Magazin za književnost i umjetnost // Journal for literature and arts

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"kulović selma"

A Mosquito in the Hair (Excerpt)

Heleda bolted into the empty police station, yelling out for help.

“Keep your hair on, I’m coming”, said the indifferent man. “Oh, it’s you again. Any more letters?”

“Yes, you bastard—“

“Well, that’s harsh…”

“If you listened to us, none of this would’ve happened.”

“Now, don’t go blaming me for issues in your life—“

“Shut up! My sister is missing. I got another letter, saying that she’s been taken, and they’re now threatening my boyfriend too—”

“You’ve got a sister?”

“Yes! Helana! She came with me the other day! You talked to us. She’s missing, I need your help. Please!”

“Where’s the note?”

“It burned.”

“Now, why in the world would you burn it?”

“I didn’t! It burned! Bloody hell, I can’t deal with you. Call somebody else! Now!”

“There is nobody else. There’s only me here for you, lassie, so we’ll have to work with that.”

Heleda turned around, clutching the hair at the sides of her head, holding her body just straight enough to be called standing, and inhaling just enough breath to be called breathing. 

“Sir. Please”, she said in a calmer voice full of pent-up fury and desperate hope that this man had at least a dust-speck-worth of interest for her. “I need you to help me now. I’m going mad here!”

“’Right, ‘right, let’s talk in the office”, he said, leading her to a grey room, “and let’s start from the beginning.”

“No need and no time. The story’s short: I’ve been getting these cryptic letters and now my sister is missing, and I can’t reach my boyfriend either.”

“When was the last time you talked to her? You tried calling her?”, he asked, taking a seat between a stained wall and a stained desk.

“Of course I did. You think I’m an idiot?”

“Calm down, now”, he said in a deeper tone, maintaining that infuriating – provoking – subtle smile, and barely blinking below the wide, patchy brows.

“Sir, with all due respect – don’t fucking tell me to calm down! You are way too calm for this situation.”

“Just answer my questions, lass.”

“I haven’t talked to her since she left.” 

“Left where?”

“To Amsterdam.”

“She’s not in the country? Ooh, well now, that’s a different story altogether. So when did you last hear from her?”

“I only got a dodgy, short text saying she’s fine. That’s it.” 

“Well, there you go.”

“No, no go! That’s not how she talks.”

“She didn’t talk. She wrote.”

“Fine, then. It’s not how she writes. Better?”

“Has another family member or friend talked to her?”

“No. Nobody. There’s barely anybody to begin with. Are you going to write any of this down?”

“No need.”

“What the hell are you talking about? Are you going to remember all of this? You can’t even remember seeing her with me!”

“I understand you’re agitated—“

“Fuck you.”

“But the fact remains that a person must be missing for 24 hours before we can search for them. Not to even mention all the procedures for asking the authorities in another country to search for our citizen—ooh, so many procedures. We’ll have to wait, I’m afraid.”

“What kind of logic is that? Isn’t it best to report somebody missing right away? Search for them right away? How do you know she hasn’t been missing for 24 hours or longer by now?”

“I don’t. But neither do you. You haven’t talked to your sister in days, and only now did you notice that curious fact… Either way, we have no evidence to go on. We’ll have to wait.”

“I can’t wait. What’s wrong with you? That’s my sister!”

“What’s going on here?” 

Heleda turned around towards the source of that new, reprimanding voice and saw a man approaching the desk, around the same late middle-age as the police officer, but a lot more interested. And this interest was nothing short of menacing. 

“Oh. Detective. We’re just having a situation—“

“Detective? I thought you said there was nobody else here.”

“There wasn’t. I got reinforcement, it would seem.” The officer widened the smile.

“Detective! My sister’s been taken! I need your help, I beg of you!”


“Yes”, the first one said. “This girl’s been allegedly getting anonymous messages—“


Letters…for several days—“


Weeks…Telling her stuff, but not exactly threatening her—“

“Just the fact somebody kept on bringing them to my door is threatening!” 

