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  • I prefer to travel by car. If it’s possible to drive to my chosen destination, I will. When you arrive somewhere on wheels, you instantly feel like you belong, you’re not at the mercy of someone else’s guidance, you can fearlessly steer your way straight to the centre of a massive city as if you have been there before. You don’t want to hesitate, slowly winding your way from airports and outskirts, no; you want to arrive abruptly, catch the city off-guard, crash into her like a sweet surprise. You want to come off as someone who already knows your way around, as if you know her secret soft spots better than she does herself. Any experienced seducer knows that.

  • The city of Zagreb was gorgeous, with her curvy lines and deep colours. I was there to accompany my younger sister, the Poet, to a poetry festival with the catchy name ‘Brutal’. When Silvestar, Mr Brutal himself, came sauntering towards us, I immediately sensed that we were two of a kind. It’s the eyes that reveal us, every time. A certain glow, deep within, softly blurred by dense lashes. He was mischievously handsome, like a moviestar, chainsmoking, a master at quick comebacks, and he was the spitting image of the infamous Colin Farrell, which was enough to make me feel like I had to protect the innocent Poet from him. That, and the fact that I misperceived his name and thought he called himself Silverstar, as if he was a prized stallion.

  • Although I was generously included from the first moment, I nevertheless felt burdened by the fact that I was no Published Poet; I was there as a translator, as sister-support, an intruder in the circle of Great Writers. So I turned to the sensuous city for company, and Ms Zagreb didn’t question my talents, didn’t ask for titles or reviews. Without reservation or prejudice, she took me by the arm and welcomed me into her lit plazas, escorted me through her broad avenues and quiet back-alleys, hinting at dark corners full of luscious secrets.

    Oh, the nightly walks along curved tramlines, the warm glow of illuminated facades, the heated discussions on street corners, the wine, the music, the flushed faces and the night-lights; the poetry lingering between the lines.

  • “You’re a poet at heart,” he whispered to me.

    We were standing just outside the glow of the street-lamp, and he held my hands, another seductive stranger, a peer in the night. He had grappa on his pocket-flask and a jacket that was big enough to cover both of us.

    Yes, a poet at heart. It’s the silence that reveals us, every time, the telling space between our words, the significant ambiguity of every breathless sentence, the allusive messages our tongues exchange, the countless possible interpretations of each stanza.

  • When the new day dawns, you know it's time to leave. The morning reveals too many secrets, the daylight exposes the vulnerable souls of poetical seducers and shatters the magic.

    Leaving is best done by rail. To step on board at the very last minute, avoiding long goodbyes, to break loose at the most intense moment of a conversation, or at the edge of an embrace, to run away from newfound friends with eyes full of tears and a heart bursting with unexpected adventures; that’s when the music is swinging, that’s improvisation, baby, that’s jazz. That’s poetry.

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