Of Bangs and Whimpers

“If Trump wins the election, I’m moving to Serbia!” So said a Serbian-American I know, about four years ago. I…

St. George and the Dragon

May 6th is St. George’s day on the Julian calendar. St. George is my family’s patron saint. What makes us…

Dear St. Sava

Dear St. Sava, please hear my prayer. I apologize if I’m doing this wrong. It’s been a while. I forget…

Time Machines

An assignment arrived in my inbox three days after it was due to be completed. It happens. The job arrived…

Woman’s Day

He lost his love to cancer On International Women’s Day Every year he sends her photograph Smiling in the sun…

Virtuality

Good evening. Welcome to tonight’s performance. We would like to remind those in the flesh to unwrap their candy and…

Retirement Planning

The day I retire, no longer young – but hopefully still beautiful, the mortgage on my house will keep working.…

Who We For?

Yes. That’s is the scoreboard from Red Star Belgrade’s stadium after they defeated Liverpool F.C. by two goals to nil. I…

Serbs From Mars

Growing up Serb in a foreign country in the 70s and 80s was fantastic. Nobody in the media had heard…

Is Our Mentality Fixed?

If you’re part of any defined group in life, sooner or later you’re confronted by the questions of your group’s…

Syedoglav’s Tale (Part 2)

Slobbo peered intently at Syedoglav’s crinkled blue eyes. You need to pick one, they seemed to be taunting. He pondered the trap his cousin had surely laid for him.

Remembrance

The day after November 11th. A cenotaph in a high school quadrangle. Hundreds of names engraved on its plaques. A…

Syedoglav’s Tale

Slobodan Zhivotarevitch, “Slobbo” to his friends, was upset. Fifteen years after democracy had arrived in his corner of the world,…

Salting The Mind

“I love your writing. Lots of interesting ideas. I just wish you weren’t so…”

Handsome? I thought

Who Is Our Goethe?

The answer, of course, as James Baldwin put it: Goethe is our Goethe. But I digress. Goethe, in addition to…

Jazz is Freedom

My improvisations on trumpet no commissar could control. Jazz is freedom. So said Jazz musician and trumpet virtuoso, Duško Gojković,…

Seeing Red

In the first rugby match I ever played for my high school, on a cold Saturday morning, we played at home…

Dušan (Charles) Simić

Bombed. In Belgrade. By Nazis and Allies. Refugee. Conscript. Poet. Professor. MacArthur Fellow. Pulitzer Prize. Wallace Stevens Award. United States…

How Do You Pronounce That?

Foreign-born parents inevitably have a discussion about whether to name their child something “the Anglos” can pronounce or whether to “stick it to the man” and go with some unpronounceable variation from their mother tongue.

Assisted Suicide

Lately I’ve been having a moral crisis. Or maybe a growing awareness of hypocrisy. Is it right to help skilled…

Mother And Child Reunion

This sculpture sits in a fountain in Boston Public Library’s courtyard. It is a replica by Frederick MacMonnies called Bacchante…

Lessons in Humor

One of the problems with a language that has gendered nouns and verbs is that every now and again you…

Happy 4th

Obren Pjevovic was a modern day lyricist, composer and poet. He was best known for collaborations with the likes of…

Vidovdan

As a newcomer, it seemed like Americans mark their years by the holiday aisle at Walgreens. Wake one up from…

Quo Vadis, Diaspora?

My younger daughter came home one day and proudly declared she was a philosopher. How can you tell, I asked?…

What Kind of Serb Are You?

Scenario: Your 7 year old daughter comes to you before her birthday party and says, “Tata, can I please have…

Poetry Corner

  The Africa When I smell leaves I think about Africa I think of lions roaring monkeys climbing on trees…

Advanced Marketing

While waiting in line to exit Costco, feeling the usual guilt at how much I spent and worry over whether…

Songs Of Our Generations

The other night I was at a “rokenrol svirka”. It was a great experience and the talent of musicians in…

Tale of Two Stadiums

The other day I saw an article about a delegation from Wales expressing dismay at the condition of the the…

AAAH! WHAT THE HELL!!?

Funny story. My kids are of the age where they start asking, “so what do you do?” My 9 year…