19 June 2009

Tomaž Šalamun

[from Tomaž Šalamun's Poker, tr. Joshua Beckman, Ugly Duckling, 2003]

Things [excerpt]

Between any two points in space
you can always draw a straight line
but where is the way
between the same place


Bite the neck of your gazelles
             let it run
             let it run
let the blood flood crystal disgust
crystals of your being
divert yourself a handsome leopard
you are tired of foreign guests
             walk in the jungle
             walk in the jungle
you forgot about the pulse of warm skin
forgot how you bore into young flesh
forgot the blood's color is bright
remain lying lazy among your prey
             let it sing
             let it sing
gentle necks of dead gazelles
they're beautiful little things
warm and soft long after death

But there comes a day to strangle them all
tranquil wind brings you the message
then, as on order, you open your mouth
and sense a slab
a smooth steely slab between your teeth


If you count from one to one hundred
you're doing a totally hard job
and still getting there
but if you coung from three to five
you never reach two
and here we go
a lie a crash little sticks through the window
does anything change
push your father to the threshold
and your son will push you through
we still have ten days left to qualify
the fact that the shoe turns toward you
it loses that characteristic tenderness
it had when turned away
and here we go
Moses little fishes the highest comprehension
parallel bars Hegel the shiniest example
paiolas pagaias boom mezza luna
some are born to be stuck
and others with different patents
o water pitcher water pitcher water pitcher
in short, friends, it can be everything
seventeen small slats on my shutter
and I don't like it
and get up
and pull hard
and come back
and still it is completely as it should be
and I don't like it
and get up
and pull hard
little slat little slat little slat
with better teeth
I would go crunch crunch
to all of this is the blissfulness of the illuminated ones
a wench a quench a bench a banana . . .

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