Michael Biggins 
Translator

on Lyrikline: 11 poems translated

from: esloveno to: inglês

Original

Translation

ORFEJ

esloveno | Veno Taufer

o pomladi poje pod cvetočo češnjo
v angelskih rokah drži note narobe
poje angelsko žalostno in vražje smešno
ženske in otroci ga gledajo brez zlobe

cvetovi se usipljejo na čelo odmeva mu v glavi
vrane čakajo da sadovi dozore
v grlu mu slina glas ustavi
med zobmi ženske in otroci že čutijo pečké

njegovo srce je ujeda
na nosu mu sedi v oči ga gleda
s sapicami perutnic hladi mu smrtno srago

njegovo srce je ujeda
izkljuje mu oči v lobanjo seda
v zatohli suši grebe s krempeljci za vlago

© Veno Taufer
from: Jetnik prostosti
Ljubljana : Cankarjeva založba,
Audio production: Študentska založba / Beletrina

ORPHEUS

inglês

under a blossoming cherry tree he sings about spring
holds the music upside down in angelic hands
the song is seraphically sad a devilishly funny
women and children watch him without malice

petals flutter down on his brow there’s an echo in his head
crows wait for the fruit to ripen
too much spittle in his throat his voice is stifled
already the women and children can feel the seeds in their teeth

his heart is a bird of prey
it sits on his nose looks in his eyes
cooling his death’s sweat with its flapping wings

his heart is a bird of prey
it pecks out his eyes perches in his skull
its claws scratching in the dry remains for moisture

Translated by Michael Biggins

LJUDSKA

esloveno | Tomaž Šalamun

Vsak pravi pesnik je pošast.
Glas uničuje in ljudi.
Petje zgradi tehniko, ki uničuje
zemljo, da nas ne bi jedli črvi.
Pijanček proda plašč.
Lopov proda mater.
Samo pesnik proda dušo, da jo
loči od telesa, ki ga ljubi.

© Tomaž Šalamun
from: Maske
Ljubljana : Mladinska knjiga, 1980
Audio production: Študentska založba

FOLK SONG

inglês

Every true poet is a monster.
He destroys people and their speech.
His singing elevates a technique that wipes out
the earth so we are not eaten by worms.
The drunk sells his coat.
The thief sells his mother.
Only the poet sells his soul to separate it
from the body that he loves.

Translated by Michael Biggins

from: Tomaž Šalamun: Four Questions of Melancholy. Translated by Michael Biggins
(c) by White Pine Press www.whitepine.org

