Tomaž Šalamun
"The Kiss Across the Ocean"

translated by Joshua Beckman and the author

Poljub čez ocean

O moj ptiček, kako sem truden!
Češ videt kaj sem vse napisal danes?
Zdaj imam že celo tovarno
in možičke oblečene v žakeljče.
Obesil sem jih na svoj cvirn
in jih prilepil na stene brezna.
Nimajo tal pod nogami,
neprestano me cukajo.
Fuj, s kakšnimi zarjavelimi
lopatami hočejo biti pridni.
Pa jim ne dam. Mm. Ne.
Najprej očistiti lopate.
Za vse skrbim. Tudi za mucko.
In preklinjam ta predolg lok med
pismom in pismom.
Vem, zdaj jih frči vsaj pet po
zraku, ali pa se valjajo na
Correo Central.
Zakaj ne znaš pihniti tako kot jaz,
glej, aspirirani K
in že se ti topi telo
kot drobtinice na maslu
in boš lepo zaspala.


The Kiss Across the Ocean

O little bird, how tired I am!
Do you want to see everything that I have written today?
Now I have an entire factory
and little men dressed in little sackcloths.
I hung them by my thread
and glued them to the wall of the abbys.
They don't have any ground beneath them,
and they tug at me constantly.
Strange, with what kind of rusty shovels
do they want to be good.
But I don't let them. Njet.
First to clean the shovels.
I take care of everything. For the kitten also.
And I curse the too long arc
between the letter and the letter.
I know, now at least five of them
fly in the air, or they loll in
the Correo Central.
Why can't you kiss as I can do,
look, the aspired K
and already your body melts
like little crumbs in butter
and you fall asleep nicely.

• • •

Tomaž Šalamun (1941 - ) is a Slovenian poet. His recent works in English translation include The Book for My Brother and Poker, translated by Joshua Beckman.

Joshua Beckman is a poet, translator and an editor at Wave Books. His translation of Šalamun's Poker was a finalist for the PEN American Poetry in Translation Award.

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