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I am currently studying for a PhD in Theatre Studies in the School of English at the University of Leeds. I enjoy reading the poems of Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Pablo Neruda, Langston Hughes, Nazim Hikmet and Necip Fazil Kisakurek. If I were to cite the name of my favourite poet, it would be Marguerite Duras whose prose is highly inspirational and is as poetic as verse, if not more so.




What is left over

To the rest of your laughter

Delta at rest,

Smash-sprinkled all around

A glass doll.


The waste

Of the wasteland.


Once, I counted the hide-and-seeks

On your city-smoked cheeks

Scraped there from many a year ago,

It reads:

‘This sorrow was loaded on my eyes

The moment I was born

When I struggled to erase,

It stained all my face.’

Then, you held your face close

“Gilded like a fish”

 Plum-cold smiled and said,

“I never wear my eyebrows”


You look at me through your round eyes

You, sole.


I lace a breathing sore

From your silence, your core.





A young girl working in a textile factory

on shifts

makes a doll-

a woman in Istanbul-

out of the scraps of cloth

she brings back from work.

A linen doll with no face

but all over

chewing-gum pink under the chest.


If they ever asked her what she wanted to be

She would say a gull

Shorter in one leg

who dreams of flying beyond

the boats under Bosphorus

who would, limping, be fed by

the children and drunkards

throwing morsels of their simit

calculatingly towards her.


There is

the city and my pillow

where the revolts

Are muted.

Mansions destroyed along the Uskudar shores.

On my sheets

arsonists are taking the last steps of a waltz.

I release my basket

to swing over the seven hills

And towards the conquered skies I blow out

the cinnamon dust

On my zythum.

Of all those dresses I have tried on

It is only the pink doll’s

That is left to me.

And, onion flavoured dish in the steam cooker

In an Istanbul house,

made by the dark hands of a widow


there is a little girl drawing a perfect heart

on the kitchen window.








As you wave at friends

Your blurred, distorted hands.

Fingers fisted on joints

Like street children on a cracked pavement

Each standing still

Blanked out by the sacrament.

Northbound: they freeze on the keys of a piano

Icicles watching me outside my window

Never to dance

To the tune of flesh

In a hunchback’s pose, your stranger’s hands



Your fingertips wear

A prostitute’s sabot shoes

And walk on the roof of my cella

My eyes, tightly closed jars

My giant’s nostrils

-walk in if you like-

Fumed with the rye-dust

From a narcotic volcano, from the palms of your


Mezzo soprano hands



You must have caressed

A barbed wire somewhere

And assumed it would not harm

If it wasn’t thine.

That’s why

Your blood rusted and finely drew

The lacking finger of swastika.

Touch your face,


Touch your face

Timid as your half nails

Can you map out a sudden smile

On your necrotic hands?





 copyright  © Yeliz Biber