Beldan Sezen

War is a Four-letter Word

Beldan Sezen

War is a Four-letter Word



Edition Size



Hand-painting, Ink, Marker pen, Photography


7 × 12 × 0.5 in


Brooklyn, NY

$ 4,400.00

Out of Print

View Collectors

Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

Deutsche Nationalbibliothek

Library of Congress (LoC)

University of Delaware Library

Oil and water don’t mix. Yet when forced, a new surface appears creating unique structures and dependencies with different behaviors and haptic experiences. Drawing with ink on this new surface resembles for me the current state we live in. Known, daily tools enter an unknown with unforeseen outcomes. What I took for granted no longer exists. A new world shows up.

Two texts are included in the first book. Both written during the lockdown month here in NY. The poem emerged when at on point night after night the sirens of ambulances never stopped. The second text is a conversation with the virus.

Sound of sirens/ day in day out/ and all/ through the night/ who’s next?/the invisible enemy’s/ (never understood why we need the cliche of an enemy)/ kind warnings/ ignored/ we mute our cities/ into silence/ constantly interrupted by those/ goddamn/ sirens/ roaming through the city to safe lives./ Closer, closer/ who’s next/ my shoe is your shoe/ no more/ after weeks of alone together with the first warm rays of/ sun and blossoming trees/ we’d overcome the peak, didn’t we?//we hurray our relief/ and there in all quietness/ unobserved/ and not monitored/ while waiting for those tests/ while waiting for greed to step aside/ to step up/ while waiting for the way we were/ days/ of unattended waiting/ quietly/ the enemy never went away/ we collapse/ fainted heartbeats/ finally securing us/ deathbeds/ city’s beat the sound of/ sirens/ flattening the curve.// Shoved into iceboxes/ We count our bodies/ again waiting/ for our decency/ to return.// We mourn our death/ the way we know it/ igniting decades-old cliches/ with prayers/ and cheers.// War came home/ quietly.


– Hello?/ * …/ – Hi, you’re SARS-CoV-2?/ * Well yeah, that’s what you guys call me./ – What?/ * My real name is Jon./ -Jon?/ * Yes, Jon. Without an “h”./ – Why would you be named Jon?/ * Why not? Who are you to tell me what my name is?/ – Well… it just doesn’t make much sense./ * Since when do I make sense to you?/ – I suppose.. Anyway, nice to meet you!/ * You sure about that?/ – What?/ *About meeting me. That it’s nice./ – Just trying to be polite here./ * Sure, won’t get you anywhere though, your politeness./ – I beg to differ./ * Why would you want to meet me?/ – Well you know, first contact and all; ‘to boldly go where no one has gone before’./ * You serious? Dude…/ – So, how’s it going so far?/ * Can’t complain, really. You people are good hosts. Entertaining, too./ – Yeah.. About that, that has to stop./ * And here it comes. I knew this wouldn’t be just a ‘meet and greet’./ – Seriously you’re not only killing us but very much restricting our carefree movement./ * You want me to get extinct for your well being?/ – That’ll be a good start. I’m not your food supply. I refuse to be your drive-thru, you know. / * Well that’s just the way it is, honey./ – Don’t call me ‘Honey’./ * I call you whatever I want. You’re doing the same. SARS-CoV-2, what kind of name is that?/ – Anyway, what are you expect me to do? Roll over?/ * No… I need you alive and thriving. Go do your love-thing. Go gather in masses. Share some sweat. / – Wouldn’t you like that!/ * sigh./ – Well say something./ * You don’t get it, do you? I don’t care how you need to see me, what you think I like or that love will prevail at the end. I’m not a Disney character nor the evil world war Hollywood goon. I simply am, too, and you just will have to live with that./ – Our misery is your well being?/ * Oh, don’t be so surprised. You sure know what I’m talking about. You humans are good in that, living on each others misery./ – But… You’re not human!/ * Finally, you got that right./ – We can’t negotiate, prayers won’t help much, you don’t care for money nor our patriotism,/ * YAWN./ – So what, we have to simply put up with you?/ * Yup. One world, remember?/ – I won’t accept that. I refuse to accept that!/ *Now what? You’re declaring war on me?/ – You’re leaving me no choice. I came in good will./ * You came to ask me “politely” to get the fuck out of here so your ‘care free way of life’ won’t be disturbed any further; so you can go on the way you used to be, minding only your own convenience. But hey, who am I to talk.

Also included in German is a quote from “Hause der Lüge” by Einstürzende Neubauten. A word game on the word bullet and attic which is the same in German: “Geschoss”. The quote loosely translates to: “Into the skull, through the skull, out of the skull” and “God has shot himself, an attic is being extended”.

The second book is a picture book of polaroids. I took pictures while confined to my quarters, while taking careful, often reluctant walks through my neighborhood, while running necessary errands on my bike. Documented by thoughts and emotional states I found myself in during the Spring of 2020.

War is a four-letter word because it’s never just one.

War is a four letter word
Publication Date: 2020
Edition size: 4
Medium: oil and acryl paint, acryl marker, ink, typewriter and drawing on cardboard, miso paper and recycled newsprint
Dimensions: W 7 x H 12 x D 1 inches (W17.5 cm x H 30.5 cm x D 2.54 cm)
Pages: 68, kettle stich binding

War is a four letter word – picture book
Publication Date: 2020
Edition size: 4
Medium: oil and acryl paint, acryl marker, ink, photo and handwritten text on cardboard and miso paper
Dimensions: W 2.25 x H 3.5 x D 1.5 inches (W 5.7 cm x H 8.9 cm x D 3.8 cm)
Pages: 27 polaroids, accordion binding

Institutional Collectors: University of Delaware, Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek