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Legs on the Signpost

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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)

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

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Legs on the Signpost

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  • 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 is the author of more than 40 collections of poetry in Slovenian and English. He published his first collection, Poker (1966), at the age of 25. His poetry, using elements of surrealism and polyphony, was influenced by the work of Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery, Charles Simic, and Charles Baudelaire. His collections of poetry in English include The Selected Poems of Tomaž Šalamun (Ecco Press, 1998); The Shepherd, the Hunter (Pedernal, 1992); The Four Questions of Melancholy (White Pine Press, 1997); Feast (Harcourt, 2000), Ballad for Metka Krasovec (Twisted Spoon Press, 2001, translated...

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