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SWEET DUELS 2015: CLAUS NIVAA (Jury)

As the end of the August is coming, we have on our minds just one thing: How will become The Sweetest One in a regional poetry contest “Sweet Duels” (bos. Mili Dueli). This is a fourth seosen as first duel has appeared, so we are all exciting what will happend at the final. Did the winner wil be a man? For first time. Or a woman? For fourth times.

This is a list of winners:

1. Dijana Stevanović Uherek – comes from Subotica, Republic of Serbia (MILI DUELI 1)

2. Enea Hotić – comes from Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina (MILI DUELI 2)

3. Anđela Turukalo – comes from Podgorica, Montenegro (MILI DUELI 3).

So, we know it wil be exciting, but to make it more excited, as organizer I decide to make a INTERNATIONAL JURY for this season. I had a conversation with Danish super talented poet who participate on European Poetry Slam Championship in Malmo 2014. He represented is country so well and when I saw all references, I decided to call him to be one of the jury in a final of my online poetry competition.

He is not the only one. These days you will have opportunity to meet all poets who will be a jury. His name is CLAUS NIVAA!

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CLAUS NIVAA

The Runner-Up at the Danish Poetry Slam Championship 2014 was looking for a repetition of EURO92 where Denmark’s national football team took the trophy without even qualifying for the competition at the European Poetry Slam Championships in Malmö Sweden. ClausNivaa is well known among spoken word artists and rappers in Denmark because of his co-work with rapper Per Vers, UFO and others on project RØDDER (ROOTS) where 10 Danish rappers took on 10 historic poems by different writers from Denmark’s literary history. In co-operation with rapper Kasper SpezNivaa is currently working on at spoken word album called “Baaden” meaning “The Boat” inspired by 19th century French symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud.Nivaa also teaches art and literature at Aalborg Cathedral School in the North of Denmark. His style of slam poetry describes itself through the term diversity with comedy based and more serious word pieces. The recitative style is tense but also has an underplayed tone of voice. This fall Nivaa’s first childrens book will be published with the title “FluenpaaVæggen” meaning “The Fly on the Wall”.

About himself

How can you describe yourself in a three words?

– Self knowing, kind and humoristic!

How good is a life in a Denmark when we talk about poets and their poetry?

– That’s a bit double bound. In Denmark we have a tradition among publishers: they are obliged to publish poetry and they do! But not that many people buy and read poetry in our country. The scene for poetry slam and spoken word in general is on a rise and that’s a very cool thing!

How is looking one day with Claus Nivaa?13386_10152767544321127_8484408216927179208_n

– I’ve got two kids – a boy aged 9 and a girl aged 11 – so a lot of my time is dedicated to being with them. Every day is situated around my house in the outskirts of Aalborg. I teach at the Cathedral High School and get home around 4 o’clock. I spend time with my kids: read those books, draw, paint, watch TV series („Adventure Time “especially!) and we have a huge painted black on our living room wall. It is used for words and drawings.

Do you enjoy in your profession?

– Yes, I really much like being a professor of the arts and literature. I would though like to be able to earn payments from poetry too. I’m getting there.

You are co-working with rapper Per Vers, so describe to Balkan people more about your partnership with him!

Per Vers is a well known Danish rapper and word artist. We joined up in making an album with 10 different Danish rappers who had the assignment: choose an old famous Danish poem from the literary history – make a rap interpretation of it. The record is called ROEDDER meaning „roots“ in Danish. Check it out on spotify or www.rod-ord.dk .
Next project with Per Vers and me will be a record with him and the famous Danish poet Benny Andersen („The Other Andersen“ in Danish literature).

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Nivaa’s performance

How good is teaching someone about art and literature?

– It depends on each student. What is his or her background etc.? As a teacher you need to reflect on each and every one. You have to see what they are coming from. There by you feel their potential much better.

About poetry

You get a lot of comedy in your poems. Why you decide to write comic?

– I think it is part of who I am. My childhood was not that good – my mom had a serious alcohol problem and my dad wasn’t emotionally around. So I had to cope with it in some way or another. In using my natural sense of humor and comedy I managed to stay on a positive track. In making slam poetry with comical traits I repeat that survival trick.11152702_10152785124016127_1583075996452999728_n

How much you know of Balkan poetry?

– I’ve read some translated poems by Serbian poet Vasko Popa and got a feel of the Slavic tendency to make epics in poetic writing. But I have never been to the Balkans except for Slovenia (Ljubljana).

How hard is to write poems for kids?

