I did not know Igor a lot. I only met him once, we were in a bar, we had a Blesok editorial board meeting. This was my first meeting, we were supposed to meet the board. I did not know Igor, nor Kalina, anybody. And I carried a poem with me, I wanted to read it that evening, quickly scribbled, taken from nowhere, I thought it was nice. I did not know that Igor was a poet, I had no idea who Igor Isakovski was – I only knew that he was the main guy in Blesok, that was it. I asked some people, not to be clueless, and they told me: “He comes to the café once in a while and he keeps on complaining that the whiskey is so expensive. Well, if it is expensive, don’t drink it!” And I thought, there’s trouble, I don’t know how he would turn out at this meeting. And I got angry with him that evening, honestly. He ordered shots for us: “These are new here, brand new, very nice, there’s honey in them”, and we drank them, several in a row. There were a lot of people, they were reading poetry, people came to the stage, everybody would say something, gave it a shot. I thought maybe I was also going to try. I gave Igor my poem (he was sitting next to me) and I thought he would most probably tell me it was good – hope dies the last, of course. And he read it completely, he only asked me about something he did not understand, and I thought – here, it did not attract his attention, so it was bad. Yes, he turned, he looked at me and he only shook his head and gave me back my paper; he said nothing, I think he only raised his eyebrows and that was it. And I got angry with him. Of course I did not read it afterwards. I stayed a bit, I stood up to leave, I forgot to pay, I returned, Igor was at the bar, he raised his glass from afar, somehow indifferently, and I left.
Then, much later, I came across the poem Fuck You, Isakovski, and I thought, somebody must have written it for him. That is how much I knew, and hope dies last, doesn’t it? Then, after I had forgotten about him, I found myself in another bar, where they also read poetry, his poetry. And I couldn’t care less what they spoke about him, how good he was, how he wrote and translated and all other stuff… I just wanted to hear his words. Then I forgave him, then I understood. I understood his look, his raised eyebrows, the shaking of his head, his belated cheers… I understood all of this inside me via the words in his poem, and the water and the night, his endlessness. Then I started to read, to read his poems and enter his words and cracks, see myself there, think – “here, this is me and others, one and the same”. And somebody, I even think it was me, would say: “It’s too late now, he’s already gone”, and I will think, usually deep in the night, and this night too, and I will tell myself: “There, he’s gone and even if you want him gone, it’s impossible – he somehow mumbles and whispers, from behind the blinds, under your bed, in the hall in the middle of the darkness, the words that he created and still creates pour out, it’s life, it’s life, he lives”. He is the reason for these words and for many others that I will pronounce, he will be their reason, not only him, but others as well, because they live with him, and I see them – yes, I can see them all, so clearly and so nicely.
“Well, Igor I., thank you, at least for this.”