sidebrow

I want a verse as taut as bamboo

I want a verse as taut as bamboo


buffalos’ anathema, Satan’s hard planks


snails’ anathema, flabbiness of those succumbed in wars


worms! I want a carpet of hunger to heaven’s gates



I want fanfare, splendor, genuflection


the service of the priests, blind churning of the crowds


I, the king, want blessing for the slaughter


from Your Hands O Lord, a pillar for the abyss



I want a scepter, a gift for black lips


dry crackling pretzels, silk of Lilliput


I smell mattresses on rusty hooks


brushwood in my arms, I smell wounds in shrieks



bread anathema, lodged wheat of the dead lineage


ants drowned in bogs, punctured moths


travelers & sailors, juniper, holy sites


I crush the gravel in souls, I drink glory




— Translated from the Slovenian by Michael Thomas Taren and the author