Rumors


Who started the rumor
That I have a crush on Stiheyla?
I dare you to tell who saw me
Kissing Eleni
On the Winding Steps in broad daylight?
Do they say I grabbed Melahat and took her to Alemdar,
Is that what they're saying?
Well, I'll explain that later, but
Whose bottom do they claim I pinched on the streetcar?
And what's the one about the Galata brothels,
That I get loaded, the liquor goes to my head
And I rush down there?
Come off it, man.
Never mind all that,
I know what I'm doing.

And what's that story about my getting Mualla into a rowboat
And making her sing "Your grief is in my heart?"


                              Turkish; trans. Murat Nemet-Nejat


Orhan Veli Kanik, Turkish, trans. Murat Nemet-Nejat, I, Orhan Veli, Hanging Loose Press, 1989.