– It is not that hard! The key thing is to never underestimate the word skills of kids. Sometimes, they have their own alternative way of understanding what a specific word means. My children book „The Fly on the Wall“ (coming this Fall) is exactly about that. It deals with kids and language and creativity. It’s a tribute to kids with Asperger‘s Syndrome (Autism).

About judging in a Mili Dueli (Sweet Duels)

What needs to have a good poetry for you?

– A personal nerve, a tone. You need to feel that the poem’s musicality is personal.

You will appear in a final and you will have a lot of points to give it for the best poem. Which form of poems you like the most?

– The one’s that have rhythm, a strong composition, and I like them having a certain „plot“ or key note at the ending.

What can you advice for our authors? They would love to know something about you…

– Notes! Always write notes no matter where you are. Make writing into your breathing. I learned this by reading Danish poet Dan Turèll. He gave the advice: „Breathe! Write! Then breathe again…“(SMILE).  It’s the same on poetry slam stage!!!

Foto Anna Scheibel

What you don’t like to see in a poems?

– Dishonesty. When a poet plays out feelings that seem in some way fake. I had fake pathos. Maybe it’s because I’m Nordic. We have tendency to be disgusted by to much pathos and feelings in poems. But I’m not like that. If it’s real it’s real! It’s just when I can feel it’s to rehearsed, you know. As if the poet is pushing something emotional onto the audience in a dishonest way.

 

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He likes to draw!

Do you like more a small or big poems or you don’t care about that if the theme is interesting?

– I like both. Poetry is both streaming rivers of musical words or haiku and pulled down short notions.

Fast ask – fast answers

QUESTION ANSWER
Your favorite book? „Karma Cowboy“ (1974) by Danish poet Dan Turèll
Your favorite singer? British singer Josh Osho and British rapper Akala
Your favorite movie? „The Big Lebowski“ by the American Cohen Brothers
Your favorite city? Berlin
Your favorite poet/writer? Difficult… Arthur Rimbaud, Lorca, Baudelaire, Sophus Claussen, Per Hoejholt, Dan Turèll, Peter Laugesen…
Your favorite season of the year? Summer … always…

 

Thank You!
You’re welcome!

Now let’s see a Nivaa’s poetry! This is his poem he wanted to share with us. He also said that he would be very happy if someone makes Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian translation of his poem.

“Enter the dragon” (English version)

And as I place the book on the floor
with a hardbacks uncompromising ”dok!”
and with reluctant fingers on under lip
right in the crossing between wet and dry
it is enough
’cause the word right there hits the web of my mind
as the gaze grasps it
on a crumpled scrap
between two knots
in the wooden plank:
Dragon Dragon Enter the Dragon!

The eyeshutsoff. The glanceglares. Focus excludes.
Dream drips drops into a silver lake
Kon-zen-tra-tion.
And then it’s there again – the dragon.
And it is nothing
It’s just history the only one and ongoing
It is just me, my brother
and Bruce Lee…

It’s just the three of us in homeless duel, in fiercely dynamic cunjfu fighting,
wild and bloody, obstreperous saving fight, day and night,
with B-movie-sound effects – clonking corrugated cardboard and excessive twitches of canvas – hrrhhrrrhhrhrhrhrhhrr – synchronized china man who groaningly takes chances
withrapes of English phonetics
makes wild howls as furious rhetorics in a end of life microphone
a strange cacophony of kitsch like and corny dubbings – 70s porno organ and violins in orgasmic ”huuuooooooorh!” – smashed up to 160 decibel:
in the garden, in the house, in heavens, in ”what the hell”
in tree houses, above cabins on the deck of a Duan Wu dragon boat,
in puddles with rainbow gasolin spots on the path of asphalt
on top of Dad’s orange Volvo 242dl,
on the kitchen table and the garage roof, on the road and the off road,
at the bottom of a Florida green swimming pool.

It’s the temple of the Shaolin Monks now just 7 km outside of 8800 RadioooViiiiborg
It’s strange, magical words from the East!
It’snunchakos and throwing stars, shurikens,
dao, katana, wakizashi, nandao,
‘cause we are wushu – “men of effort”

And the words sound with most beauty when they come out of my brother’s mouth
It’s strike and kick, strike and kick, strike and kick. It’s completely foggy and
totally clear.
It may be the Cold War and 1985 and Reagan and Gorba
And the bomb, the bomb, the bomb!
But ”Abort the apocalypse!” ”Don’t flee yet to catacombs of concrete!”

