Tomaž Šalamun
Michael Thomas Taren, trans.




It's autumn. Not now.
Bob Creeley called me
Keeper of the flame.

Who will domesticate Native Americans   
if not our horizon.

Knock in the nail. Know it.      
What is more solid
jumps into the light of the shade.

Times lived through.
Woods are clean.

In Thesaloniki I stole marmalade on the street.
With Jean and Danielle we went to a wedding.
We wiped ourselves on columns like horses
if horses would know how to wipe themselves off.

Now somebody tenderizes the meat with a mallet.    
We hear it.
The cook prepares the meal.
In May it rains for the beauty of the skin.
Izet died.






I stood on ice.
My mother went to the market with
a basket full of flowers to sell it
to the rich ones.
She didn't sell it.
I turned my palm.
Enough for the storm to pull down the beams
hewed by my grandfather                                 
And my mother still has
a young, lean body                            
pleasing to horses and peasants.




Yeah, Yeah, Yeah   


Little turtle, you remind me of Gaspari.
How come?

To spit the tooth on the idiot's head
above Satan's bridge.

You're joking. You'll stop to
joke. The white bull is stepping in your

life. Gods have already eaten.
Again they look around for pasture.

Blest, you tumble on your
knees. All this is you, my

anthem. On Crete the bronze is pierced.
The door is yours. The storm came

closer. The paths were
soiled. We ate. We were not told.




For You All


Mexico is my Pentecost.
The snake warming herself in the sun
at the hour, when mankind sleeps.
Crawl, snake, lie down, snake,
kill animals and strangle them!
Save what you can.
There's no crumb of bread or ear of puma
which doesn't deserve to be saved.
Nowhere is written part of the earth should
For what is bewitched into ice will
For what is crushed into cynicism and
flabbiness will again bend its
Mexico is my Pentecost.
For you all.






Who shrieks in the dew above the bank?
The red noche buena waits for a peacock.
Weary and sweet I tremble like a cypress.                    
It hurts.

Querétaro. Still the echoes from steps
among loud shrieks of birds at
sunset. White cloths on the tables and
vases of fruits. A biography of St. Paul,

dropped by us on the stony pavement.






The Etruscan vase doesn't switch my head.
Atic's vase switches my head.
The snack is a shocketz.
U-two with ecks.

Porcelain bumps into lights,
it fuels axis's feathers.
I grow in the bridge, on the seven
pigeons of trees.

The Etruscan vase doesn't switch my head.
Atic's vase switches my head.
The snack is a shocketz.
U-two with ecks.