(art from wikimedia)
Nobody is attached
by Tomaž Šalamun
Nobody is attached. You too are not. You too
are undressed and warm, breathing like a
hare. We breathe slowly. I’m the thorn.
The thorn. I go into the goblet. I toss
the string. There’s a bucket on the string. It
splashes in the fountain. At the bottom of the fountain
there are does with big eyes. I limp, I eat kohlrabi,
point with a finger, and ask too much. Calm
yourself. It will come and vanish. You’ll be mute
and black and you will fall asleep on the shelf.
Combines will halve you. The shy ones
the rag opened the eyes to the timid ones.
No one loaded the duffle. The lamps along the path
were made of white plastic. I attack the ruse. I love.
I love this poem for its strange unconnectedness. Richard Hugo: “Connections are not stated, yet we know the statements are connected. They are connected because the same poet wrote all (of them). That is, they are products of one vision that, along with style, becomes the adhesive force. This adhesive force will be your way of writing. Assume the next thing belongs because you put it there.” From Hugo’s “Nuts and Bolts.”
I am almost mad when it ends up the lamps along the path are made of plastic. But then I see how it fits perfectly, waking us from the dream of the poem.
I’m not sure who translated this poem, but Šalamun translated his own work at least some of the time. I found this poem via the poet Gretchen Marquette, whose book May Day is fantastic. You should read it.
Happy New Year!