Tice Cin



Hasan Bulyo Hasan Bulyo
There are so many versions of you, I do not know which to greet
Some used to start their tales
Hitting a stick to the ground three times
‘Hak, dostum, hak!’
‘Allah’s truth, my friends, Allah’s truth.’
They dress up during their stories like you did, a bonnet, salvar

One said your dad was a bad influence miş
let you fight the whole island
Hiding with your three brothers in a cave in the mountains of Maroni
Said you shot and killed my cousin Zübeyir, the policeman
He finishes his story saying
‘If I said something wrong without intention, forgive me.’

Lip to cup lip to cup
Baş basa, tête-à-tête
They burn their tongues
At the same time, a candle

‘Yalancinin mumu az vakit yanar.’
The candlestick of the liar burns until daylight.

You were lied to by your best friend
Said you were awake when you were asleep
Couldn’t cope with you loving Emete, miş
She, your uncle’s wife, preferred you
They ran you out of Mamonia
Named you ‘buli’ because you took flight
You struggled for quick feet, no horse
Used your own instead

Carob trees, harnup earrings tickle you while you run
Some say you sprinted seven hours till you could see Othello’s Tower
Leaving is a loop in this small world

Hasan bulyo hasan bulyo, ondan ora uçarlardı
Kıyafetleri değiştirip kaçarlardı.
Hasan Bulyo Hasan Bulyo, over there you took flight
hid yourself in women’s clothes to avoid a fight
One day by Incirli caves,
Two men watch your wash
Invite you to a safe house
You keep a gun on your lap the entire time
Someone outside tries to shoot you through the keyhole

Sometimes you crawled for so long
your stomach hairs gathered mud
mud swirling around the hairs
like syrup through kadayif

Wherever you go,
The villagers give you a bed
In my own, Aytotoro, they give you a horse from Boğaziçi stables,
Your mum comes out to tell you
‘–and Buli, if your body stays in the saddle
you are still in the race’
You are no sheep rustler to her
Slumped forward buli bird takes flight

During mushroom season you are caught
The caps cover the grounds outside Ciko Manastırı
Emete, your cousins, they’ve visited you recently
Times are quiet and mountain asparagus has grown tall as your knee
You move closer to the Byzantine blocks
Maybe it is here you are caught.
At the entrance to the monastery, a bird with a human voice sings

Yapma etme dunyasidir bu dunya, Her safanin sonunda, vardir bir cefa
This is a world of contradictions, at the end of every good time, comes a
not-so good time.

But I prefer Emete’s version, she says:

When I cannot be eye to eye with G-d
I come closer to you
Your charm is overwrought
My eyes the ‘blue glow of bioluminescent plankton, yakamoz’
My lips the ‘softness of a donkey’s ear’

But when I hang clothes
If I put my face close against the cloth
I see through it and you see through it
After a shadow there is this
Skin refracted like babutsa
cactus fruit, small spines laid out in shape
Hasan Bulyo Hasan Bulyo, I remember you better than them.


Tice Cin is a Turkish Cypriot writer from Tottenham, North London. She is a London Writers Awardee for Literary Fiction and currently writing her first novel. She is an alumnus of the Barbican Young Poets and her poetry appears in the Nascent anthology of emerging BAME poets.