Tomaž Šalamun

Black Sun Black Sun

Inferno happened when Dante explained to us how he functions sexually. Before then, it did not exist. And Petrarch. Who like a green dog on four wet, dark-green legs sniffs Vaucluse and touches his clothes. He thinks about the books his father burnt, not about Laura. It has to do with the race. Who is faster. God with his sand or we with our tongue. Sand is the tongue of fire. Tongue is the fire of sand. Fire is the sand of God. I'm falling. I fall like an oak doomed to die, and also women want to be more than metaphor. With their moist, round, soft skin, with their drunken scent of warm mushrooms they drive me insane. Walls of hell, why do you stagger. I miss the smell of burnt flesh. Nature makes me tired. It tires me so terribly that I sink in a cave. Stars move apart. I am the Sun. With no air. Fake fire falls upon the children's black hair, advancing into their hearts so they burst like buckles. Their mouths yawn open as if they were mummies. They rave in benediction, they gargle my name as I get dressed. When I adjust my collar in front of him--the mirror-- everything is already late. (Translated from the Slovenian by Peter Richards and Ana Jelnikar)

Jan 14, 2009 / Books & the Arts / Tomaž Šalamun