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Featured Poets
Six Poems
by Tomaz Salamun
Look, Brother

I am abandoning iconoclastic levels, I am a tiger
in a heart a seedbud, the soul germinated in you, did she?
anima, brown sun of anterrestrial strata of roofs
immersed shadows, sheep squeezed in shelter
within palms, dramas
within reach of pack smell, among the petty lumber tradesmen
o light, asunder,
eat fruit, peel the splendor of goods
the meadows are lacerated, the gazelles faster
morbidity, dark fingers, coffee's beauty
of ruins, femme, moments of gravitation
look brother, blotting-papers, dirty putrid chalets
he was walking in the land in the year of joy
coming to water, scooping it from the bottom
yielding to the eldest son, to the ship's designers
yielding to beautiful vistas, to the racism of the dream
burning madness of herbage, immanent soldiery
I see Cairo from the sky, I see triangle vomiting
the leader of snakes, Rudolph the Emperor's court
are you happy eating?
do you compare steadiness with the color of jute?
with deer rutting, blacks, olive branches?
a brocade , illuminated manuscripts, rise and fal of the family
little Romanies sit by
who's paying?
I am emanating, eating corn mush with wooden spoons
ceiling and trunk, kneeling, cementing the walls
we pour seed in front of the t. v. camera
will you stand up? will you wake up? will you sing hymns?
we were plowing, preparing firewood for the summer
no need for peace, no need for suns, no need for sorrow,
the thighs are resting, Romany
thighs are tired and tremble
the hot blue blood is cut
even before night, even before raging warlocks

Translated from the Slovenian by Anselm Hollo and the author

The Child-Murderer Doesn’t Chew the Membrane.
It Stays in His Mouth

The dark lenses measure.
My dark god, stop.
The rake with monkey Cheetah (with the mother),
the plank grinds, it swims.
Little cherry licks, slides in the hair like a tiny comb.
Jesus Christ was born in a cast
which hasn’s hardened yet.
I eat you scrap by scrap.
First the world is in ruins, they
crumble into fresh china clay
and then change into the touch.
The touch is the sun of the flower.

I can’t imagine this anymore,
but I know it takes off its shirt and skin
and pulls out its first leg as if from the pupa.
He crumbles in cast where needed,
or simply unfolds the canvas cover,
where the cast hasn’t dried up yet.

Translated from the Slovenian by Joshua Beckman and the author


Wait a minute, wait a minute!
Would you really put on your little yellow T shirt
if you didn't want I'd jump on you?
Would you serve me Baileys?
Would your little prick beneath your brown
sweat shirt wake up?
Would you put your sweat shirt on nothing?
Would you take a shower?
Would you smell like this?
Would you be rough?
Would you get those stains on your temples like murderers?
You break me because you want to drink my life.

And I carress and penetrate your divine shine
so that you'll remember where I took it.
Alone you don't have access to yourself.
Only through my body one can enter the dark hall,
to stand around gaping and swinging steamboats.
Only my body needs food for your battlefield.
Your nausea, your consternation,
and when you yield, your eyelids.
In the shivering, your soul.
You need my light
to circle your own flesh.

Translated from the Slovenian by Joshua Beckman and the author


Lick my hand if you’re
a poet, pal.
Tonight I’m the main giver.
My body is dew.
My body is a mountain.
My brain is a thousand by a thousand
Niles of nectar.
My brain is a thousand by a thousand
Nile’s furrows, gurgling
deer on my palm.

Translated from the Slovenian by Joshua Beckman and the author

Who is Imre                   (iz Zvezd)

Imre, a perfect creature out of flesh and blood -
a hussar -
is truly Imre Oravecz, a Hungarian
poet (someone) like myself.
He has seduced (allured) Maruška and me
for supper, and when I                                   (he seduced us to have supper with us)
stopped to read his poems translated by
our common friend John                       (a friend of both of us, a friend in common)
Batki, something in me started
to hiss and to rock, to listen terribly (to hiss and rock, to listen terribly)
We went out of fire while
drinking wine.
I went to the kitchen. To light
the cigarette I bowed down over
the gas stove (hotplate). Above the gas stove (the cooker)
my hair went on fire.
He flatly stroke my forehead with his hand
and put out the fire,                 (put it out) (extinguished the conflagration) (ended it)
but the next day I was writing
from eight to three,                   (from eight o’clock to three o’clock)
and the leaves fell from
the machine as it would snow.       (meaning the pages fell form the typewriter..)
                                                             (as it was snowing)
Then also we shared one woman
in Palo Alto,
but I did not really
sleep with her, I was to afraid
of Maruška even she was at that time
in Cambridge,
on the other side of America,
or better I slept more with one
mestizo with green eyes,                   (cross-bred
who first fell
in front of my mind in San Francisco  (to fall in front of my mind doesn’t exist
                                                                    in Slovenian either)
at Health Club Richie, which
put in rage Bob. I told him --
to Imre--
go on, you should take Ula!                      (go ahead)
And then we raced back toward the East
through Sierra,
and Maruška, a year later,
his boots which he then
gave me not to pay the additional charge
for the flight, gave as a present to
Arne Hodalic when she painted
a flat and I was again there.
Walk well in them, Arne Hodalic!  (Be your walk fine, Arne Hodalic!)

(We lose a lot because Hodalic is a true person, his name translated would mean Walker)


You’re sinking funny kangaroo
and if I offer you a straw
you just look at me with moisten eyes

you never wondered
why cows don’t sprout
but always come into the world
as calves kangaroo

it was awesome when you learned to swim
it’s true
although there where shadows
from the day of your birth
you didn’t eat gorgonzola
you had hairy fingertips
and there was something che-che
in the way you turned around
are you at all aware
that Caravaggio was a psychopath
he cried at the sight of radishes
but how do you get to Mount Krim kangaroo

you stole our shoes
you flipped the sailboat over
you wanted to slice up time
but time is always time
it’s just in the shadows
it comes together at the right hour kangaroo

let’s try to say Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
you see you see it works
but could we also say Esplanade

it’s just as I thought kangaroo
you don’t have typhus exactly
but it isn’t much better
you’re sinking funny kangaroo
even if I tossed you a tractor
I bet you’d peel it and eat it
but a tractor is not for that kangaroo
a tractor is how to get you
out of the water
you peel and eat an apple

should I call your family kangaroo
do you want to be a widow half of an arch
or a house united always stands kangaroo
should I sing you something
should I sing you
quand un pompier
rencontre un autre pompier

I won’t sing you anything kangaroo
because these are the songs
sung by your enemies
because they’re the ones
who sing these songs

Translated from Slovenian by Christopher Merrill and the author


All Poetry & Nothing ButClash of CivilizationsEC ChairFeatured PoetsForeign DeskGalleryStage
Hedonism: Theory & PracticeLetters & GlossolaliaArt of MarriageMoney TalkPets & BeastsZounds

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