RIBA

esloveno | Tomaž Šalamun

Jaz sem mesojedec, ampak rastlina.
Jaz sem Bog in človek v enem.
Jaz sem buba. Iz mene rase človeštvo.
Jaz imam čisto razlite možgane, kot
cvet, da lahko bolj ljubim. Včasih dam
prste vanje in so topli. Hudobni ljudje
rečejo, da se drugi ljudje v njih
utopijo. Ne. Jaz sem trebuh.
V njem sprejemam popotnike.
Jaz imam ženo, ki me ljubi.
Včasih se ustrašim, da me ona bolj
ljubi kot jaz njo in sem žalosten in
potrt. Moja žena diha kot majhen
ptiček. Njeno telo me spočije.
Moja žena se boji drugih gostov.
Rečem ji, ne, ne, ne se bati.
Vsi gosti so en sam in za nas vse.
Bela vžigalica z modro glavico mi je
padla v stroj. Umazal sem si nohte.
Zdaj premišljujem, kaj naj napišem.
Tukaj živi ena soseda. Njeni otroci zelo
razgrajajo. Jaz sem Bog in jih pomirim.
Ob enih grem k zobozdravniku. Dr. Mena,
calle Reloj. Pozvonil bom in rekel, naj mi
izdre zob, ker preveč trpim.
Najbolj sem srečen v spanju in ko pišem.
Mojstri si me podajajo iz roke v roko.
To je potrebno. To je tako potrebno
kot za drevo, da rase. Drevo rabi zemljo.
Jaz rabim zemljo, da ne znorim.
Živel bom štiristo petdeset let.
Rebazar Tarzs živi že šeststo let.
Ne vem, če je bil on v tistem belem plašču,
ker jih še ne ločim. Ko pišem, imam
drugo posteljo. Včasih se razlijem bolj kot
voda, ker voda najbolj ljubi.
Strah rani ljudi. Roža je najbolj
mehka, če daš nanjo dlan. Roža ima rada
dlan. Jaz imam rad vse. Včeraj sem
sanjal, da se je moj oče sklonil k
Harriet. Ustrašim se drugih žensk in
zato z njimi ne spim. Ampak razdalja med
Bogom in mladimi ljudmi je majhna.
V Bogu je vedno ena sama ženska, in to je
moja žena. Ne bojim se, da bi me gostje
raztrgali. Jaz lahko dam vse, pa še zrase.
Bolj ko dajem, bolj rase. Potem odplava
kot pomoč za druga bitja. Na enem planetu je
zbirni center za moje meso. Ne vem, na
katerem. Kdorkoli bo spil kaj od tega, bo
srečen. Jaz sem cevka. Jaz sem Bog, ker
ljubim. Vse temno imam tu, not, nič
zunaj. Vsako žival lahko presvetlim.
Kruli mi. Kadar slišim sokove v svojem
telesu, vem, da sem v milosti. Jaz bi moral
noč in dan požirati denar, če bi hotel
zgraditi svoje življenje, pa še ne bi
pomagalo. Jaz sem ustvarjen za to, da
sijem. Denar je smrt. Na teraso grem.
Od tam vidim vso pokrajino, do Dolores
Hidalga. Toplo in mehko je kot v Toskani,
pa ni Toskana. Tam z Metko sediva in
gledava. Sonce zaide in še sediva in
gledava. Ona ima roke kot Šakti. Jaz imam
gobec kot egipčanska žival. Ljubezen je
vse. Mojzesova košara se ni nikoli
razbila na skalah. Iz ravne pokrajine
hodijo majhni konjički. Od Sierre piha
veter. Jaz grem ljudem v usta z glavo
naprej in jih ubijem in rodim,
ubijem in rodim, ker pišem.

© Tomaž Šalamun
from: Glas
Maribor : Založba Obzorja, 1983
Audio production: Študentska založba

THE FISH

inglês

I am a carnivore, but a plant.
I am God and man in one.
I'm a chrysalis. Mankind grows out of me.
My brain is liquefied like
a flower, so I can love better. Sometimes I dip
my fingers in it and it's warm. Nasty people
say others have drowned
in it. Not true. I am a belly
I put up travelers in it.
I have a wife who loves me.
Sometimes I'm afraid she loves me
more than I love her and I get sad and
depressed. My wife breathes like a small
bird. Her body soothes me.
My wife is afraid of other guests.
I say to her, now, now, don't be afraid.
All our guests are a single being, for both of us.
A white match with a blue head has fallen into my
typewriter. My nails are all dirty.
I'm thinking hard now what to write.
One of my neighbors has terribly noisy
children. I am God, I calm them down.
At one I'm going to the dentist, Dr. Mena,
Calle Reloj. I'll ring the bell and ask him
to pull my tooth, because it hurts too much.
I'm happiest in my sleep and when I write.
The masters pass me along from hand to hand.
That's essential. It's just as essential as
growing is for trees. A tree needs earth.
I need earth so I won't go mad.
I'll live four hundred and fifty years.
Tarzs Rebazar has been alive six hundred.
I don't know if that was him in the white coat,
I still can't make them out. When I write I have
a different bed. Sometimes I start pouring out more like
water, because water is most loving of all.
Fear injures people. A flower is softest
if you close your hand around it. Flowers like
hands. I like everything. Last night I
dreamed my father leaned across toward
Harriet. Other women frighten me, and
so I don't sleep with them. But the distance between
God and young people is slight.
There's always just a single woman in God, and that's
my wife. I'm not afraid of my guests tearing
me apart. I can give them anything, it will just grow back.
The more I give, the more it grows back. Then it launches off
as a source of help for other creatures. On some planet
there's a central storehouse for my flesh. I don't know
which one it's on. Whoever drinks it will
be happy. I'm a water hose. I'm God, because
I love. Everything dark in here, inside, nothing
outside. I can X-ray any creature.
I'm rumbling. When I hear the juices in my
body, I know I'm in a state of grace. I would have to
consume money day and night if I wanted to
build a life, and still it wouldn't help. I was made to
shine. Money is death. I'll go out on the terrace.
From there I can see the whole countryside as far as Dolores
Hidalgo. It's warm and soft as Tuscany,
though it's not Tuscany. Metka and I sit there,
watching. Her hands are like Shakti's. My
mouth is like some Egyptian beast's. Love is
all. Moses's wicker basket never
struck the rocks. Miniature horses come
trotting out of the level countryside. A wind blows
from the Sierras. I slide headfirst into people's
mouths and kill and give birth,
kill and give birth, because I write.

