Šalamun Tomaž:
Torturing The Slave

Slave, will your breath halt?

Will the Slavs destroy the geography of their cabbage?

In the throat of a she-deer lies a lacquer globe

that my mother had eaten.

On it a picture of Jerusalem, on it only.

Did you make the grass grow?

Tie threads on bombshells?

Make gold out of fireclay?

My blotting paper lies in a crystal moor

and it is your fault, slave!

Just look at my optical gargantua.

Knives, like the bubbling water of occult races,

are uniting with the gauze on my finger.

What are you waiting for?

Why don’t you stop the weather just

like highlanders used to in olden times?

They cut down everything obstructing the wind,

snapped brambles and chopped them up.

Rolled oak trees down.

Timber-slides came later,

after gravitation had won.

You are crying, son, because of being soaked,

but your calendar is not in the spirit of the Maya.

Your hips seem to be stolen from

my mountains in Crete and when

barbarians will stamp on them with their boots

you’ll leave the revolving door

so white-hot from the solitude

of the she-deer, that stags will dash into

the forest, already smelling of other burned

stags, and sing the last pious accord of their


Translated by The Author