Tomaz Salamun

translation by Joshua Beckman



I got tired of the image of my tribe
and moved out.

From long nails
I weld my new body's limbs.
Old rags will be my entrails.
Rotten coat of carcass,
The coat of my solitude.
From the depths of a swamp I pull out my eye.
From the devoured plates of nausea
I'll build my cottage.

Mine will be a world of sharp edges.
Cruel and eternal.


I'll find nails,
long nails,
hammer them into my body.
Very gently,
very slowly,
it will take more time.
I will draw a precise plan.
I will cover myself every day,
two square inches of cloth for example.

Then I will burn everything.
It will burn for a long time.
It will burn for days.
Only the nails will remain,
all soldered, all rusty.
As such I will stay.
As such I will survive.


On black meadows
tarps of washed love hang.

No one is allowed on my land.

You too
never walked in the grass
so don't think you did.
Always and only on the wall.
On the wall up.
On the wall down.
On the wall left.
On the wall right.

Always and only on the wall.


Pi pi pi my little dove
come close, come,
step out of the crust of your childhood
out of your innocent halls.

By your neck I hold you already
my love.
Bit by bit I will let you bleed.
I will stick precious stones into your body.

With thin knives of the past
I will cut you to seven pieces.
Each piece will be put in a separate drawer.
Each drawer will be colored a different color.


Cursedness of the final maturity
cursedness of the play.
It nailed you up as a link of chain,
cursedness of the alien past,
cursedness of one's own past.
Break off and you'll be swallowed up.
Open out and you'll be buried.
Stop and it will empty,
pulsating tail of a dead snake.
Bail out and foreign songs
will trample your body.
Stay, and you will give birth
to little mushrooms.


© 2003 Electronic Poetry Review