Gay Bar

Tomaž Šalamun
Translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry

A black vulture crushes my bones.A white vulture in a photograph. Houses open their mouths, swallowflowers. Lightning doesn't choose. I brushedthe spruces by hand. A car has a tire, a farmhanda whip, trash cans are falling. We havetwo natures. The vulture circles the belfryat Ptujska Gora. Gingerbread hearts, redblood, something awaits! Dawn bangs intothe bricks of Brooklyn. I'm still asleepin silvery milk. When the wind strokes the grass,I'll be in front of the house. Crickets will burn the air.The sound will be like in the hall wherethere's plush lining in Christ's tomb.

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Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun (1941-2014) published more than 50 books of poetry. His most recent books in English are Andes (Black Ocean, 2016) and Druids (Black Ocean, 2019). His many honors include the Prešeren Prize, the Jenko Prize, the Poetry and People Prize, the Njegoš Prize, and the Europäsche Prize.

Brian Henry is the author of eleven books of poetry, most recently Permanent State (Ahsahta, 2019). His translation of Aleš Šteger’s The Book of Things (BOA, 2010) won the Best Translated Book Award. He also has translated Tomaž Šalamun’s Woods and Chalices (Harcourt, 2008) and Aleš Debeljak’s Smugglers (BOA, 2015).

July/August 2019

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Elizabeth Scanlon

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