Blesok no. 64, January-February, 2009
Choosing the Key
From the Cello in the Sun, 2001 (Čelo na soncu, Ljubljana: Študentska založba, 2001)
Translated by Janko Lozar
A test tells me that I will die
in 2055, eighty-four years old,
most probably of cancer.
There are data I thrust into the closet
among old toys to play at clowns.
A tinge of irony is in nostalgic memory
of childhood, and the big eyes in the mirror
are a reflection of curiosity, which remains.
While other sleep, I sit in the dark
nursing an image I created as a child:
how nice it will be to grow up some day!
Then I restore innumerable halls. In them,
there arise forgotten children, some learning to talk,
others to think, still others to walk …
And it isn’t true that I didn’t care for you,
I gave you a room, though empty,
which you organized the way you like,
I gave you a little space, little enough
to close the rifts of the door,
or open them up, telling silence
to cover your eyes.
And it isn’t true I didn’t love you as a child –
I just didn’t know how
to accept this love.
Choosing the Key
There is too little time to play with pebbles
and compose stories. The day is too short,
and when you hesitate and act cowardly,
time is the hangman who scorns you. And you
linger on and you are like a dog
run over by a car and cautiously crossing the street now,
you linger on, biting your lips and
coming always too late, like a guest from abroad,
always like a guest who takes the wrong key
and sits down at the wrong table.
Everything must be fought for. There is too little time for that.
To feel, just feel the circle closing in
and you are not a captive, you walk
its circumference and see the abysses and mountains,
you see all the seasons of the year still preparing
their exam questions; to feel, just feel
and wait for the fluttering of birds’ wings
like a loud applause for life.
What do I have, what is left to me
from green galleries
popping up in spring
with light rain,
when there’s not much world left
from the tight embrace,
when you’re stepping on my toes
to fly off, still alone,
and the echo returning to me with:
far, far away, it’s all far away.
I’m like a snake that has crept
on the afternoon table waiting
to be cut in half by a sunray
in the name of love,
at night I hear only planes, no stars,
with your comet’s tail
oozing into all-devouring darkness
between my palms,
among all other things, what is left?
Cranes constructing something and
bulldozers with their large jaws eager
to bite into old remains or just those
that seemed fresh only yesterday.
When the violin shut itself into its coffin
coated with soft cloth
two colours met
on a watercolour paper,
blending into another desire.
Summer stretched along
the coast full of tourists
drowsily moving their legs.
Blinded by sun, I follow an opening
drawn in the still, glassy sky.
To cross the frontier
I need sounds spilling over
into colours, shadows getting smaller all the way
and the smuggled language of soil.
We both read our own dialogue.
Speak it. Don't understand each other.
Or we do, and just pretend.
Sunflowers are wide open. They smell of pollen
that is not the pollen of our solitude. That one is
in our pillows, when we aren't there.
Somewhere half way between a sigh
and an epigram, I am in the word.
In its duality, in its poverty,
in its infinity. Spoken into you,
it comes back loudly into me.
Changed. Alien perhaps.
I am waiting to wake you
with a touch of salt
dropped onto the skin, the wounds,
onto the dried up eyelids glowing in the night
like soft light.
Next time we leave, let us touch
the empty rooms, the backyard, the blooming cherry trees.
When someone leaves, someone stays, said Vallejo.
At the curve of the day parting will
become a less painful shift.
In the Heart of the Day
Adamant and beautiful, this world,
with birds sleeping in the palm.
Playing in the dark is changing into a game
of the day, a disclosing circle.
I fall asleep and wake up
in the land where above
citrus fruit haze rises up the spiral
acceptance of inhaling and exhaling,
by the vast water which is a woman.
And I’m filling up. With every moment.
I grasp more and more space
and life in it.
Throwing the wrong dice, I do not belong.
I have to love for the same reason:
god, Eros, is in every raindrop
washing away sadness and rousing silence
in our overheated eyes. Several suns are holding
one another with no arms. There. And here.
Playing in the dark turning into a festival of the day,
with you, always, with a single breath,
as its centre.
You travel a long way between the sun and darkness,
restless fear reading itself into your bones.
She’s enchanting, you say. And blush. And stop speaking.
Has any one recognized your overlong trousers,
in the walk of vulnerable stag, when you
pursue a spellbound memory all alone in the crowd?
Did people summon up this fear? Have fetishes run out?
Cities too transparent for you and you for them?
Only she unknowingly slipped into you,
where she’s offering a Milky Way, a honeyed hand,
all fragrances and names of the wind, pains and passions.
And in the language she speaks everything laughs.
You’d like to walk your legs off. You know that. Nothing
has changed from the outside: you can whistle a tune as you
did before. But you think of her. Enchanting, you say. And blush.
I Wish Someone Dedicated Me a Poem
You say I’m soft,
that even my words have polished nails.
Then I archly spread my arms to make a bridge,
as if trying to embrace seething trees.
There are dropped faces, you know. Waiting for a voice,
a call, an impulse, to be lifted from behind Venetian masks –
dodging faces. Faces waiting for the summer
and dreaming, when sleeping, about a sound sleep.
You give your friend a compass wishing
him a more pleasant journey, and not
to show him the way.
My journeys are circles of a seeker.
This is why I return evenings to the stories revealing
deep connections and impossible distances.