Translated by Michael Biggins
© by White Pine Press

RDEČE ROŽE

esloveno | Tomaž Šalamun

rdeče rože rastejo v nebesih, senca je na vrtu
luč prodira od povsod, sonca se ne vidi
ne vem kako da je potem senca na vrtu, rosa je v travi
okrog so posuti veliki beli kamni da se na njih lahko sedi

hribi okrog so taki kot na zemlji
samo da so nižji in da so videti čisto prhki
mislim da smo tudi mi čisto lahki in da se komaj dotikamo tal
če hodim se mi zdi da se rdeče rože malo umaknejo pred mano

zdi se mi da zrak diši, da je strašno hladen in žgoč
vidim da prihajajo nova bitja
kot da jih nevidna roka polaga v travo
vsa so lepa in mirna in vsi smo skupaj

nekatere ki plavajo sem v zraku zavrti in jih odtrga
zginejo in jih ne vidimo več in ječijo
zdi se mi da je moje telo v žarečem tunelu
da vzhaja kot testo in da potem prši narazen v zvezde

tukaj v nebesih ni seksa ne čutim rok
ampak so vse stvari in bitja popolnoma skupaj
in drvijo narazen da se še bolj združijo
barve hlapijo in vsi glasovi so kot mehka kepa na očeh

zdaj vem da sem bil včasih petelin in včasih srna
da sem imel krogle v telesu ki jih zdaj drobi
kako lepo diham
imam občutek da me lika likalnik in da me nič ne peče

© Tomaž Šalamun
from: Bela Itaka
Ljubljana : DZS, 1972
Audio production: Študentska založba

RED FLOWERS

inglês

Red flowers grow in the sky, there's a shadow in the garden.
The light penetrates, there's no light to be seen.
How then can the shadow be seen, there's a shadow in the garden,
all around big white stones lie scattered, we can sit on them.

The hills around are just like the hills on earth, only lower.
They look perfectly tender. I think we, too, are perfectly light,
we hardly touch the ground. When I take a step,
it seems the red flowers draw back a little.

The air is fragrant, both cool and burning. New beings
draw closer, some invisible hand smoothly placing them in the grass
They are beautiful and quiet. We are all here together.
Some of them, swimming toward this place

are turned around in the air and cut off.
They disappear, we can't see them anymore, they groan.
Now my body feels as if it's in a fiery tunnel,
it rises like dough, drizzles apart in the stars.

There is no sex in heaven, I feel no hands,
but all things and beings are perfectly joined.
They rush apart only to become even more united.
Colors evaporate, all sounds are like a sponge in the eyes.

Now I know, sometimes I was a rooster, sometimes a roe.
I know I had bullets in my body, they crumble away now.
How beautifully I breathe.
I feel I am being ironed, it doesn't burn at all.

