Ana Marija Grbić
- Serbia -
Ana Marija Grbić (born in Belgrade in 1987) is a Serbian poet, creative writing mentor, editor, and illustrator of poetic comics, as well as her own and other authors’ poems.
She studied at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade at the Department of Serbian Language and Literature with World Literature, received her Master’s Degree from the Department of Serbian Literature, and she is currently in the final year of her PhD studies at the same faculty. She is the founder and coordinator of the ARGH poetry group and a creative writing mentor.
Her poems have been translated into Polish, English, Macedonian, Bulgarian, and Hungarian. She is a member of the Serbian Literary Society and the Serbian PEN Center. She published three collections of poetry: Yes, but Don’t Be Afraid (Da, ali nemoj se plašiti, 2012), Mons Veneris and Others Mountains (Venerini i ostali bregovi, 2014), and Earth 2.0 (Zemlja 2.0, 2017).
She also published prose books: Idols and the Last Days (Idoli i poslednji dani, 2018) and Roe Deer Back (Srneća leđa, 2021).
“In my opinion, Mons Veneris and Others Mountains (Venerini i ostali bregovi) is a step forward in comparison with the author's first book. The unusual and bold approach she chose made the sensibility from Yes, but Don't Be Afraid (Da, ali nemoj se plašiti) sound stronger, more complex, and mature. Regarding this book, it would be interesting to talk about the unity and diversity within the framework of one's poetic expression, but also about the issue of female writing. (...) Why does it appear to me that it is a constructed world – that stands somewhere between the Mediterranean and Central Europe, in which I often recognize the Art Nouveau décor from the beginning of the twentieth century – and a lyrical hero – whose character I imagine sometimes looking like Kafka and sometimes like Srečko Kosovel – that speak of our time and place, of the phantasmatic aura of our reality, far more directly than a series of veristic poems? The successful combination of immediacy and construction, their inseparability and mutual conditioning, seems to be the basis of the strength of the author's expression.”
- Bojan Vasić
Earth 2.0 (Zemlja 2.0) in addition to its undeniable literary and artistic qualities, is also important because it concerns us. It concerns us, Generation Y, which suffers from a fatal defocus due to historical guilds that are, to a non-negligible extent, recognizable when seem from a distance of history textbooks of dubious credibility, let alone that it created those guilds itself. This is a generation that, unlike the “lost generation”, the “baby boomers” and Generation X, has not been left with any ideological stronghold, no matter how susceptible to derisive deconstruction it may be, using it as a sort of a focal point, even if it refutes that ideology. That generation was led to a flash-like post-ideology where it stumbles, trying to decipher the relapses of the old world, and find itself the most valid position. Those looking for the aforementioned focus in this book will certainly not go astray.
I / I
my name is ahmo.
i was born two kilometers from sarajevo
i had the smallest sneakers in the world and
my mother's name was selma and then she
like a sea urchin, she deflated into the sand
in front of the house
she had no entrails.
since then i also wear pants and everyone
calls me ahmo,
ahmo you look like your father, ahmo you're a fine
ahmo what will the world say
around the house, around the yard, around the street,
around the mosque,
around the doghouse
ahmo have you ever kissed a boy
have you ever smoked pot
have you ever sat with your father at ramadan
emptied the room of air
counted days, counted hours,counted
ahmo my son you're a real mother's bastard
my father calls me that,
rips the teeth from his jaw, throws them at me
gathers his fists back into his arms,
grows red like the sea,hisses like a snake
understands it allepically
sometimes lunches quietly and that's when he's at his
he has no recourse but to be cross and
to break pictures of mother and sit on my
i grow blind
our room slips under the nail and darkens
between the neighbour's houses
ahmogrows his father's tail between his legsand
makes himself into a man
the new millennium rocks our curtains
and each summer is warmer than the last and
the women are around the house, around the yard, around the street
around the mosque,
around the butcher shop
since then i also wear pants.
I / I
i'm almost thirty years old, my name is
i was born in belgrade 
they often took me to the country in a hot
the parents would turn me over to grandma and grandpa who
will soon die
from the blossoming of the brain, the narrow tissue
of the firm heart aorta, and
back then everybody said that old people
die naturally, and
i dreamed that my legs are growing together
becoming an imprint of a fish tail, and
for nights on end i'd only count the wooden
underneath the bed, nothing
and if butfor once the beast had knocked
its horn against the door
rivers would flow, as it is
only the hauling sluggish cattle
no kind of man with the head of a donkey
anja's good, the kindergarten teachers said,
only a little withdrawn, maybe she's shy,
send her to acting classes
where i learned how to speak louder
in order to say less
and how my hair looks best over to
the left side.
that will dowell enough for a life.
