I’m Out of the Clink by Mehmet Yaşın

Today I’m vying with the birds themselves
having been freed from darkness and solitude
the chance to stroll along a sunlit road
oh, how nice it is!

Today I smile at everyone I see
gazing my fill at every house and bus and tree
the chance to stroll on until the day I’m thrown back in
Oh, how nice it is!

translated by Suat Karantay

Women by Özdemir Asaf

I love you all so much.
You, you are the mothers of so many nations.
You give birth to children for fun.
Without even thinking
That one day they will become soldiers
And face to face will kill one another. . .
That they will become celebrities. . .
That they will become geniuses. . .
That they will become chiefs. . .
You give birth to children
To love them, to love them all over again.

All of you, of all ages
I love you every single part of you.
I just want to look at you all and hear you all
Because to love you all, to caress you all
all at once
is not possible.

They make paintings
They write poems. . .
They compose notes for you.
They play the saz
They drink, they get drunk.
For you.
For only you. . .

translated  by Ayşe Banu Karadağ

from The White Album by Joan Didion

Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true. The tension broke that day. The paranoia was fulfilled. In another sense the Sixties did not truly end for me until January of 1971, when I left the house on Franklin Avenue and moved to a house on the sea. This particular house on the sea had itself been very much a part of the Sixties, and for some months after we took possession I would come across souvenirs of that period in its history–a piece of Scientology literature beneath a drawer lining, a copy of Stranger in a Strange Land stuck deep on a closet shelf–but after a while we did some construction, and between power saws and the sea wind the place got exorcised.

I have known, since then, very little about the movements of the people who seemed to me emblematic of those years. I know of course that Eldridge Cleaver went to Algeria and came home an entrepreneur. I know that Jim Morrison died in Paris. I know that Linda Kasabian fled in search of the pastoral to New Hampshire, where I once visited her; she also visited me in New York, and we took our children on the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. I also know that in 1971 Paul Ferguson, while serving a life sentence for the murder of Ramon Novarro, won first prize in a PEN fiction contest and announced plans to “continue my writing.” Writing had helped him, he said, to “reflect on experience and see what it means.” Often I reflect on the big house in Hollywood, on “Midnight Confessions” and on Ramon Novarro and on the fact that Roman Polanski and I are godparents to the same child, but writing has not yet helped me to see what it means.

at home

they say
it feels right
as if there is only one place
that feels right
when there really are more
all feeling right
at any given time
under any given set
of circumstances
as they also say
is everything
and this time
or that time
any given time
finds a place that feels right
here now this
yesterday that
tomorrow who knows
enjoy each place
be at home wherever you are
and wherever you are
will be home