Translated by Michael Biggins
© by White Pine Press

MRTVI FANTJE

esloveno | Tomaž Šalamun

mrtvi fantje! mrtvi fantje!
kjer v stepah hušknejo ptice in se razpolovi dan
kjer so kocke glav jadrnice za šepetanje in se vozovi desk odbijajo od skal
kjer so jutra bleščeča kot oči slovanov
kjer se na severu kloftajo bobri da odmeva kot vabilo k smrti
kjer kažejo otroci podplute oči in z besom skačejo po butarah
kjer z odtrganimi rokami plašijo sosedom bike
kjer čakajo mraz v vrsti
kjer smrdi kruh po kisu, ženske po zvereh
mrtvi fantje! mrtvi fantje!
kjer se čekani zabliskajo in zašumijo pravljice
kjer je največja umetnost pribiti sužnja v loku skoka
kjer koruzo zažigajo na ogromnih ploskvah da jo zavoha bog
mrtvi fantje! mrtvi fantje!
kjer so posebne cerkve ptic da se privajajo bremenu duše
kjer prebivalci pri vsakem obroku hrane tleskajo z naramnicami in pod mizo teptajo
                                                                                        svete tekste
kjer so konji črni od saj
mrtvi fantje! mrtvi fantje!
kjer so keglji orodje velikanov ki si trejo mastne dlani ob hlodih
kjer bi šalamuna pozdravili s krikom
mrtvi fantje! mrtvi fantje!
kjer so vsi vratarji rumenokožci da porabijo manj časa za zapiranje oči
kjer prodajalce mesa dotolčejo z loparji in jih ne pokopljejo
kjer teče donava v kino iz kina v morje
kjer je vojaška trobenta znak za pomlad
kjer delajo duše visoke loke in šepetajo v zboru zveri
mrtvi fantje! mrtvi fantje!
kjer je branje utrjeno z gramozom da se sliši če se udari obenj
kjer so drevesa na navoj, drevoredi na sklepe
kjer otrokom že prvi dan po rojstvu zarežejo kožo kot plutovcem
kjer točijo alkohol starkam
kjer si mladina grebe po ustih kot bager po dnu reke
mrtvi fantje! mrtvi fantje!
kjer so matere ponosne in rujejo iz sinov vlakna
kjer so lokomotive polite z losovo krvjo
mrtvi fantje! mrtvi fantje!
kjer luč zgnije in poči
kjer so ministri oblečeni v granit
kjer so čarovniki začarali da so živali padle v košare šakali stoje na očeh vider
mrtvi fantje! mrtvi fantje!
kjer s križi označujejo strani neba
kjer je žito hrapavo in lica zabuhla od požarov
kjer imajo črede usnjene oči
kjer so vsi slapi iz testa, vežejo jih s črnimi trakovi mladih bitij
kjer genijem razbijejo nartne kosti s kavlji za transportiranje lesa
mrtvi fantje! mrtvi fantje!
kjer je fotografiranje omejeno na rastline ki potem rasejo naprej in razženejo papir
kjer se na podstrešjih sušijo slive in kapljajo v stare pesmi
kjer matere vojakov pakete s hrano navijajo na kolo
kjer so čaplje stesane kot atletske postave argonavtov
mrtvi fantje! mrtvi fantje!
kjer pridejo mornarji na obisk
kjer v vilah razgečejo konji, dišijo popotniki
kjer so kahlice po kopalnicah prelepljene z risbami irisovih semen
kjer ljudožrce hranijo s skodlami
kjer so trte zavite v sive pajčolane da se naredi mrena na očeh ljubosumnih

© Tomaž Šalamun
from: Bela Itaka
Ljubljana : DZS, 1972
Audio production: Študentska založba

