Murat Nemet-Nejat is the author of Turkish Voices and Io's Song. He is also the writer
of the essay, The Peripheral Space of Photography (Green Integer 2003) and the editor
of Eda: An Anthology of Contemporary Turkish Poetry (Talisman House 2004). He is
presently working on the long poem The Structure of Escape, and on the translation
of the Turkish poet Seyhan Erözçelik's complete book of poetry Rosestrikes and Coffee
(Gül ve Telve). These poems here are from The Spiritual Life of Replicants.

The Still Life

The dusty roundness of the poet, the dandelion,
The pot, earth, covered by yellow foil, smoothly,
Each straining, dusty yellowness and shining foil,
To prune each other's color.

Auguries of Contradictions

how can a thought that does not exist not exist, can not exist, responding to a question?

If not exist, where's the question provoking it then...

The eye must hear its contradictions and see through itself —in an act of freedom.

As the parrot in my room talks to me, affectionless

and vast.

Questions and answers are mirrors reflecting each other's emptiness

where the eye travels.


Descartes says the body is a machine.
Then a cyborg is a machine emulating a machine through organic pretensions, which Descartes disabuses us from.

The soul, the mechanical eye we are born with, stealing the body to tell its dream. Then it dies, its specific mode of existence, and it it continues its wanderings to find another host. That's why the classical thinkers knew the ghosts of the dead wandered in the nether land —not searching for god, but yearning for another body.

Both soul and language are parasites in process in the unending flow of things, attached, loose emanating clicks, worm like sounds —surviving manna— but nowhere, nowhere the same.

Proof of Memory

a water flower
green circles
if you lift it
it will fall all limp
but in water
silent wires.
fish stroll
among them
poke their nose,
green turtle
with wings.
once as a kid
our tent by the water
we camped for fish
a dry walk
and i was sent
to catch fish
with my bare hands.
my foot white
in water.
the sea weeds lolled
at my feet.
but the fish that darted
was so big
at my nose.
ran back
as i saw its small tail
whip away.
i told my story
they laughed at me
all night long.

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