Contributor Notes

Tomaz Salamun

Tomaž Šalamun

Translated by Michael Thomas Taren and the author.





The Castle


It roars, it howls, it whispers.

It pulls out, aching.

I do not hear, the light is thawing.

I see how I’m eaten away, I


swim. I belt myself and dive

into your sky, our Oneness.

You are the sheet, the lava,

the azure prince of my black crust.


Ear, ear, the stag’s ear!

I eat you out of Brandenburg.

I lift you from the continent

with your nostrils, breathing in


terrible food. Do I

pledge you with my hand?

Fresh stain, a gift of an already

oversewn head, from


inside out one hears my

horn: crystal horses,

soft black bottles,

all castle is kneeling.






The Ointment


Maybe the ointment



maybe the virgin's

wheel was


combed. My brother

fell into bestiary,


the gutter became



The bellringer rang      

the bell, hail fell


on porcelain. Inspectors

came in the helicopter,


they tore down church St. Primus –

on - the - Lake.






The Snake Does Not Have Paws and the Goods are Not for Free  


They chopped my skull.         

They chopped my jaw.

They sewed in moist yellow traits,

they capsized my boat. Now I

croutch on small breasts and turn             

the handle. Monica Vitti is suing her

husband. Out of thought - as if out of

a wedge that holds a mountain hut - she

creeps and boils. They rasp the green

snake. Would Vitruvius include her in his

ground plan? Would he heat her paws?

I heat her paws.

They split my skull.

They split my jaw.






The Wheel                                


O, like a little puppy I slept on the floor,

washed myself in the window.

I didn’t trust your honeyed heart.                     

We ate breakfast when you

smelled like the Urmother of hours,

mortally dangerous to me.                                   

I tied you up.                               

You forbade me to steal horses.

They’ll come by themselves!

They’ll come by themselves!

And I smacked my lips.


Only you are here

to burn you and forget you,

my property.

Collapsing wet brown houses,

how should I get up.        

How should I drink your gulps

in this thick, poisoned

sea air.

You by yourself broke your eyes and

pulled out your   

scent with your rattle, your   

banal black moan.

You give a damn what happens to me.






White People


I traveled to Alaska with my

mum. We ate pizza


each of us in his or her cabin. Polar

bears were sitting on the cliffs,


they couldn’t reach us. The path

to Alaska is long. Less


interesting than generally thought.    

Ron, who was also fishing


in Alaska, showed me

how you throw


a black man into the sea, so he

perishes and dies. If


anywhere, there’s still a place

for white people.