Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Tribute to Tomaž Šalamun—Issue 50, February 2015)

Mathias Svalina

I am trying to gather

my Tomaž Šalamun books.

He died today & I want

to reread everything.

But Tomaž Šalamun books

do not sit on shelves.

I take them on trips,

to read to the clouds & swamps,

to give to drunk friends & geologists,

to reach that final line one thousand times

before dawn plods in like a cone.

They are hard to find,

Tomaž Šalamun books.

They are my always lost home.

A spine peeks from a stack

but I find no Tomaž Šalamun book.

A memory of cover-art from a corner.

A memory of cupped hands.

Some have transformed

into animals with exotic names

like dog or deer or kiss or bread,

animals with curdling histories & marrow.

And some have transformed

into clumsy smoke

& sat atop my sleeping chest & waited

for night to last forever.

This entire pile

that inhabits my bed

is built of Tomaž Šalamun books.