Tomaž Šalamun – 5 poems




As if I’d wrench my foot on tatami.
Unnecessary. Scaled off.     

Deranged by DDT.
Undrunk to the bottom of the bottle

with bodies looking like old she-lumberjacks,
that’s it. As if my face would melt because of soap. 

To look in the dark.
To look in the eyes.

Let’s go to the depot.
The depot has the air conditioning.

In the building with the codes, with the lights.
In the wood.

With shiny little beasts
jumping from the knot to knot. 




The tranquil fellow with the round               
red head walks by.

I stood in the lobby with a lump
of grapes like a sculpture.

I wore a dry skirt. Windows
whistled. I made

a round head to the heap of the
bull. The storm is for

ironing. To the hut, hungry
bumblebee! The curate

stood in the shoes. We whelped
the girl. Barkovlje flashed.

The tranquil fellow with the round
red head walks by.



The Freckled White Doe Enjoys and Languishes

There are two bones.  Made of nitrite lacquer.
Made of ruined trees of sea and 

sacredness. The foam buzzes. The flour
expands. The storm husbands the land

with firm limbs. With firm limbs. The planer.             
Speckled. Carved. The granite.

Caramelized. Always jump! Always jump
when you see the drawbridge on

the sweetened mind. It’s you I comb.  You have
mildew in your cave. The dial turns

propelled by sea? By sunlight? To pluck
the limbs. To pour on the bride. To

think the snakes. To think the snakes. To think
a gray roll of paper with hills and cedars.




Historical brutality,                                    
you’re a poppy.
With black scepter, with silky
I see it all: a large plain in the
dew and castle wedding
Blow me, then, the mob,
I let open leaves.
Drink me like wine,
say mooooo.            



Percy Shelley

A brood has legs and footprints. 
Knees, calves, legs and footprints.            

What do you want, the man made            
of straw? An Ottoman on a

sofa bed, a cutie piggy? You’re easy to       
brush. Mountains, mountains

are in flames. I kissed the
train and every

trout born with three
eyes, is a gift of

God. Directors themselves
lifted mortar with

pulleys. They’re
lovable and giftable.



All poems were translated from the Slovenian by Michael Thomas Taren and the author.



Tomaž Šalamun lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He taught Spring semester 2011 at Michener Center for Writers at The University of Texas. His recent books translated into English are The Blue Tower (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011) and On the Tracks of Wild Game. (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012). His Soy realidad translated by Michael Thomas Taren is due by Dalkey Archive Press in 2014.


Michael Thomas Taren is the first female Japanese astronaut. His chapbook “Eunuchs” is forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse. He has edited and co-translated two books of Tomaž Šalamun, Soy Realidad (Dalkey Archive) and Justice (forthcoming, Black Ocean). 


At the edge of a great snowfield Louie Otesanek grew different shapes and shades. His palms are wide and dark and mingled with the highest sky. See more of his work here.



About gobbet

gobbet is a literary magazine dedicated to publishing the very best experimental poetry and prose. Intellectual perversity and explorations of dark themes are positively encouraged. We are only interested in work that is progressively experimental. We want to see risks, and we want to see them pay. No previously published work. Prose should not be longer than 1000 words. There are always exceptions. Send 3-5 poems. Include a short bio. Send submissions to Work will be published every 5-10 days. We also intend to publish anthologies of selected work published in gobbet. We will do our best to reply promptly. Most submissions will receive a decision within a month.
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