Anja Golob – Cows and Time

Read three poems by Anja Golob, the Slovene writer and one of Literary Europe Live’s “New Voices from Europe”.

Posted by Luka Ostojic on 30 August 2016 Literary Europe Live, Literature Across Frontiers

 

Written by Anja Golob

Translated by Tadeja Spruk

Poems from the book Vesa v zgibi (Bent Hang, 2013.)

Photo by Jost Franko

 

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MORE

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It
All
Hangs
On
A
Thin
Hair
Of
Coincidence
|
It
Is
Necessity
That
Drives
Me
It
Is
Power
It
Is
Cowardice
|
Is
It
The
Concept
That
Forbids
Me
To
Desist
|
Pride
A
Sense
Of
Duty
A
Covenant
With
The
World
With
Myself
Is
It
Order
Dignity
The
Right
To
Be
|
To
Abide
To
Arise
Ceaselessly
To
Hearken
To
Persevere
With
The
Thing
In
Itself
Face
To
Face
|
It
All
Hangs
All
That
I
Know
That
I
Think
I
Have
What
I
Can
What
I
Give
It
All
Hangs
My
Tiny
Insignificant
World
Which
Is
Not
Even
Mine
In
Its
Entirety
Hangs
|
It
Sways
Not
Pulsates
Not
Nor
Twitches
It
Is
What
It
Is
What
It
Hangs
|
And
The
Concept
And
Affection
And
Attribute
And
Accident
Apperception
Apprehension
Antinomies
Assonance
|
More
More
Slightly
More
For
This
Array
To
At
Least
Grow
Into
Itself
Into
Meaning
More
|
More
|
|
|
More
|

 

 

VEINS WIRES

I’ve had this dream: an animal has fingers.
It rests on its side, I observe it from the back,
Its head is bent forward as though it were
Timid, and it rocks back and forth in light rhythm.
With blank, mechanical motions
It rummages through the rupture, its fingers
Carefully sorting the tissue and looking for veins.
They pluck them one by one to make them easier to hold –
the veins are thin, but sturdy, like the wires inside of an electrical network –
and tear them strenuously, one after the other.
The animal works soundlessly, it’s almost immobile, slowly
And thoroughly it cuts the intake of pulsation to the heart
That’s closing whimperingly, like the veil of an animal’s pupil parts.
The space around it is emptied, drenched in a pool
Of the slithering blood it cannot and wants no longer to control.
The coat of its skin is stretched on the skeleton like a tent
Flaccid in the springtide breeze, in its front like scattered luggage the stranded organs
lie.
The animal gasps for air (the body is a machine), it listens,
Contracts, shrivels, extends its inflamed fingers,
And it freezes triumphantly.

 

COWS AND TIME

How serenely they lie in the cold of grass,
The animals, waiting for death! They leisurely look for
A shadowy spot and graze silently on time.
Unceasingly, they are here, when they are not,
Rumpled shadows grow in the place where they
Usually lie, breathing into the soil. They look at
Trains zipping by, and don’t understand
Why all the hurry. They don’t know what “hurry” is,
What counts in their eternity is grazing,
Grazing and water, water and grazing,
The sunset, the going home, the milking, stand still.
There comes a year when a birthday doesn’t
Arrive on time, and there’s Christmas in mid-September,
or perhaps at the end of May, or there isn’t one.
Cows stand, thinking of nothing, only the universe
Which resembles the foam in a bucket of milk,
They think of the man on the Moon, the droplets
Of clouds, hiding the belligerent ozone holes,
Which sometimes give them headaches,
And the trees have become important, and
Sometimes they err, in the most fleeting of fashions,
And come to celebrate your birthday
On the wrong day. You notice them, it’s an ordinary day,
You feign oblivion, well it’s not like you really
Have to be a year older again now, but then
They tell you that the shadows have tagged along,
That no one is there on the soil today,
That no one is breathing into it on the disrobed meadow,
that it’s an exception. Now you know, and, meanwhile,
Above you, a cow is landing on the Moon, a man on Mars,
so get ready, leave the fridge, it’s time to leave the candles,
Arrange the garment, grab a napkin,
Fold it into an aeroplane, quickly! Off we go,
The choir of animals counting down, 3…, 4…, now!
Happy birthday, take off, take into the summer,
Happy, happy birthday
To you.

New Voices from Europe

Anja Golob has been selected as one of the New Voices from Europe, ten of the most interesting writers working in Europe today. The New Voices from Europe selection is part of the Literary Europe Live project which is co-ordinated by Literature Across Frontiers and co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, with support from Arts Council Wales.