“And now the letter said this alleged sister’s been taken, some lad’s in trouble, but she burned the letter, and also realised she hasn’t heard from her sister since she’d left to Amsterdam, except for two short texts, apparently hasn’t tried contacting her either, and her not being able to contact her sister is somehow my fault.”

“You son of a bitch…”

“Calm down, miss,” said the one that the other called a detective.

“Stop! Telling me to calm down. He’s not taking me seriously—“

“Does your sister smoke cannabis”, the detective interrupted her in his even tone.


“Does she use marijuana for recreational purposes?”

“Where are you going with this?”

“Please cooperate, miss, would you?”

Heleda pushed out a quick, short breath to regain her composure. “No,” she lied. “What’s your point?”

“My point is that she is most likely high as a plane in Amsterdam. Time for her is different now.”

“You’re taking the piss, right? Surely. Then what about the bloody letters?”

“Somebody’s just messing with you.”

“Then do something about it! Bloody hell! You mad bastards! How do you mean just messing with me?”

“Calm down.”

“Stop telling me to calm down and start listening to me!”

“Listen, girl”, said the detective, “ you are obviously on drugs and if you continue with this, we’ll have to keep you here, so just save yourself the trouble and go home, okay?”

“Hah! On drugs? On drugs?! Ahahahaha! Dear fucking mother of god, this is absurd. How am I on drugs?”

“Well, let’s see: on a thinner side, sunken cheeks, dark circles, generally unkempt state, shivering, needle marks on both arms, neurotic, stinks of sick…. I could go on.”

“I’m not on drugs, I’m sick, had my blood drawn and am on medication.”

“Fine. Medication. Now, go home. Leave us your sister’s number, we’ll ring her. If you don’t reach her till 13:00 tomorrow, come back.”

She stared at them, her mind unable to process what she thought could only be wilful torment on their part.

“I’m not leaving. You hear me? You are here to protect citizens, so protect this bloody citizen! She’s my baby sister! Out there, among strangers! And go find Luka!” Heleda weakly slammed the desk, getting into their faces. Or she was perhaps just leaning on the table.

“You really don’t look well. Calm down.”

Blood. Boiling blood of a sister. A woman of a man.

Fucking pieces of shit… You’re not listening to me… I need you to hear me—”

The world was not on its axis anymore. It shifted, but kept on rotating, with each spin around nothing getting more scared and more scarred and more lost and more distant from its centre which it so frantically tried to maintain. There was no breath left for Heleda, no motion, and her body caved in on itself. She swayed to one side and clutched the air and suspended smoke, seeking support. The two men, their faces intent, observed her body hit the ground.


Kulović Selma

Photo: Howard J

Kazuo Ishiguro: internacionalni pisac i književni laureat

Kazuo Ishiguro je proglašen dobitnikom Nobelove nagrade za književnost u oktobru ove godine. Nakon prošlogodišnje burne dodjele Bobu Dylanu, književni kritičari su prognozirali da će se ovaj put igrati na sigurno. Prognoze su govorile o popularnom, mainstream piscu (muškarcu) iz Europe, no, zanimljivo, Ishigurovo ime nije spominjano. Nastavi čitati “Kazuo Ishiguro: internacionalni pisac i književni laureat”

Nastavi čitati


I never played with a Sindy. She was my older cousin’s best friend though. I knew a Barbie once. But we never got along well. I’d see her occasionally. She never saw me though. I neither liked her nor disliked her. With time, she made me feel uneasy. I couldn’t comprehend her hair, her face, her body, the way she’d feel under my fingers, her existence. Nastavi čitati “Foundation”

Dan od Poezije u Sarajevu

Ovog 29.10. smo mi spisateljice i pjesnikinje iz Sarajevo Writers’ Workshop-a pozvane da učestvujemo u 54. Sarajevskim danima poezije. Nastavi čitati “Dan od Poezije u Sarajevu”

O nama – Razgovor besmrtnika (nastavak)

Prvi dio možete pročitati na


Vrijeme nježno leti. Život je spokojan ovdje.

