“Placing Everything on the Line” (Read in Serbian and English)

translated by Biljana D. Obradović



Placing Everything on the Line

Zvonko Karanović

A car stops in the middle of the screen
a gentleman walks out dressed in black, wearing a hat, 

grabs a frightened girl by the arm
blackmails her to marry him 

desperate, she jumps off the building and all the newspapers
print the news on their front pages 

the machinery of death always goes hand in hand
with the machinery of large circulations 

Bogart answers the phone and takes the case
a pursuit begins with many guns drawn 

the bad guy escapes but dies in the end
and justice finally prevails 

the machinery of winning over evil always goes
hand in hand with a bloody resolution 

the girl is still dead
outside it is still raining  


Translation from the Serbian 
By Biljana D. Obradović

Zvonko Karanović is a poet and fiction writer born in Niš, Serbia. Like the poets of the Beat generation he takes as his models, he has traveled widely throughout Europe, hitchhiking and often changing jobs. He has worked as a journalist, editor, radio host, DJ, concert organizer, and for thirteen years was the owner of a music store. He has published ten collections of poems and a novel trilogy, The Diary of Deserters