Fraktura, 2016, 96 pages
selection of poems available in English
Translation rights sold: Macedonia (Makedonika litera), Slovenia (Apokalipsa)
Drago Glamuzina writes about people who still feel, pay the price for each pleasure, suffer, but also live and yearn for the Other. They are the people whose life does not end in the moment when all the computers and smartphones are turned off. They continue to search for that elusive thing which still, like a never lost experience, offers the mystery of non-repeatability.
Mounting the Everest in Glamuzina’s poetic imaginarium is in fact embarking on a search for what is possibly the deepest trauma of the self. Climbing towards the Everest means facing the inexorable fall, which comes from the impossibility to determine one’s place in the entangled world of human relationships. Which is why the act of ascending is also the act of reaching a peak, from which one can observe all the long and slow frames in a life trapped in entropy.
It is an old truth that poets and poetry have a fundamental need for exile. The possibility of an everyday displacement to a safer place, an arrhythmia, is a primordial strategy of the poetic creation. This very contingency to feel and wish for an Everest while being in the middle of life’s breakdown, encompassed by the flatland and the city, is redeeming as much as it is intoxicating; frightening and beautiful at the same time because it leaves its trace in poetry.
Aspiration for the Everest is in a way a recollection of various acts of facing and reckoning with all those clusters that suffocate and aggravate breathing. To go even further, the need to climb this symbolical Everest is the need to make the past life – convoluted and burdened by emotions that imprison one’s self – precipitate from its peak.
Đorđe Krajišnik | Oslobođenje
In this collection, along with reinventing the Everest that has already been written into the geographical, but also poetic atlases, we can read another alteration in respect to Glamuzina’s previous books. Here, this masculine narcissism has a more fragile, worn-out and feeble face, here it allows itself even remorse, while registering the nuances of its own dissolution.
Ivica Prtenjača | Hrvatski radio
As a “trigger” for the anxiety of living in a progressively emptier, more burdensome and more monstrous present, Drago Glamuzina recognizes this monstrosity and feels it inside himself, as well as in the essence of everything that is supposed to be the very shield from this lonely monstrosity – the event of the Other.
[His lyrical subjects] are not afraid to cross any boundary in order to reach the very condition of true love, and eros itself. They take the existential and any other kind of unrelenting risk, yearning to reach this – one of the most authentic human experiences.
Drago Glamuzina is indeed a humorous, at times more than dark-humoured author, who looks in the eye of the absurdity, stupidity and hypocrisy of our contemporary moment, transposing it into texts which abhor from every empty pathos, textual embellishment and any old repository of cheap literary tricks.
Delimir Rešicki | Author
Drago Glamuzina’s first book, Butchers, marked a seminal moment for our literature. In fact, I cannot recall that anybody else’s first book of verse written in this language of ours has been as successful. Those poems possess a magnetic simplicity, yet they are so candid in their descriptions of the most intimate experiences. Evoking genuine intimacy in poetry is very important, for a reader must be able to believe that what the writer has to say is nothing short of essential, something that simply must be communicated.
The theme has remained the same, but the poet has changed. The young man from the first book depicted amorous adventures from his daily life mostly in vivid colours and if there was an element of drama there, it was rather innocuous, like a fit of jealousy, so there were no deep wounds there, for he had not yet brought serious pain upon those he loves, or those he once loved, nor had he yet received those “blows that make / all internal organs stop working”, as he says in the opening poem (The Fight of the Century) in Everest.
This departure from the initial Carveresque need to be loved is quite intriguing. What emerges now is the need to be alone and that is a much harder and darker choice. This is why I believe that in his new book this exceptional poet has (and let me put it in Bosnian terms) stepped out of sevdah right into karasevdah.
Semezdin Mehmedinović | Hrvatski radio
This dynamic poetry collection will surely affect each of its readers, and, to each of them personally, act as a kind of corrective of the thought and behaviour modality – infected either by the hypocritical “moralities”, artificial to the point of stylization, or as a slap to the rebels that use their counterfeit Golgotha only to compromise those closest to them.
Everest is obviously not an abyss of sensory rampage, nor is it hiding in any comfort zone, but is rather an imperative to fight and cope with all the obstacles all the way to the top – overcoming a mere animal in oneself.
Glamuzina’s writing is risky, alpinistic – one always feels as if reading reports from a very intensified poetic and living experience, where there is no place for calculated safe turns and everything is uncertain literally until the very last page.
Is there anything more logical for a poet than to test all the results of every possible perception? Yes, but as a norm, few authors and poets venture on this hazardous voyage. Glamuzina positioned himself as the rarer kind of poets who decided to search for significant comfort in the avoidance of comfort, looking for a firmer foundation than the one given by the media, religion, family or other grand lies.
Everest is the literary peak of Glamuzina’s writing, in which he, to paraphrase the author himself, came closest to the place from which life’s scenes fall on his writing desk and transform into words.
Dario Grgić | Moderna vremena