Lisa Stublić Nemec

poetic exploits into the human condition

Streetcars and Husbands


Some poorly dressed kid
in some indie variegated over washed T-shirt
and ripped (from years of use) jeans
offers his advice as if he had years of wisdom
under his sleeve:

“Znate, Hrvati imaju dvije zakon za život:
1. Nemoj trčati za tramvajem. 2. Nemoj trčati za mužem. i to je to.”*

And that is it?

As if chasing after street cars and men
where the things weighing me down
and causing my sleepless nights
and over-caffeinated days…

as if this was the cause of my sciolistic urge
to make up for the fact
i didn’t live up to the dreams of my childhood.
*Translation: “You know, Croats have two rules for life: 1. Do not run after streetcars. 2. Do not run after a husband. And that is it.

transatlantic hide and seek



you can paint over
this tarnish any way you’d like
renovate the facade
outline it in gold
cover it with silver glitter
spray paint some prettier picture

but this transatlantic hide and seek
has gone far enough

it is over. over.
so, i bid you adieu.
au revoir mon amour.
auf Wiedersehen meine Liebe.
do viđenja moja ljubavi
farewell and Godspeed

oh, who am i kidding?

the maelstrom of my youth

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the maelstrom of my youth betides
devastating the freshly poured concrete
i lay as a foundation, an attempt
at growing up and becoming wiser,
neglecting apathy, omitting dramatics–
unlearning the beauty in melancholy,

because all i really want
is some place to call home.
even if that home was only
empty wine bottle sculptures
garnishing our shoebox residence.

the maelstrom of my youth betides
devastating the freshly poured concrete
i lay as a boulevard out of its quarters,
as an attempt to outgrow and egress
this irrational blind apathetic love
and more into something more stable,

because all i really want
is sturdy ground out of these circles.
but then, i’ve learned
pouring a sidewalk to walk away on
is not the same as paving a life path.