Legs on the Signpost

By Tomaž Šalamun 1941–2014 Tomaž Šalamun

Translated By Michael Thomas Taren and Tomaž Šalamun

The insane devotee throbs with his
small legs, I don’t dare more.

The insane devotee throbs with his
small legs, I cannot do more. Bricks are

yellow, made of polyvinyl, fattish. We
people die. Lemme aks you, no l’s no

r’s from the Japanese and Chinese,
only the white mushroom,

a cataract. Animals are prolific. You
come from the valley, from your

spine. From something more? From
the risen sun. To smoke oneself

on the roof. To change clothes and
dry one’s hair in water lily.

Source: Poetry (May 2014).


This poem originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2014
 Tomaž  Šalamun


Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun was one of Europe’s most prominent poets of his generation and was a leader of the Eastern European avant-garde. Early in his career he edited the literary magazine Perspektive and was briefly jailed on political charges. He studied art history at the University of Ljubljana, where he found poetry suddenly, as a revelation, describing its arrival in a 2004 interview as “stones from the sky.”

Šalamun . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Life Choices, The Body

POET’S REGION Eastern Europe

Poetic Terms Couplet

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