Primoě Cucnik

 

For your name

Come here, sit beside me. There's something
I want to ask you. Now that I have new windows
I can see more, more clearly. The neighbours are
already planting, earthing up seeds, here, between the houses,

I sometimes watch the garden. Now it has gotten
so bright! Lucky gardeners! And I can hear cars
gliding down the roads, at petrol stations it smells
of gasoline, where can I take you?

My ancestors were mysterious peasants.
How lovely it is in the country, went the song.
But even lovelier to drive in the city
or walk the sidewalks with headphones on

My yard, forest, how you've changed!
Now I play cassettes and with coins in my hand.
What should I put on, what music?
Now and then it's great to go for a drive

and get some fresh air. Look, the light passes through
the plastic sheeting! Generally and always with mixed feelings
we like that noise and these fissured buildings.
Now the garden, too, has blossomed.

What are we having for lunch?
Wait, I know. Soon now Ė some flowers.

 

Chords

                                   ŗ Reverdy

1.

Pick up castaway skates and glide
across frozen pavements.

Point-blank honed, cut into the surface
and let the legs with the skates be one.

Skate away quickly, alone, as though it were a race,
pay no attention to shouts: "Where is he skating?"

Itís good to skate this way, no bounds
under skates everything is allowed.

Youíre the lone skater down here, you see
neither marks nor shadows the skates cast.

You glide among the city lights,
you hold your balance,
you donít fall over backwards.

The skates leave a sharp trace of lines,
grooves in the shimmering surface under them.

So, take a dusty old pair and skate away
into a skidding substance, there youíll feel whole.

Skate by yourself and under you, ice will turn
to a quickened liquid.

Donít tell people about your skating.
Skate as though you werenít skating alone.


2.

Boy, where are you skating, in your anger
you have lost your bearings.

There is a universe attracting you
and your skates take leave of the ground.

Do dancers dance on their heads here
or do they simply fall
and are deep in their fast falling.

Tiny dots are planets and the skates
every so often slide off the curved surface.

Is this a dance of dancing or has the earth
danced for all time and your skating is only a wish.

If you move with such haste, can anyone ever
stop you, see you take off your skates.

You are a fine skater, your skating
the flight of a comet's shards through the cosmos.

Did you ever see a shooting star, catch sight
of lightning, suddenly, hear big banging.

Did your inner human voice burst or
close-lipped voice for the first time.

Ah, you tremble (gliding into the void),
the skates groan: regret nothing.


3.

Will you always skate alone.
Will your skating pay off.

Skater, the music blusters out of silence
stronger,
your heart keeps balance with the skates.

The giant shapes of cities want you melancholy,
but you can't stop to catch the open talk.

And you skate alone (as if someone was skating beside you),
in a crowd of skaters (and yet you skate alone).

How you change, you know what's under the sky,
how skilled your skates are!

Even the first skater wants to show you how to be
the fastest skater in the rink of the universe!

That you are not the only one,
that there are those more competitive,
but not everyone can be in the wonderful thicket of the void.

Are you following the sky, follow it, follow it,
there's always something momentous there.

Just don't tell people about your skating.
They wouldn't believe you kept your balance on your own.

Stop always saying what makes you happy.
You're not the only one with jagged skates.

Skate as if you were skating on your own.
Skate as if you were skating alone.


Translated by Ana Jelnikar & W. Martin

 

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