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Tomaz Salamun





Virgins are sold in reams of five hundred
sheets of paper. Every morning I take
one, two, three. How will I make love
today? Will I be a pasha, a conquistador, will I

tremble, amazed and quiet? Will there be
only Gods, and not us before the paper?
This is the best. The room turns fragrant
like powdery snow. Sometimes I swim in huge

paunches of earth. The walls are salty, body hair
hurts from exertion and delight. I get hurt
many times, I’m a glutton. Such a virgin
never becomes a woman. I tear her up,

throw her into the bin. But sometimes,
poems stretch out into the world as part
of nature. Women breathe, drive
into dismay and console people. Sniff at

every woman before she seduces you! You
decide whether she is a mild creature,
a devil or a one-time virgin that enticed me
into madness with her super whiteness.

     Translated from the Slovenian by Ana Jelnikar and Michael Thomas Taren





December 7, 1986


O murmur of a brook,                  
whisper of the father,
I love, I love,
I'm torn off and mute.
I touch your arms with my head,
swimming and drowning in your belly,
o father.
Your walls are plush
And joyous is your heart.

The merchandise is my hat,
I'm alkalying you.
Bright shields,
my head.
I wash your inner door,
swimming in your veins
like a fabulous silver.

I'm a fish, a mermaid, eating your eyes.
I'll knit you a pullover,        
and be your daughter,
your son, your head and your gray horse
with glowing gold wings.
To be able to look at you from below,
at your belly, when you
swim above me as Pegasus.

My sweet sweet round cut swimmer.

Crunched, redeemed bark of my arrogant might.
I'm a fresh young animal.

I bathe in your white mouth,
in your dance, Father.


Translated from the Slovenian by Joshua Beckman and the author







If you wanted the silk you drew it.
This hydrate booms.

It’s on the chin.
It’s on the chin.

It’s Tadzio.
It’s Tadzio.

I go to swim, Te Deum.
The juice of those frozen.

Silenzio Maria, pray for us, chiseler
in front of the cameras. We hail

the master. We have grated salted
flocks. Cross the algae.

Cross the algae.
Cross the capillaries.


Translated from the Slovenian by Michael Thomas Taren and the author




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