So – this is slightly strange. The esteemed poet Tomaz Salamun, whom I met at a writers’ retreat in Italy a while back (see gallery) has published a collection set during that period in which yours truly features some. Haven’t got a copy yet, so I couldn’t tell you what’s in ‘ “I don’t like Proust. He didn’t have Enough Sex”, Diran Says’, and some others, but here’s one. I’m very touched. Not everyday one is made the subject, especially by a poet of serious stature. Not totally across what he means here (‘Meaning’ not necessarily the point of poetry, of course) but it sure sounds scandalousJ
Crete is valvoline. When the pony shuffled off.
I lie on a carpet. A German shepherd is a tulip.
Diran! A flower blooms for itself. You don’t remind me
of him, you remind me of yourself. For Péru you point to a
bow for cricket and you pump and pump, and rise. I am your
African lumpul. Diran! The earth has been trampled
here. Then Beatrice arrived. The sheep died
off. Their masters crawl into
dreams. Schloendorf has left. I’ve done my homework,
that vent, and now Laure, Péru and Juan
are the hosts here. Péru calls us outside to look at
the moon. Bella morena bianca. Enough to enrapture
the Nubians. A window, a traveler, a sail that drinks up
flashes. Kisses of light through the leaves of the trees where
two birds are billing. A sweater lies dead
across the chain near the left headboard, that’s wrong, near the white sheet,
that’s right. You hear the birds sing, Diran.
You know that I’ve forgotten you. Hunters carry rifles
and stand up. Winter’s coming. The rails will ice over.
And those complaining now in their dreams – even sheep
trampled them – dissolve with a wave of the hand.
©Tomaz Salamun, from his collection, ‘The Blue Tower’,
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, USA, 2011)
Translated from the Slovenian by the author and Michael Biggins