Hristina Ivanova translating Alexander Baytoshev

Empty spaces

sometimes they aren’t here, the living aren’t here,
scattered on the stones, we ask the ones coming:
where are you going, do you think that’s you,
each skeleton grows silent, bypassed beds,
stuffed with clothes, someone was dying here,
they never found him, he vanished, like the cold,
he dispersed, like the light,
the space remains uncrammed and everything is hanging—
there’s no need for you to come, everything is hanging in here, and someone’s asking:
are there any cigarette butts, is there any stepping on electric bulbs,
where are these former people.
the best generation remained here, the one drinking from ice,
the real sky; the leaders were here, and then
it cannot be cleaned,
this dust will never be cleaned. 

Празни места

понякога ги няма, живите ги няма,
пръснати по камъните, питаме идващите:
къде отивате, мислите ли, че това сте вие,
онемява всеки отделен скелет, подминати легла,
натъпкани с дрехи, тук някой е умирал,
никога не го откриха, изпари се, подобно на студ,
пръсна се, подобно на светлина,
пространството остава ненатъпкано и всичко виси –
няма нужда да идвате, тук всичко виси и някой пита:
има ли угарки, има ли стъпване по електрическите крушки,
къде са тези бивши хора,
тук остана най-доброто поколение, пиещото от леда,
истинското небе; тук бяха водителите, а после
не се чисти,
този прах няма никога да се изчисти. 


sometimes we stay indifferent,
we don’t know anyone in our rooms,
and then we’ll sag in our chairs,
pieces of lard, unfinished works of art,
running prisoners, crashed
jet-fighters, one day they’ll come,
and help, they’ll draw our bodies
with leather, they’ll put us on a stretcher,
and only mud will be left from us—
we reach out for a forbidden book
and read to our executioners:
don’t look for us anymore—our answer
is of no significance—light knows the answer,
whenever we discover it, it’s still a possibility
to stay here, unspoiled, and then
we’ll travel, we won’t look at the writings
on the walls, we’ll remain thin pieces,
nailed in the rooms, and when they find us,
they’ll see our dreams, our experiences
and deaths, unapproachable, motionless,
mud figures.


понякога оставаме безразлични,
никого не познаваме в своите стаи
и после ще увиснем на столовете си,
парчета мас, незавършени творби,
бягащи затворници, катастрофирали
изтребители, някога ще дойдат те
и ще помогнат, ще нарисуват телата ни
с кожи, ще ни сложат на носилка,
а от нас ще остане само кал—
протягаме се към забранена книга
и четем на нашите палачи:
повече не ни търсете—нашият отговор
е без значение—светлината знае отговора,
когато я откриваме, все пак е възможност
да останем тук, непокътнати, а после
ще пътуваме, няма да гледаме надписите
по стените, ще останем тънки парчета,
заковани в стаите, а когато ни открият
ще видят нашите сънувания, преживелици
и умирания, недостъпни, неподвижни
фигури от кал.

Alexander Baytoshev

Alexander Baytoshev was born in 1983 in Sofia, Bulgaria. He graduated from the Iliya Petrov National High School of Fine Art; he holds degrees in the semiotics and pedagogy of visual arts from Sofia University and in graphic design from New Bulgarian University. In 2006, together with poets and painters, he created the Nikolay Raynov Art Lab. Baytoshev is currently working on his PhD in Visual Arts at Sofia University. He has published two books of poetry: Dust and Scratches (2012) and Dogs (2014). His work has appeared in the magazines Plamak, Literaturen vestnik, Public Republic, Liternet, and Litclub. His personal blog is viewable at

Hristina Ivanova

Hristina Ivanova was born in 1983 in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. She has a BA in Indian Studies, for which she studied Hindi, Urdu and Sanskrit. She is currently at work on an MA in translation and editing at Sofia University. Hristina has worked as a professional translator since 2009, mainly in the legal field, but she is trying to find her way into literary translation.