’CAUSE THE THREE OF US ARE HERE! THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE DRAGON! IRON MEN OF THE CLAW FIST
Aged 8, 12 and undying years…

It wasn’t reality – It was “Way of the Ninjaaa” and “I must avenge my MAAster”
and “Are you challenging meee?”
It wasn’t the relativity of worth – It was dignity, brotherly love and goodness was nothing but goodness
It wasn’t what or why not
and not Van Damme, not Jet Li, not Seagal –
It was BRUCE BRUCEBRUCE in unending sequels
It wasn’t social media or quantified personalities
and nasty selfies –
It was the present, the quivering of nerve ends in flaming, flip flopping dragon boys.
It wasn’t digital – it was logically analogue – fantastic poetry in flesh and blood.
It was and still is the Wing of the Dragon which falls in flakes of scale from heaven
in poetic spinning twirls as the leaves of the cherry tree on a Katsushika Hokusai print.
I read them all line after line ink by ink – every single one of them – both transient and everlasting.

”Enter the Dragon” (Danish version)

Og som jeg lægger bogen på gulvet
med en hardbacks uforsonlige ”dok!”
og med en tøvendefinger på underlæben
lige i overgangen mellem vådt og tørt
er det nok
for ordet lige dér slårind i mit sindsspind
da blikketfanger det
påen
krøllet lap
mellem to knaster
i træplanken:
Dragon DragonEnter the Dragon!
Øjet slukker. Blikket blænder. Fokus udelukker.
Drøm drypper dråber ned i sølvsø
Kon-zen-tra-tion.
Og så er den der igen – dragen.
Og det er ikkeingenting
Det er bare historien den eneste og vedblivende
Det er bare mig, min bror
og BruceLee…
Det er bare os trei husvild duel, i indædt dynamiskcunjfu kamp,
vildt og blodigt, balstyrisk saliggørende fight, day and night,
med B-films-lydeffekter – klonkende bølgepap og overdreven rusken af lærred – hrrhhrrrhhrhrhrhrhhrrr – synkroniseret kinamand der stønnende ta’r chancer
med voldtægt af engelskfonetik
laver vilde hyl som rasende retorik i en udtjent mikrofon –
en mærkværdig kakofoni af kitschet og corny dubbings – 70’erpornoorgel og violiner i orgastisk”huåååååååååårh!”- smadret op på 160 decibel:
i haven, i huset, i himle, i ”what the hell”
i træhytter, over kahytter på dækket af en DuanWu-dragebåd,
i pytter med regnbuebenzinpletter på asfaltstien,
på fars orange Volvo 242dl,
på køkkenbordet og garagetaget,på vejen og afvejen,
på bunden af en Floridagrøn svømmepøl.
Det er Shaolinmunkenes tempel nu kun 7 km uden for 8800 RadioooViiiiiborg
Det er mærkelige, magiladede ord fra Østen!
Det’ nunchakos og kastestjerner, shurikens,
dao, katana, wakizashi, nandao,
for vi er wushu – ”mænd af anstrengelse”
Og ordene lyder smukkest’ når de kommer ud af min storebrors mund.
Det’ slag og spark, slag og spark, slag og spark.Det er fuldstændigt tåget og fuldstændig klart.
Det er måske nok Kold krig og 1985 og Reagan og Gorba
og bomben, bomben, bomben!
Men ”Afbryd apokalypsen!” ”Flygt endnu ikk’ ned betonkatakomben!”
FOR VI TRE ER HER!DRAGENS BRODERSKAB! IRON MEN OF THE CLAW FIST
på 8, 12 og udødelighedsår…
Det’ varikk’ reality – Detvar ”Way of the Ninjaaa” og ”I must avenge my MAAster”og ”Are you challengingmeee?”
Det’ varikk’ værdirelativisme – Det var værdighed, brotherly love og det gode var ikke andet endgodt.
Det var ikk’ whatog whynot
og ikk’ Van Damme, ikk’ Jet Li, ikk’Seagal –
det var BRUCE BRUCEBRUCE i uendelige sequels.
Det var ikk’ sociale medier og kvantitative personligheder
og nastyselfies –
det var nærvær, sitrende nerveender i flammende, flikflakkende dragedrenge.
Det var ikk’ digitalt – det var logisk analogt – fantastisk poesi i kød og blod.
Det var og er skriften på Dragens Vinge der falder i flager af skæl fra himlen
i poetisk drejende hvirvlen som kirsebærtræets blade på et tryk af KatsushikaHokusai.
Jeg læser dem i luften linje for linje – hvert især–
både flygtigt og varigt.

 

If you want to see more about Nivaa’s poetry:

Nivaa’s performance: The European Poetry Slam Championship 2014

 

 

Nermin Delić
Nermin Delić
Pisac iz Jajca, idejni tvorac online balkanskog kontesta Mili Dueli, student medicine.