DEAD MEN

inglês

dead men, dead men
where in the steppes the birds flit and the day splits in half
where the cube heads are sailboats of whispering and the wagon
         loads of boards rebound off cliffs
where mornings glitter like the eyes of Slavs
where in the north the beavers slap each other, it resounds as an
         invitation to death
where the children point to their livid eyes and jump with rage on
         the timber
where, with their torn-off arms, they scare the bulls belonging to the
         neighbors
where they stand in line for the cold
where the bread stinks of vinegar, women of wild animals
dead men, dead men
where the tusks flash and fairy tales rustle
where the highest art is to nail the slave in midair
where the corn is burned on the vast plains so that God can smell it
dead men, dead men
where there are special churches for birds to teach them to bear the
        burdens of their souls
where the inhabitants at every meal snap their braces and step on
         sacred texts under the table
where the little balls are orange, mothers are nailed onto square
         shapes
where the horses are black with soot
dead men, dead men
where the skittles are tools of giants bruising their greasy hands on
        logs
where Šalamun would be greeted with screams
dead men, dead men
where all doormen are yellow men because they blink faster
where meat dealers are beaten to death with rackets and left
        unburied
where the Danube flows into the movie, from the movie into the sea
where the soldier's bugle is the signal for spring
where souls leap high and whisper in chorus
dead men, dead men
where the reading is strengthened with gravel, to be heard when we
         strike it, it booms
where the trees have screw threads, the boulevards knee joints
where they cut into children's skin the first day after birth, as into
         cork trees
where they sell alcohol to the old women
where the youth scrapes his mouth as the dredger scrapes the
         bottom of the river
dead men, dead men
where mothers are proud and pluck out filaments from their sons
where the locomotives are covered with elk's blood
where the light rots and cracks
where the ministers are dressed in granite
where wizardry causes animals to fall into baskets, the jackals
         tread on the eyes of otters
dead men, dead men
where one marks the sides of the sky with the cross
where the wheat is rugged and the cheeks puffed up by fires
where the flocks have eyes of leather
where all waterfalls are of dough, they tie them with black ribbons of
         young beings
where they break the instep bones of geniuses with timber hooks
dead men, dead men
where photography is limited to plants that grow and blow up the
         paper
where the plums dry in the lofts and fall in the old songs
where soldiers' mothers wheel the food parcels up to the rack
where the herons are built as athletic Argonauts
dead men, dead men
where sailors come to visit
where in the villas the horses neigh, the travelers smell
where the little bathroom tiles are covered with drawings of iris seeds
where the cannibals are fed wooden shingles
where the vine branches are wrapped in gray veils so that the eyes of
         the jealous film over

Translated by Michael Biggins
© by White Pine Press

LAK

esloveno | Tomaž Šalamun

Usoda me vali. Včasih kot jajce. Včasih me
s šapami lomasti po bregu. Kričim. Upiram se.
Ves svoj sok zastavim. Ne smem tega delati.
Usoda me lahko utrne, to sem že začutil. Če

nam usoda ne piha na dušo, zmrznemo v hipu.
Preživljal sem dneve v strašni grozi, da sonce
ne bo več vzšlo. Da je to moj poslednji dan.
Čutil sem, kako mi svetloba polzi iz rok, in če

ne bi imel v žepu dovolj quarterjev in bi Metkin
glas ne bil dovolj mil in prijazen in konkreten
in stvaren, bi mi duša ušla iz telesa, kot mi

enkrat bo. S smrtjo je treba biti prijazen. Vse
je skupaj v vlažnem cmoku. Domovanje je, od koder
smo. Živi smo samo za hip. Dokler se lak suši.

© Tomaž Šalamun
from: Ambra
Ljubljana : Mihelač, 1995
Audio production: Študentska založba

LACQUER

inglês

Destiny rolls over me. Sometimes like an egg. Sometimes
with its paws, slamming me into the slope. I shout. I take
my stand. I pledge all my juices. I shouldn't
do this. Destiny can snuff me out, I feel it now.

