Late Spring

 

is the most important. Everything else is just an excuse for it.

E.g. weather in medium shot that you take extremely

seriously. Cloud above German city, white, covering

the blue, dispersing into formlessness, gossamer

and dissipating like ancient knowledge. Winter is depressing,

I was lonely, more than usual, a popular sensation

attacked me, amid all these sinners,

beneath the gray lid, you can’t imagine all that now.

No, it’s all just an excuse: food, sex, drink, power,

job. It took me ages to recompose this cloud

floating in my head—partly cloudy,

white, dissipating, and—                  —almost mute.

Maybe you’re pregnant. Or I am. I don’t have any power,

just form. Whatever happens, you have the word.

 

 

—Translated from the Slovene by Joshua Beckman and Ana Pepelnik

 

_____

Joshua Beckman is the author of nine books, including The Inside of an Apple (2013), Take It (2009), Shake (2006), Your Time Has Come (2004), and two collaborations with Matthew RohrerAdventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty (2003), and Nice Hat. Thanks. (2002). He is an editor at Wave Books and has translated numerous works of poetry and prose, including Micrograms by Jorge Carrera Andrade (Wave Books, 2009), and Poker by Tomaž Šalamun (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2008)—the latter a finalist for the PEN America Poetry in Translation Award. Most recently, he has co-edited Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners (Wave Books, 2015).

Ana Pepelnik, poet and translator, was born 1979 in Ljubljana. Her first book of poetry Ena od variant kako ravnati s skrivnostjo (One Way to Treat a Secret) was published in 2007 and nominated for the Slovenian Book Fair First Book Award. Her other books include Pod vtisom (LUD Šerpa, 2015), Cela večnost (2013), and Utrip oranžnih luči na semaforjih (2009). She has translated into Slovene numerous American poets including Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, James M. Schuyler, James Tate, Matthew Zapruder, and Joshua Beckman.

Primož Čučnik, poet and translator, was born in Ljubljana in 1971. His first collection of poetry, Dve Zimi (Two Winters), was published in 1999 and received the Slovenian Book Fair First Book Award. His other books include Trilogija (LUD Literatura, 2015), Mikado (Študentska založba, 2012), Kot dar (2010), Delo in dom (2007), Nova okna (2005), and a collaboration with Gregor Podlogar and Žiga Kariž, Oda na manhatnski aveniji (2004). Čučnik translates contemporary Polish and American poetry, works as an editor of the magazine Literatura, and runs the small press Šerpa.