[Back to the basics of what we are saying, here are three poems from Tomaz Salamun. All three are translated by Michael Thomas Taren.]
A dusk in summer?
Mushrooms in summer.
A chirping in Bohinj, putti mine a dew.
Where in abundance?
There in abundance.
A bent head, a wheat in a grave.
What story telling?
This story telling.
The sea splashes, in the sleeve the first stalk is drawn.
Where on a stone?
There on a stone.
Baberle is dying, rue St. Jacques.
Horses trot and stop before the night.
We love grapes, brogues on the trails.
Who is permeable?
He is permeable.
The beads roll, the marinated sex.
A bridge to the sky?
Wheat to the sky.
We play with God’s sun, we surmise wood.
I hear, earthworms and Perun
pens for herds of cattle, bats torn apart
I stand on the asphalt, I sleep armed
the time has for us come to divide light, shepherd
to you the south, lusting for fruits
to me the north, taciturnity and passion
to you ascent, horses to flare
to me pursuit of the sun, the night blaze
we won't alloy into one, the time is to incise
let our souls have the frame, not the door
the fire for birth and death, we, two little carpenters
the sword and material, austerity of the craft
let the birds be like tusks of weight
when death comes, after death the lava
let her take off gifts, we'll be light as a shout
like black cold quails at the bottom of the pit
I want a verse as taut as bamboo
buffalos’ anathema, Satan’s hard planks
snails’ anathema, flabbiness of those succumbed in wars
worms! I want a carpet of hunger to heaven’s gates
I want fanfare, splendor, genuflection
the service of the priests, blind churning of the crowds
I, the king, want blessing for the slaughter
from Your Hands O Lord, a pillar for the abyss
I want a scepter, a gift for black lips
dry crackling pretzels, silk of Lilliput
I smell mattresses on rusty hooks
brushwood in my arms, I smell wounds in shrieks
bread anathema, lodged wheat of the dead lineage
ants drowned in bogs, punctured moths
travelers & sailors, juniper, holy sites
I crush the gravel in souls, I drink glory