her by firing squad and put him/her back because then he/she would, legally, be dead.
KDSVMC 10. If the defendant is a politician who embezzled money from the national treasury he/she is to be given a loan and is to repay it, from the national treasury of course as well as via the stocks of a country-owned firm of his/her choosing for he/she will never steal again if rewarded for theft.
KDSVMC 11. If a member of the clergy blessed the criminals he/she is to be sent to a good will mission into the neighboring lands wherein he/she can bless war criminals on state budget as well. You never know which war criminal will seize power.
KDSVMC 12. If upon questioning the Guilty party should take the wrong turn, left of the door where he/she was questioned, and not the right one, he/she is to be fined because he/she is running away from the Trial for free, and the Trial takes place in the Courtroom and he/she will have to be brought back sooner or later, especially because of the Punishment.
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KDSVMC 13. He who sues the one who errs should think whether he had not erred himself before. Had he done so, he should report himself.
KDSVMC 14. Who despite this sues the man who withheld money from him shall undergo questioning until something is pulled out.
KDSVMC 15. He out of whom nothing is pulled out is either not alive or a saint, and there are no saints nor the living dead.
KDSVMC 16. Should you be proven to have damaged the criminal while he did his deed you must recompense him monetarily.
KDSVMC 17. If you have complaints regarding eavesdropping this means that:
A. We do not eavesdrop good enough and we shall punish the people from the Security Department.
B. You are obstructing a public official following you and for this you will be fined.
KDSVMC 18. Those sentenced to death are only allowed to die once.
KDSVMC 19. Public floggings are forbidden unless the people decide otherwise in a poll within one of the tabloid magazines.
KDSVMC 20. All those who paid their legal expenses must keep silent about it – so that they wouldn’t brag as if they were rich.
KDSVMC 21. He who brags about being rich will be sent to Court.
KDSVMC 22. He who does not prove to have paid the legal expenses will again be sent to Court.
KDSVMC 23.
The Forefather is a Scourge since Attila is the Scourge of God. The Forefather is, therefore, Attila who later in life decided to take monastic vows and become Saint Attila.

FOR IT IS WRITTEN:
Respect thy Father and thy Mother by having them whip you.

QUIT YER BITCHIN’ FOR HERE COMES WHIP TWITCHIN’! 

  1. Whipping is to be executed exclusively with a sterilized whip, dipped in a hydrogen solution.
  2. Whipping is sponsored by tanner shops and salt factories.
  3. Salt is a necessary element to be rubbed into the post-whipping wounds.
  4. Whipping is the same as whipkrieg and is not to be permormed without the blessings of the church.
  5. The church is obliged to bless both the convict and the whip with holy water before the execution is to take place.
  6. Whipping in BDSM establishments is forbidden.
  7. Whipping must not be performed with an old Avarian quirt.
  8. The whip must not be manufactured from horse skin, which would work for nomads. 

SLANDER/LIBEL:

  1. The libelous person accused of libel is to be set free for honor is defended by dueling.
  2. Duels are forbidden.
  3. Should both duelists die – duels are permitted.
  4. Citizens are not to be arrested nor killed at night but during the day, mid-day, in the open.
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KDSVMC 24.
Plagiarism is protected philosophically: according to Plato, all of art is imitation, and an incompetent one at that, especially the theater and poetry. Hence, when someone plagiarizes both he who plagiarizes a piece and the one who wrote the plagiarized piece are to be exhiled because both are imitating reality.
 
KDSVMC 25.
Men are, at the core, evil. Hence why being faithful to someone is forbidden – be they faithful politically or sexually – for longer than five years. Adultery or backstabbing is a natural occurrence because it is natural to be at war with everyone. Those who remain faithful to others shall be hung under the suspicion that they want an organized, conspiratorial takedown of the government.
KDSVMC 26.
Priests who are objectors to conscience and do not want to bless the weapons of paramilitary formations are to be employed in gay brothels as punishment.
Only corrupt coalitions are allowed in politics – see 3.
KDSVMC 27.
Who does not know of other man’s secrets and does not deal with cancellations and blackmail is lazy because he isn’t trying to work 25 hours per day but thinks it’s enough to come to work at 8 and return home at 5. As punishment he is to wear the same diaper for three days, without changing it. A cloth one, at that.
This way, my characters have, rather like myself, found their way out of the situation they were knee-deep in. Some of them live today, some not so much, but I have managed to finish, by way of this Code of Law, my novels ‘The Trial’ and ‘The Castle’, for it was only this Code that I was lacking to feel complete and to rest in peace.
And not only did I finish them, I’m contemplating a book series.The Trial continues!*

 

The-Kafkian-Monkey-Adelaide-Fringe-2017-The-Clothesline
 *Persequendum est! *This thing must be continued!

[1] A subtle refference to Serbian protests to the 2017 Election results.

 

 ***
*Kafka’s writing has inspired the term “Kafkaesque”, used to describe concepts and situations reminiscent of his work, particularly Der Process (The Trial) and “Die Verwandlung” (The Metamorphosis). Examples include instances in which bureaucracies overpower people, often in a surreal, nightmarish milieu which evokes feelings of senselessness, disorientation, and helplessness. Characters in a Kafkaesque setting often lack a clear course of action to escape a labyrinthine situation. Kafkaesque elements often appear in existential works, but the term has transcended the literary realm to apply to real-life occurrences and situations that are incomprehensibly complex, bizarre, or illogical. (source:Wikipedia)

Matchstick Man


After the landlady kicked Boris K. out onto the snow for unpaid rent, our hero, endlessly cursing the soulless Frau Susie, lit a matchstick to warm himself up a bit. Lights burned in the surrounding houses, for it had been Christmas. A powerful, very squally Belgrade wind was whipping away chilling our hero to his bones.