I / I
tomorrow i go to bosnia for the first time.
mom said that they brawl
in front yards
butcher pigs and women with the same knife
and that the pinnacle of their art is the carpet.
it's better i leave.
i hate entirely calm people.
it's better i leave
anja was a bad girl but
now she's good
we have to show her we've
thinks mom as she slices off part by part
of her fingers
and feeds them to me for a long and healthy
the silver plates of a child
plastic cups with the wine of parents,
a family lunch, false authority of the father
at the top of the table
blooms like an overripe dandelion
i never thought i love you when i would
i always loved later
in a faraway land,of course, in
the regret in front of embassies, in
the slow flowing out of the danube and
its rotten viennese fish
i saw that i will never be alone.
anja was a bad girl but look at her now
now she passes exams and goes to the doctor
examines her diseased tits and always uses
applies crèmes to her face,thinks about the future
as she covers her strongest mother
in the world
in cold nightsshe sees her feet
in this exact mannerdying helplessly,
but outside of the dream
as she covers her strongest mother
in the world
with green plastic sheets
in room for example 38
somebody will also die once
and not only muddily
look through the windowand fill
golden bed pans.
I / I
i am not this night.
I / I
and since mother went downevery day father
bakes bread around his nails there's always
someof the crusted flour and when i buy
breadhe only hates meand then the sun has already
fogged overand the birds are finally in love and then he
continues to knead dough for hours as if he'll
make a planet:
[for everyone who didn't cry when one of their own
died remember this:
you will never forget the scents.
you are not allowed to.]
I / I
fortunately. in this world everything is anja
the postage stamp from berlin and god and
the thing behind
and the dream you dreamed and the sex after it
a poem once written by someone
troubled by heartburn is indeed
anjaand the sunrise over the carpathians but not
the less narrow possibility of the sky
and the wishbone broken in a live chicken and
the general ignorance of the world
and the slave who loves his wife
and the potent nature of pity
and the end and the end, and the beginning and the beginning, and nothing
in between fortunately
a salted handful of dirt
a yellow footprint.
I / I
a desert buried itself before me
the kind i saw in moviesonly
if i had in my handone single word
and it'd deafen everyone only i have no word
but a muscle fever i imagine
fiery tips of needles
skin stretched from the nose to the navel
the stable water of veins.
i journeyed restlessand arrived dead
i wanted to ask what makesone sail here
i saw only disciplined wolves
spilled around me like garbage
and they're singing songs i once heard
from sinad's cup
and i never believed them.
the wind beats against my face.
where are you ahmo, where are you, mother's good son?
did they make you mad, ahmo, did they stand
on your sole too many times and didn't say
did a girl break your heart
however only the wind beats against my face
however the pain nor the regret nor love
have anything to do with this
with fleas in groins
with worms in tuna fish
water yellow like the dead eye of a bird
where are you ahmo, where are you, mother's good son.
Mount of Venus and Other Mounts (fragment) / VENERENI I DRUGI BREGOVI (fragment)
vessels of the earth blooded.
i was counting on you, if it comes to war
taking a rifle and commandeering a nice plot
of land for our home
i always had the look of one in need
the news were poor.
all our springs grown tiny
in your hair, there was no interest in a wind which does not lift
houses from their base
the news were awful poor.
i always knew before you breathe
when you will wake up and feel unneeded
to whom you will squeal and which nail you will destroy
who will pin you down and fuck you and
what of all this will you remember to torment you before
your wombe blooded.
if only you could feel how many warm rooms
you contain within
and you save naught in them, but set fires.
if only you could feel how your waters
pour on my fist
you would be even more fiercely
the news poor, infernal.
two days past my return to some house
the crows cocooned in the chimney
the tar landed on my mother's hair
the crows are staging a birth and you with blackin your womb
you dream of Albina Espinosa chopping off your breasts
squeezingthem of milk and with them feeding the piglets
you howl and drag the sheets towards the floor on which
huddled i am attempting not to see
i would almost always hide, though
some objects are nailed to others,
same goes for some people.