The things of life: Stefan Ikoga



25 June 2015 text and photos Sevda Semer
With two words, what he does is: urban chronicle. In poetry and prose. He just won the Sofia Poetics festival with his text Easy to hate, which provoked Sylvia Choleva to say "come to your senses, people!" in his defence. Today he's easy to love, he lets us in his own chornicle fast and his only request is to photograph him without the Cheshire cat's smile with which he entered the Poetics history. Ok, done.


The chronicle
I write mainly on my smart phone, simply because a lot of small things inspire me - they are so miniature that I forget them if I don't write them right away. If I notice two people hugging, or hear how a person who don't have enough money to pay the bills, those people don't automatically become heroes in my works - they just push me in some directon, they give life to my writings. Actually I don't like it when people say I'm a writer. It sounds so serious, actually all I do is react and record.

Outside
I work as a bartender, but I won't be one of those who always say how much they love the spot behing the bar. Actually when I'm outside, I prefer walking and I go everywhere in the city - a suburb can be just as exciting as the center of the city, if you're in the right mood.

Inside
I feel myself when I'm home. I love staying in and the heart of my apartment is my PC - I know it sounds stupid, but this is the place where I watch films, I listen to music, play games or write. If I'm not there, I must be in my bed or in the kitchen - I enjoy cooking. My mornings start with a special tea I prepare. My mom used to make it for me and till this day, I can't open my eyes without it. It's herbal, with honey and lemon. And I'm not talking about a pathetic little piece of lemon - I squeeze a serious amount of juice in my cup.

The storyteller
Vonnegut forefer! He's the person that inspired me to write in the first place. He's just so close to the reader - he's not in the role of the writer, more like someone you're conversing with. He's style is so clean-cut, that you may even find it empty at first. But he's saying so much with so little words, this is what gets to me. Literature, I think, should say something to you, it should have a purpose. I actually studied Anthropology because of him - it's what he graduated in Chicago.

The music
It's absurd to say I listen to everything, but I really like lots of genres - from pop to Slipknot. Texts are very important to me. Well, except for classical music, of course, which is made to be perfect and nothing can be added or removed from it. For all other types of music - if the text is good, I can go with a not so great tune, but the other way around rarely works for me. My last find is Kilo Kish - great chic, I don't even know what genre that is, I would say she's a poet with a good instrumental. I also like Tove Lo - with her songs like Stay High it's pretty clear when it's best to listen to her.

The city
I would live in another place in Bulgaria, but Sofia is my city. I see so many potential here - on every street corner there is an opportunity for all of us to create a space we enjoy living it. I've grown up here, I know what to protect myself from, I know where to find my piece of mind, I get inspired and I see lots of things I can better - what else do you need?

 

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