Translated by Myself (with a little help from my friends Google Translate and Grammarly – unupgraded version!
Interview KILLER PRESENTATION
Writer Leila Samarrai Mehdi
Interview prepared by Abu Yusuf.
* Dear Leila, share with us, on the “Sweethearts’ Sunday”, the real story behind your poem “Incisions”?
It is difficult to share such an experience. That is, probably, the reason why I wrote a poem. If I could scream out loud, I would. If I could kill myself – I’d kill myself. Since, like most poets, I do not know how to express my feelings in a different way, well, l, I threw them on paper. Also, do not have an oven to place my head in it, like Sylvia Plath.
When you find yourself in the role of abandoned or betrayed when you feel like no one can help you, who else is left to be your interlocutor? Word.
Those days or nights (better to say) I had the need to stop living. Not in terms of suicide, but simply, to break the course of life in my own way. If I tried to explain, there would be a series of self-proclaimed new age sages to tell me I’m crazy. Why should I have a motive to stop living? Perhaps, simply, lasting bothers me. I did not want to live because I did not want to live. I believe this is quite enough. Drama, she left me a woman, mistress, dear friend, I’m broke. These are just side effects.
* Whence in your poems such strong and brutal symbols?
Brutal? If I could, I’d be more brutal. But there are no words I could use. I would not say they are strong and brutal. They’re just real. What I feel, that I write. Do not take revenge out on anyone. But when you live in an environment that I lived in, that moment when you are trying to explain who you are, stating reasons, and trying to justify yourself to someone who leads your self-justification to abuse, than there is nothing left to say but what you really feel. You can call me a suicide poet, something I would have expected, but really, I’m not like that. If I were inclined to be suicidal, I would rather kill myself than write.
Thomas Chatterton was a Century poet, a Romantic figure whose melancholy temperament and early suicide.
* What or who is your biggest inspiration?
Inspiration? Let’s say it’s a pain-killing environment. People are blind, trying to be politically correct. I could be politically correct and strike you down in one sentence with some knockdown arguments. (hypothetically speaking)You would probably then have to act that everything is fine. If it hurts, say: “It hurts”! It’s simple. The greatest inspiration … Probably the same as for all the poets. Solitude!
* How many books have you published so far?
Two books, for now, in the print edition. One of them is a book of poetry. It is meditative, somewhat philosophical, they say “delicate” poetry book in which, among other things, I am questioning the former “values” that were brought into the “spirit of the day” by minds like Anton Salieri from Lenjag, putting them before the “Test of time”. The collection is titled “Darkness in the Change”.
* The analysis of the Samra Begovic’s epic poem “Run baby run”, for “Comedian Magazine” has generated enormous publicity, bringing an attention to hot-button issues on social media – I quote: ‘it’s a symbolic poem about running, in fact, about the moral madness of a coward who is running away from her responsibility by running miles in useful Adidas shoes. This is a woman of the modern age … ” (end of quote)
It is possible that I understood the poem too seriously. Sometimes in the reading between the lines, a woman forget to read the lines themselves. It is possible that the poetess wrote the poem, only about Adidas sneakers … I admit Samra Begovic, my dear colleague slightly reminds me of my father…
*Tell us, do you usually deal with literary theory and criticism?
Today everybody can be a critic, and we know there are no critics to whom a memorial to honour is built. I never paid attention to criticism. If I have “criticized” something, it means something touched me in this, so I needed to say what I said.
* In the magazine “Hero Today” you also published your own poem analysis. It’s unusual, anyway, the poets let their readers wrestle with the multiplicity of verse meanings. What is the motive of this analysis?
Simple. One person asked me to explain to her the meaning of symbols and motifs
for which she has found to be vague and somewhat brutal. I decided that she can afford this pleasure of my explanation…. Use poetry to scare with sincerity.
* Do you have any plans for the future? What are you up to? What would be announced to readers who had stumbled across the magic jungle of your verses?
The future? It has not started yet. Message to readers – Live. Run from Serbia at fast speed. (Take the machete)