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Poems for Jasha



I am tired of being alone.
To keep devouring  a century
as boring a business
as the counting of



Dear Ĉiro and papa,
look what we are doing!                  
Our dear lovely wives,
don’t get tired or messed up!
We both clap hands like two                      
fine fat hogs.                         
Hercules! Hercules!.
We both go on and on about zipping up                    
about our Maruškas and Štefkas
and our sons —
little pricks —
how they rush into life.
We light candles and stars,
to smell good.
And then this goofball,
the greatest poet ever lived —
throws my butt to the floor            
and pours wine in front of the door
in the New Year after Christmas.



I bore a king.
I bore a Greek God.
He escaped from my head as a grape,         
And until I ate him he was
wounded. He calls me
the Golden One and kills me    
with all his powers.                                                  
I hit him in the target
with my every gesture
and trample over him
like a sequin.                
He is indestructible,
firm and beautifully animal.          
He licks my hands
so I rise like bread.
He's a thrush,
he knows my every move,
even when he pretends he's sleeping.
Our sons touch each other velvetly,
Our wives are swarthy,
their hair flutters.
They both rush on horseback,            
whips in their hands.
They both close and open the drawer,
take out undershirts and toys,
a globe.
I eat wheat.
I got stronger and wider.
As a child I worried like a little sand
who crumbles off
bigger sand.
I was slow as a snail,
but my feelers licked up    
God’s eyes so systematically
that he grew tired of standing
in front of a membrane and so jumped              
to the place where before
darkness reigned.



When I bow into stone that           
protects, my wife sleeps.
She ploughs. Birds also sleep.
The rye widens to a spike,
the traveler in clay pecks,
too. He touches water and a loom
with his teeth. Pumpkin seeds  
creak, interpolated.
But that's not what it's all about.
It's about circles and eternal
moss, although on a field,
where stems are straight
from wind and blood,
there are clods of black earth
on the ground under me.



There are two tenses,
both are a woman. The first lies down                           
the second calls. There's the cock
on the roof, Moses, and only such a
walk on shingles brings rain.
My hair is a burden to
the cosmos. But just for a sec, for
a time. At the end membranes
break. Between walls and fences
the full color of flowers gapes.



Today is the 12th of January,
a feast of thin red skin of
worms. A bird is ironly
nailed into its flight
and when eyes move,
a body drops like stone.
It anchors itself and tears itself apart.
A fresh grass is a guard.
And to all mills which by its side
were built by millers and shepherds
at a pasture memory fails.



I'm composed by
white blazing boards.                        
Wings are onlly
a transference of weight, in fact
I expose in an angle,
below a building,
Storms hurt me
less than time. And time is
in a wire, in a foam.,
folded and squashed,
only a fictitious peace treaty.
In fact it burns and it burns down.



Yellow energy spurts
lava and seeds
with which all my tribe
is nourished.
But I yawn.
No good.
You're late.
He, who is given to us a priori,
catches in his net                     
eels, butterflies,
turkeys and beasts.
Many are white like a spleen.  
Many are fresh,
the colossus hears.
But he is not given the step
after the step that corrodes the altar like



All your life you will walk.
All your life you will be a
pinned sovereign.                                     
You're an imprint.
The king who inherits the king
does not annihilate power.
To you I gave everything,
not to anyone else.



If Jasha and I would marry
I would have no clue who would be  
what. I would be the left little wing,
he would be the right little wing,
but the chimney we would probably just
draw. I think I would carry him
on my shoulder in a bay so he could rest.
He needs this. I'd watch him,
how he sleeps, and I would not blow
on his soul. This makes him so
huge, that at the end he gets
tired. I'd like to lighten his load
so he could stretch. That he would be as
I am, who can atop all what I am
be really bent,
really alloyed, given away
completely and defeated. As
now, here, when I'm sitting on a chair
in the kitchen, I lean on my knees
after this beautiful game of chess,
and I say:
look, waterfall is falling from my hair and legs,
I'm a spring,
you rested me.



Bio: Tomaž Šalamun lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He taught Spring semester 2011 at Michener Center for Writers at The University of Texas. His recent books translated into English are Woods and Chalices, Poker, There's the Hand and There's the Arid Chair, The Blue Tower and On the Tracks of Wild Game.


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