Aazam Abidov is a poet and translator, one of the founders of the Creative Writing and
Translation Club in Tashkent, winner of Ulughbek Fund’s prize for poetry. He also gained
BBC Uzbek Service’s award for literature. He published more than ten poetry and translation
books, including Tunes of Asia (anthology of contemporary Uzbek poetry in English); A
Miracle is on the Way; and I leave You in Complete Boredom. Aazam tries to become a bridge
between contemporary Uzbek literature and World Literature. He attended creative writing
programs, poetry and translation festivals in the USA, Germany, Sweden, Russia, India,
Kazakhstan and Colombia. Poems here are English translations of his original Uzbek poems,
edited by James Day, and taken from the collection, The Island of Anxiety.
strive to go to rich countries
send our husbands and wives
they do hard work
or sell themselves
The other people in this country
have luxurious weddings from the sent money
and sing a song of happiness
We all work for the government
The tongue of the government is too long.
It is understandable
To accept a bribe and to give it
In business or social life.
People kill me with a blunt knife —
They give and take bribes
To go to Mecca
Trees begin to sing,
The Sun proceeds swimming.
Time goes on again on the terrace.
Do you remember me, bliss?
How can I get rid of this mortal music
Which makes me recall the past?
Even without any arid pleasure
Every night a star touches my eyelash,
The Moon comes out of my eyebrows,
Having knocked at the door of my soul
The sorrowful night becomes a guest of my eyes,
where there is a love.
Every night, I cannot ignore that virgin dreams
Press my chest and pull me to the sky.
Virgin dreams revolve here and there and say
“You are not with us, sorry, we, ourselves, cannot fly.”
Founded by Singapore-based poet Cyril Wong and co-edited with Eric Low, a poet living in Shanghai, and Jason Wee, writer and founder of Grey Projects that curated the publication of We Contain Multitudes: Twelve Years of SOFTBLOW. Past guest-editors were Chris Ujine Ong and Gwee Li Sui, a poet and graphic artist. SOFTBLOW has been a home for contemporary poetry from all over the world since Sep. 2004. We strive to focus the eye back on the poem. This journal does not pretend to exist for a general reading audience. It is for unswerving lovers of poetry who also appreciate how far poetry has come over time.