If destiny doesn't blow on our souls, we freeze
instantly. I spent days and days afraid
the sun wouldn't rise. That this was my last day.
I felt light sliding from my hands, and if I didn't

have enough quarters in my pocket, and Metka's voice
were not sweet enough and kind and solid and
real, my soul would escape from my body, as one day

it will. With death you have to be kind.
Home is where we're from. Everything in a moist dumpling.
We live only for a flash. Until the lacquer dries.

Translated by Michael Biggins
© by White Pine Press

JON

esloveno | Tomaž Šalamun

kako zahaja sonce?
kot sneg
kakšne barve je morje?
široko
jon si slan?
slan sem
jon si zastava?
zastava sem
vse kresnice počivajo

kakšni so kamni?
zeleni
kako se igrajo kužki?
kot mak
jon si riba?
riba sem
jon si morski ježek?
morski ježek sem
poslušaj kako šumi

jon je če teče srna skozi gozd
jon je če gledam goro kako diha
jon so vse hiše
slišiš kakšna mavrica?
kakšna je rosa?
spiš?

© Tomaž Šalamun
from: Romanje za Maruško
Ljubljana : Cankarjeva založba, 1971
Audio production: Študentska založba

JONAH

inglês

how does the sun set?
like snow
what color is the sea?
large
Jonah are you salty?
I'm salty
Jonah are you a flag?
I'm a flag
the fireflies rest now

what are stones like?
green
how do little dogs play?
like flowers
Jonah are you a fish?
I'm a fish
Jonah are you a sea urchin?
I'm a sea urchin
listen to the flow

Jonah is the roe running through the woods
Jonah is the mountain breathing
Jonah is all the houses
have you ever heard such a rainbow?
what is the dew like?
are you asleep?

Translated by Michael Biggins
© by White Pine Press

JELEN

esloveno | Tomaž Šalamun

Najstrašnejša skala, bela bela želja.
Voda, ki izviraš iz krvi.
Naj se mi oži oblika, naj mi zdrobi telo,
da bo vse v enem: žlindra, okostja, prgišče.

Piješ me, kot bi mi izdiral barvo duše.
Lokaš me, mušico v drobnem čolnu.
Razmazano glavo imam, čutim, kako so se
gore naredile, kako so se rodile zvezde.

Spodmaknil si mi svoje teme, tam stojim.
Poglej, v zraku. V tebi, ki si zdaj zlit in
moj. Zlate strehe se ukrivljajo pod nama,

pagodini listi. V ogromnih svilenih bonbonih
sem, nežen in trdoživ. Meglo ti potiskam v
sapo, sapo v božjo glavo v mojem vrtu, jelen.

© Tomaž Šalamun
from: Živa rana, živi sok
Maribor : Založba Obzorja, 1990
Audio production: Študentska založba

THE DEER

inglês

Awe-inspiring cliff, white desire.
Water springing forth from blood.
Let my form narrow, let it crush my body
so that everything is one: slag and skeletons, fistful of earth.

You drink me. draining off the color of my soul
You lap me up, like a fly in a tiny boat.
My head is smeared, I see how
mountains were made. how stars were born.

You pulled your brow out from under me. There I stand
Look, in the air. Within you, drained, all
mine. Golden roofs bend up under us,

small pagoda leaves. Im in silken candies
gentle and tenacious. I funnel the fog into your
breath, and your breath into the godhead of my garden, the deer.

Translated by Michael Biggins
© by White Pine Press

GOBICE

esloveno | Toma

Namreč tako je z vso to zadevo
najboljše stvari so gobice
gobice v juhi
nič nič nič nič
                                         
                                          fiuuuuu ena gobica
en zelen peteršiljček v smokingu
pa dolgo dolgo časa tema
potem stečejo po snažilko
ki je za to odgovorna
nič nič nič nič

                                          fiuuuuu še ena gobica
zdrava sicer
le kri ni ena A
ker je prebolela hepatitis
Težke so težke te gobice
težke v božjo mater

© Tomaž Šalamun
from: Poker
Ljubljana : samozaložba, 1966
Audio production: Študentska založba