„Kako lijepa mlada dama.“, pohvali me ljubičasti. Zahvalim se na komplimentu i nastavim trčati i plesati preko crveno-žutog lišća. Vjetar raznosi moju smeđu, dugu kosu i sve slojeve tirkizne, duge haljine. Mora da je to sada moda u svijetu ljudi. Ne preispitujem ništa, samo uživam. Nastavi čitati “O nama – Razgovor besmrtnika (nastavak)”

O nama – Razgovor besmrtnika

Nisam sigurna gdje sam. Jedva sam sigurna šta sam. Sumnjam u ono što mislim da znam, ali mi ni ta sumnja nije važna. Ovo mjesto mi je nepoznato, ali ne strano. Logično je da postoji. Nemam potrebu da preispitujem njegovo postojanje, niti da mu se čudim. Sve oko mene, prazan je prostor. Ne stojim ni na čemu, ali ni ne lebdim. Jednostavno postojim. Pogledam u ruke i odahnem vidjevši svoje pero i hartiju. Nastavi čitati “O nama – Razgovor besmrtnika”



„Šta misliš šta radim kojeg vraga? De pomjeri se i ti malo.“

„Gladna sam.“

„I ja sam, pa? Diži se.“ Nastavi čitati “Glad”

[3-4/2020] Uvodnik

“Da bi se preživjelo, valja pričati priče.”

Dobre vijesti: pregrmili smo dvije trećine godine što je čini više nego napola praznom (u ovom jedinstvenom slučaju, ovaj se stav zapravo računa kao optimističan).

Ljeto je na svom vrhuncu, a pred nama neizvjesna jesen i još jedan dvobroj.

Za početak, donosimo pjesme Ivora Popovića i Josipa Čekolja čije su neobjavljene zbirke ušle u uži izbor nagrade Na vrh jezika te neobičnu fuziju poezije, psihologije i ilustracije Dine Lončara koji je inspiraciju pronašao u poznatom Rorschachovom testu.

Živimo u izazovnim vremenima, stoga smo smatrali da će izabrani prijevod “Što nas Walden može naučiti o socijalnom distanciranju i fokusiranju na ono osnovno u životu” biti i više nego prikladan. Ukoliko niste u mogućnosti nabaviti ovaj klasik Henryja Thoreaua, možete ga pronaći u PDF verziji ovdje.

U ovom izdanju čitamo i gledamo nekoliko autora koje smo već nekada davno objavili, a sada imamo zadovoljstvo to ponoviti s “Postcards to friends”/”Razglednice prijateljima” pjesnika V. B. Borjena i mikropričom Luce Kozine, ovogodišnje dobitnice nagrade Prvi prozak.

Engleskim poglavljem ovoga puta dominiraju dvije Britanke iz rodnog kraja Robina Hooda: Lisamarie Court s kratkom pričom “Hitler with Lipstick” i Grace Eden s jedinstvenim autoportretima.

U rado čitane ponavljače spadaju i Selma Kulović, Neđla Ćemanović i Vlatka Planina. Prvi imamo priliku zaviriti u Selmin rukopisni roman na engleskom jeziku “A mosquito in the hair”, dok Neđla objavljuje nakon podulje stanke dvije distopijske pjesme, dio zbirke u nastajanju, a Vlatka nam je priredila izbor nekoliko pjesama iz posljednje zbirke ‘Sekvoja’ i nekoliko skroz friških.

U proznom pak dijelu pronaći ćete kratke priče “Mrav samotnjak” Nevene Ljubišić – Jelić, moju “Muhu u šalici kave” čija je blago izmijenjena verzija ranije objavljena u trećem broju časopisa za feminističku teoriju i umjetnost Bona i čak šest mikropriči uvijek odlične Ilonke Filipović.

Ostanite strpljivi, pazite na sebe i druge – i ne zaboravite pratiti nas na društvenim mrežama za redovit(ij)e vijesti!


Matea Šimić

Fotografija: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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