Authors: Tomaz Salamun
Compilation copyright Â© 2000 by TomaÅ¾ Å alamun
English translation copyright Â© 2008, 2007 by Brian Henry and TomaÅ¾ Å alamun
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10003.
This is a translation of
Gozd in kelihi
First published in Slovenia by Cankarjeva zalozba, 2000
Publication acknowledgments appear at the end of the ebook and constitute a continuation of the copyright page.
The Library of Congress has cataloged the print edition as follows:
Å alamun, TomaÅ¾.
Woods and chalices /TomaÅ¾ Å alamun; translated from the Slovenian
by Brian Henry and the author.â1st U.S. ed.
1. Å alamun, TomaÅ¾âTranslations into English.
I. Henry, Brian, 1972- II. Title.
The Lucid Slovenian Green
To step into the splash. To adorn oneself. I strode
the Karst valleys and bloomed. The underworld
is plastic and juicy. Whales dunk a little,
shoot a little. Chile is dewy, spring
is paper-wrapped. Girded like an ant,
like a cadet with argil. How do you reckon this? Bruised
like an icon? Blasted with small and large candles?
Slices are also in the trunk, there, where
squirrels and hornets fertilize tiny eggs. Caesar
walks staccato. Rome crawls by your feet. Wherever
the grape plucks, it starts to purl. The Irish saved Europe.
They piled sagas at fire sites. Everything northern
(Styria). There, in the forests, live char men
with flashing eyes. They snack on the
Book of Kells.
I grew up with eggplants. I stepped
from the truck, honey, chestnuts
rolled in honey. The higher, grayer part
creaked. It tottered. For a raven
that you snatch by the legs and spin like a bundle,
as long as it doesn't crash into a windowpane,
you don't know if it hits with its back or its eyes
closed, glued from fear. The windowpane
is not its beak. The raven has no beak.
The raven has only a sail with drawn-on
seed. Stars, ricocheting into the moon's
glass, go out. Between the time someone's
in the sky and the time he burns
in the sky is the beat of an eyelid. Water spins the logs.
I decant a blossom. It goes before you.
You're filled with Uriah. Green, tiny, and pressed.
Blueness is a furious cake, a round
cake where yearning sleeps. Are the balls
the balls of the earth? At wells
and fountains? At Adas's pillar?
You say that you'd be my property.
You'd lose everything instantly.
I still wouldn't notice you anymore, injured.
I choose from the thickness. Honey collects
cries. And when the body thickens and you get up
because I dress you, because I congeal you.
I erase you back in the past. I draw
a white flap, shine a white flap.
The flock fell behind a hill. God
tottered. I chased a stall. Faded
and flew. When there's no syrup in the eyes, there's
no black man in the body. Virgo is in the loaf and creels.
She throws snowballs while standing. Plans unravel.
Clouds are rosy, as by Tiepolo.
As by Deacon and Aritreia. Tasso
kills a cricket. The knot spreads and advances
into the jacket with many
as with the Danes,
who also translated the Bible like this. And so we have
and, and, andâno moreâwhich the French
don't have. They have crouching planks there,
they call them elegance. The bridge goes in the eyes.
The soul in the railway. I puff, for I'm a pillar.
Shiva gleams on a white pansy
and a penguin kicks the sphere. The radar
switches off. After speed? Nothing.
We only slept some twelve hours.
We were eating pizzas from Santa Fe
to Boston. Our minds sprinkled. The wheat
cleaved. I wanted to lick you on the neck.
What? Where? You rob the steering wheel
and the air. You stop. You smoke
and build a hut for little birds. Triangles,
you split open their feet, their toes
with the drawn-in bulbs for fingernails
which may be a football ground, a sea
or your screen. You inherited six of them.
I know you toil and loiter. The mourner
bids adieu. Her leaves' whiteness
recalls stalks. The graffiti of the poor
is under the earth. The adieu has staccato poses.
Drowns and flees. It resounds in the hut
when you wipe off the saddle. So we have
a wet ship and a dry rider. A worm
from a trunk and an oudine from grain. The position
between the land and the river is wiped. The position
is wide. The river is cold. As long as he travels
parallel he doesn't need a draftsman.
But then, now will it whistle? Will there be
a bell, will it be perforated? Will the earth
split, as then within vineyards?
The pill percolates. Methadone is technology.
Eyes in the Sava. There will be no more white tuck-ins.
Christ was exposed. Roe deer
kept their paws apart. Quilts
fluttered, and the wheat-like ones. We shelled
tweezers. Is there always skin under
the skin? Is the situation in the niches
and cockroaches and in the deep
Piranesi caves taken care of? Will lights be
by the legs? Will the dust burn? I gather myself
by Mormons. I embroider from lace, I have
a butterfly, Tasso, who drinks
from a bottle. Clouds rush like crumpled
wash, faster than watered guests.
Don't sneak me onto mountains, chicken. Don't verify
your neighbor. You creep on my vaults. Where
paws and stars flash. Where Nietzsche
bites his knees (
) on the path above
Nice. What an azure milky whiteness!
Did you knead a little flour into torpedoes?
Did you sponsor a robbery of bees? Ears
adjust to the sky. Tendrilsâif wholly
in white garlicâdo you then tear them
like berries? We hear the engine, not the horse.
His eyes are poured out onto my hands.
Stumps and columns and stalks that you dunk
into the Mediterranean. Steve and Ken (asleep)
water flowers. The chimney branches out.
There is no grinding. Consumption is embittered.
The shove twists a white feather. The law
is in Kent's throat. White green violets.
pump is knocked down.
You revolt in the color of spilled wine.
You bring cakes and name them,
sell them here. White quails
have top-notch wings. The bone is among
the found. The found is expected
by witch doctors. Confirm to her what she saw.
Confirm to her that she was chatting.
That there are no remains. That the way is easy
always. That there is not even a drop
of reproach in front of the white mute.
to braid itself.
Why did you already shut
your mouth on the mountain?
turns round its axles.
It runs with
dogs and moose.
Boka is an ink stain.
Cut into the icy slope
and scattered powder.
The stone gives heat.
OrmoÅº begs a hen.
I am Ban's daughter.
I played piano
did not keep.
Surely I must have died.
Ou peut-Ãªtre pas.
Perhaps their trumpets curve.
They forgot doorknobs in the floods
and now they dive for them.
Maybe they press the buttons
to rescind the aberrations.
Maybe they use crepe paper.
Maybe they're not so talentless
and crackle underwater like shells
and stones, such that every thousand years
of crackling harvests us
a tiny white stone.
Is it cold?
Are you snowed in?
The tent, does it still creak?
In a field near the Hrpelje-Kozina station
in the year 1911,
a cadet shot himself
in the mouth with a pistol.
Muldoon says Heaney is like the Vasa
ship. Built on three floors,
it was the world's biggest battleship.
It made half a mile
and capsized alone in a harbor.
The warriors are killed by insects
and lack of glycerine.
Scurvy corrodes their skulls.
Spruce trees shake off their seed and snow.
Between Zlatorog and the Savica waterfall
there is no hoarfrost.
The tongue doesn't bind itself. It's a cleanser and a clean freak,
the marble-smooth skin of refined ladies,
a cork, a self-satisfied little clod.
When Alexander burns Persepolis, it can
meditate. It takes apart fighting lions
as if it's a silky little onion (diminutives strengthen,
they flood), their kindness is worse
than K's, who wishes us all well.
Am I a cold fish that kills Christ