Fishy Poetry

Jelena Pantelic serbian artist
I want to try to make something good out of it and hopefully, one day, to let it go

✽ Welcome to my fishy poetry, an online art diary.

Evil eye

The first death in my family was my mother’s father
Died when I was nine
I remember my mom coming to my room in the morning to inform me
She sat beside me on my bed
Her face was wet from crying
I only knew I’ll never see him again 

As a child I was religious
I had a little altar on my window
A stuffed fairy hanging from the ceiling, with purple wings and a star on her chest
Empty perfume bottles filled with blue liquid,
the ones you use to clean your windows
Before bedtime, I would draw his face on the glass
then lick my finger wet from each bottle
and make a wish
Usually, it would be for a good grade or something simple as that
Now, I am not religious
But I do ask God for favors sometimes
A few months ago I wished for my ex
to fall and break his leg

Blowing raspberries

In my class, I was liked by the boys
Girls – not so much
Sometimes I would come to school and only two of them would talk to me
The rest would pretend I’m not even there
That would last for days
When I was eleven I remember crossing the street to get my favorite raspberry ice cream and thinking
Maybe I should tell them tomorrow I have cancer?
But then I chickened out

I just don't get it

I get annoyed when certain things
or let’s call them ACTIONS
Waste my time
Not folding the hairdryer cord first, but just wrapping it around the handle
With its whole length
And then two times you stand there like an idiot, at least 30 seconds longer each time
Folding it and unfolding it
I just don’t get it


I feel like a little child
Most of the time
Even though I am completely independent
and almost 30
Today a big man with white hair sat next to me on the bus
And my eyes watered
I couldn’t look at him for the rest of the ride
At this time of year
My dad smelled like leather and beer
He would always make that freezing noise when entering the house
I don’t think he could’ve zipped his jacket cause he had a stomach like he was nine months pregnant
Tonight, I really miss him

Back to your book

When I’m pausing with reading I look across the room to rest my eyes, but then my mind wanders
This time thinking about bumping into my ex in Ikea, the two of us arguing
Him grabbing my hand
Me fake crying
Yelling through my teeth to let me go
Threatening with CaLLinG tHe SeCuRiTy
Then that reminded me of when another ex tried to scare me
Running around the house, joking
trying to get me
His sudden moves triggered me and I actually started crying
Locked myself in the room for two hours

Too old for that

While waiting for the bus I was suddenly ashamed for writing down my height on the doorframe

In house number 9

We sat at the table going through some boxes left by my grandma
Some stupid stuff inside
A lighter that I asked to keep
to have as a memory
Of course, it’s long gone cause I moved 8 times since then

We both knew he was dying
But nobody spoke about it
The only thing we ever talked about basically was food
I fantasize,
if I could go back I would ask him something personal
Maybe give him a hug or put my palm on his face
But I know that’s not true
If I could go back everything would be the same
We would both be distant
Like two strangers forced to interact
I don’t know if I miss him
or I miss the idea of him
And I don’t know if I cry because he’s gone
or because I feel sorry for myself
I am left with a hole inside of me that nothing can fill
But I really try with burgers

Am I a monster?

I once went on a date
and left after 30 minutes
because the guy was ugly
He sent me a message later saying I’m a piece of shit
On my way home, I bought one beer and a pack of cigarettes
to celebrate my freedom


We were quite wealthy when I was young
But my father couldn’t stand the unreasonable usage of toilet paper

One time he went to the restroom after me
I forgot to flush
But instead of doing that, he took the paper from the toilet and brought it to the living room
Asked me Do I really
:shaking a meter-long-paper beside his head:
Need that much??

So now, 15 years later
I use one square for my nose
three if it’s really full
Four squares if I’m peeing
And an unlimited amount if it’s number 2 😉

Look before you leap

I can be so naive sometimes
I question my own intelligence
It took me so many years to realize that hey,
not everyone wants good for you
There are actually some really bad people out there
I was drinking coffee the other day and,
I’m still not sure but,
I think I believed that during the pandemic dolphins showed up in Venice

Swallow me like a menace

This bed is my island in which I sometimes hold my own hand before sleep

A slice of paradise

At this point, it became irrelevant whether I’m swiping through Tinder or Glovo

Not again

My cheeks are wet and it hurts when I swallow
Guess what?
I am crying again

Rocks are supposed to be strong, right?

I am still EMO I just don’t have bangs anymore

Artist statement

I wasn’t being able to write down my artist statement for quite some time
Just thinking about it made my palms sweat
What the hell am I even doing?
I feel guilty when I’m not creating something
My hands need to be busy and I need to calm my buzzing brain
When I’m not distracting myself with food or Netflix or whatever,
I am usually digging into the past
Analyzing my trauma
Trying to make sense of it
I’m a problem solver by nature
Not saying I’m a good one, but I try

My father was an alcoholic and my mother is disinterested
It was a toxic mix growing up
My sister and I have a half-brother we met at my father’s funeral
None of us know what to do with that
We only exchange birthday messages
I think that’s okay

Throughout life, I had many friends
I learned how to behave by watching others, like a puppy
When I figure out something I get bored and I’m off to the next thing
Super confident but at the same time utterly ashamed of everything that I do
Constantly thinking
Who gives a fuck about what YOU have to say?
But then I get sad and I start defending myself
from myself
My childhood best friend was getting scripts from me while playing
When I think about it she was only there to hold the doll
I am a control freak
Even my birthday presents are being curated

I also have an addictive personality
Longing for love and not knowing how to give it is very unfortunate for a lonely woman
I get obsessed with men easily yet I don’t know anything about them
My therapist told me on my first session
You can’t make a cake out of crumbs,

Poems and drawings by Jelena Pantelić ✽ Design by Mane Radmanović ✽ Get in touch with me ✽