Roaming along the snow and ice Boris K. cursed the day when he forgot to bring the New Year’s sparkles, hence, when one matchstick went out, he proudly lit the next, and then another, and then one more, up until he spent all of the matches in the box.

With the last stick he set fire to his coffer, used it to transport fire to his pants and coat, only to finally lit his whole self on fire in order to keep warm. While the cold whirlwind scattered his ashes all over the city streets, a bright sun shone and melted all the snow and ice.

matchstick

Boris K. In the Gym or”Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”


“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”, From Shakespeare’s play Hamlet (1.4), Marcellus to Horatio.

Boris K. took the “Mens sana in corpore sano” mantra deadly seriously and was on his way to the nearest gym. Out of sheer excitement, he forgot the towel. Truth be told, Boris K. never really sweated, what’s more the doctors diagnosed him with some armpit gland defect. He wore his tracksuit that he usually wore when he went to the farmer’s market and had sneakers on, clean, but with a tiny hole on their side.

The moment he stepped into the luxury space, akin to the gyms of Los Angeles where the Japanese Yakuza work out, the treadmill caught his attention. As he was running, green pastures went through his head where he soared as a child, running after a ball.

“Boris, get the ball!” he remembered the voice of his uncle Ivan The Terrible Fisherman, who often took him fishing.

He ran faster, catching the ball in his thoughts. Giggling, he lifted his arms up and whispered: “Death to fascism, freedom to the people”, respecting the house rules.

Luckily, others noticed the new workout guy, others who ran along the treadmill with light steps, wiping off the invisible sweat, exchanging many a word between one another:

“Sweetheart, I have discovered the Café Menstrualle. You pop one Café Menstrualle and no more ovary pain.”

“Such nice people, these folks”, he thought after a thirty minute cardio workout, ran his fingers through his odorous hair, with but a hint of sweat to it. He reeked of sweat and it felt good to him.

As he was fantasizing about making “Rocky VII”, a young man of 25-ish approached him, dark curly-haired, engulfed in a strong perfume, with buff arms, a square Lego torso and short legs, and he whispered into his ears words that almost froze Boris K. solid.

“Good evening”, he shook his hand with his own, dry chapped one. “I am Boris K.”

The trainer shook hands, unknowingly stepping away from Boris K., while down his tiny wrinkle on his young forehead, born out of constant frowning and grimacing, sweat poured.

“Forgive me, sir, but you stink. All the other folks that are working out are complaining about you.”

Boris turned around himself, sensing the sweat and the hostile looks. He shook.

“Male or female?” he applied logic.

“Both sexes.”

workout_room_zombies

He felt being bathed in cold sweat. As if something had been crushing him bone by bone, his field of vision narrowed. Him? He never broke a sweat. Even when he had to go to the doctor’s.

“What?”, Boris K. looked at him nearly maniacally.

“Nothing”, he said and wiped the sweat of his forehead. Catching glimpse of this motion, Boris K. facepalmed, merely uttering that he did not bring a towel which he would use to clear any doubt-raising link between him and sweat.

“Mistah Trainah, I have never once in my life…stunk, not even had a hint of an odor…and even if I did – is this not the right spot for it?” Boris K. was pulling these and similar arguments while counting the seconds in his head, bouncing the words around under his tongue, gulping, until finally he bent the knee and admitted defeat.

He was certain that he did not break a sweat, but this young trainer, who was a bodybuilder for at least a decade, certainly knew everything there was to know about stench.

“I’ve been wrongly accused!”, a slight rise in his tone.

The trainer shrugged and clenched his fists. The other customers started approaching with menacing faces. Boris K. noticed that he’s in a pinch and tried to apply some strategy. He smiled, to which the customers stepped back. Boris K. noticed that the workout gear was unoccupied, seeing as the people using them were surrounding him, therefore nobody was there using them. He felt the uncalm and the desire to leave, but he couldn’t leave well enough alone. He had firmly decided to continue the discussion with the discount Tommy Gann here by any means necessary, come hell or high water.

He felt that he was about to cry any minute. He held himself with both arms, comforting himself gently as the trainer, his voice a chill, suggested that he brought a towel next time, more modern sneakers and a Dolce & Gabbana tracksuit, like the ones other customers had. For a while he trembled out of confusion, uneasiness, he even wanted to cry. He cursed all the towels of God’s green Earth. He shook away the invisible sweat off of himself as the in-full-make-up female customers, casting a glance or two in his general direction, glared at him scornfully. One observed the sole of his left sneaker. Rolling her eyes, she whispered something to the lummox next to her who looked at Boris K., as if ready to crush him. Boris K. was smiling. He went out into the street shook up, confused, disturbed and offended, realizing that there was a stench there and that the trainer was absolutely correct.

“I know what it was! It was the scent of rot!”, he concluded, and stepped into the dark streets towards a new comedy.

Tomorrow Boris K. purchased a café menstrualle deciding that, as soon as he gets the right opportunity, he would complain to other customers at the gym about the pain in his ovaries.

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