LITTLE MUSHROOMS

inglês

So this is how the whole thing goes
by far the best are the little mushrooms
little mushrooms in the soup
nada nada nada nada
                                       fiuuuuu one little mushroom
this little green parsley in tuxedo
and darkness for a long time
then they run to get a cleaning lady
responsible for all of this
nothing nothing nothing nothing
                                       fiuuuuuuu one more little mushroom
healthy though
the blood is not so great
because she got hepatitis
Heavy heavy are these little mushrooms
heavy in the Holy Mother

Translated by Michael Biggins
© by White Pine Press

BRATI: LJUBITI

esloveno | Tomaž Šalamun

Ko te prebiram, plavam. Kot medo s šapami me
potiskaš v blaženost. Ležiš na meni, ki si me
razdejal. Na smrt sem te vzljubil, prvi med
rojenimi. V enem samem hipu sem postal tvoj kres.

Varen sem, kot nisem bil nikoli. Si dokončni
občutek zadoščenja: vedeti od kod je hrepenenje.
V tebi sem kot v mehkem grobu. Režeš in prežarjaš
vse plasti. Čas se vname in izgine, himne slišim,

ko te gledam. Strog si in zahteven, stvaren. In ne
morem govoriti. Vem, da hrepenim po tebi, trdo sivo
jeklo. Za en tvoj dotik dam vse. Glej, pozno sonce

buta ob stene dvorišča v Urbinu. Umrl sem zate.
Čutim te in te rabim. Mučiš. Ruješ me in izžigaš,
vedno. In v prostore, ki si jih uničil, teče raj.

© Tomaž Šalamun
from: Mera časa
Ljubljana : Cankarjeva založba,
Audio production: Študentska založba

TO READ: TO LOVE

inglês

As I read you, I swim. Like a bear-bear with paws,
 you push me into bliss. You lie on top of me, who
 tore me apart. You I fell in love with unto death, first
 among the born. It took but a moment and I was your bonfire.

I am safe as never before. You are the ultimate
 feeling of fulfillment: to know where longing comes from.
 I'm in a soft grave whenever inside you. You cut, you illuminate,
 every layer. Time bursts into flame and disappears. I hear hymns

when I watch you. You are strict and demanding, concrete. And I
cannot speak. I know I long for you, hard grey steel. For one of
your touches, I give up everything. Look, the late afternoon sun

is dashing against the walls of the courtyard in Urbino. I have died
for you. I feel you, I use you. Torturer. You uproot and you torch me,
always. And into the places you have destroyed, paradise flows.

Translated by Michael Biggins
© by White Pine Press

ANDRAŽ

esloveno | Tomaž Šalamun

Moj brat stopi gol, lep kot deviški vrelec
v dvorano in ubije jagnje iz ljubezni:
jemo in premišljujemo sliko.
Sani zarjavijo čez poletje, nebo se zniža

in postane vlažno, zemlja rodi jagode.
Vojaki stojijo lačni
med narcisami rumenimi kot noč,
jasna, jasna straža;

roloji so spuščeni in zaklenjeni,
markacija pelje v gore, v Trnovski gozd,
o, Čaven, zrak nabit z angeli,

krediti armade, kruh, kruh,
o, Sibila, razlita, strnjena barva,
nepremično, nespremenljivo hrepenenje.

© Tomaž Šalamun
from: Amerika
Maribor : Založba Obzorja, 1972
Audio production: Študentska založba

ANDRAŽ

inglês

my brother strides naked
beautiful as a virgin spring
through the hall, kills the lamb
with love

we eat and meditate on the image

sleds rust between winters, the sky gets lower
and grows damp
the earth bears strawberries
soldiers stand hungry
among daffodils yellow as night
a clear, pure guard

shutters, closed and locked
trail markers in the woods and mountains
O Mt. Caven, air crowded with angels

army tracks, bread, bread
O Sibyil, split hardened color
immovable, unalterable itch

Translated by Michael Biggins
© by White Pine Press