The tightest poem

by Ana Pepelnik


The tightest poem

The shortest poem begins

today. In this moment

when the snow is falling for the third time this year.

This is 2013. February.

When sometimes you get scared by a fact.

First there was thunder.

Before that there was lightning. Once.

Just once. Then the earth

shook. And fear was born.

But it passed soon. Through the

open window I was hit by

life. Just as it is. The song of

birds the noise from distant roads

the melting sun. Snow. Stuff like that.

Let's not think about sadness.

But it wants to manifest itself

now. Meanwhile the snow stops. Night

falls. And we sleep. What used to be snow is

flowing down the gutters. Now it must be water.

The water cycle will come full circle. That is

circulation. Snow melted among leaves

turns suddenly into a puddle. A tiny

hollow in the middle of concrete filled with water.

Leaves dog fur and sand. And then

it rises. Above the clouds. It spins above

them you and me. It looks at the sun.

And then. Then it breaks through.

It falls again. It comes full circle.

It always comes full circle. If this

calms you depends on your

character. Wet or dry. Fat or slim.

Gentle or rough. Sensitive or rough.

All this above the poor puddle. Pointing at

where nature and man touch.

How much he takes and how much he gives. All this.

And yet I want to say something

else. About dreams. How it is when you

wake up and don't know what to do. Ok I

make a snowman in the middle of the city and

complete the first suggestion out of four.

For the second one I whistle the death march

every single time I cross the revolution

square (the silence of the trumpet carried

on a clear day to our street from the cemetery

by the western wind). The third one every time

I light my tobacco with a match and hear the

wood crackle in the flame. I hold my

breath and make my own silence for a human.

And the fourth. I am not afraid of people. I live

with them and I share. This city. I turn around in the line

with them at the grocery. And I watch them and

I want for them to breathe more easy.

In the meantime this became the tightest

poem. And the snow stopped and began again

twice. To fall.

I began my battle with the germs

and I fell. I cried and reasoned

that the world could change.

If we could all for a moment stop

believing that it spins. Around us.

Because it doesn't. But when you lie

all powerless and the ceiling once in a while

touches your forehead you really believe

in something else. That you are a bad person. That

you don't exist. That you're not there. And that hurts.

But yeah. People are bad. That is how you write

the tightest poem. Without an eraser or fur

or second thoughts. With the pen tongue

and the heart. Everyone is sick now and then.   

The only difference is in how much stuff

you use to overcome this unbearable

battle with yourself.

You are worse off if you fight only with

tea and lemons. You sleep less.

They say that to sleep is to forget. I sleep little

sometimes I even don't or I sleep badly. Too little. And so

it's hard to walk around this city. When I wait

seven hours a day for the doors

to a certain house at the outskirts to open

and for pure joy to rush inside and it shakes me

and ties me down. This happiness

unknowingly takes care that I don't

believe that the world is spinning.

Around me. I am spinning around it and

all over it. I have my good and my bad days.

And I make an effort. And I take care. Mostly

to not become a bad person. The snow hasn't been

falling for two days. On Tuesday night

the whole delegation of roadkeepers descended

on the streets of our city. Municipal services.

Infinite ploughs spades vans pickups

liquids salt and hands attacked

the silence. And the calm brought on

by falling snow. It was all disappearing

minute by minute. Street by street.

From a shadow between two streetlights

to the other. When nature is guided

by man. When it is blocked and destroyed

just a little bit more. All this shook me for

a bit. My silence. And calm.

My night walks. I wasn't there

anymore. I wasn't alone. Not even by sight.

Translated by Jasmin B. Frelih and Ana Pepelnik

najožja pesnitev

Najkrajša pesnitev se začne

danes. V tem trenutku

ko sneg pada že tretjič letos.

To je leto 2o13. Februar.

Ko včasih prestraši podatek.

Najprej je bilo grmenje.

Še prej se je zabliskalo. Enkrat.

Samo enkrat. Potem se je stresla

zemlja. In rodil se je strah.

Ampak minil je kmalu. Skozi

odprto okno je vame butnilo

življenje. Tako kot je. Ptičje

petje šumenje z oddaljenih cest

sonce ki topi. Sneg. Take stvari.

O žalosti bi raje kdaj drugič.

Ampak manifestirati se hoče

zdaj. Medtem se sneg ustavi. Pade

noč. In spimo. Po žlebih teče to kar je

bilo prej sneg. Torej je zdaj voda.

Vodni krog bo kmalu sklenjen. To je

kroženje. Sneg stopljen med listi

postane kar naenkrat luža. Mala

kotanja sredi asfalta zvrhana vode.

Listov pasjih dlak in peska. Potem

se dvigne. Nad oblake. Kroži nad

njimi vami in mano. Gleda sonce.

In potem. Potem se prebije čez.

Spet pade. Krog je sklenjen.

Krog je vedno sklenjen. Če to

pomiri je odvisno od tega kakšen

si. Moker ali suh. Debel ali suh.

Nežen ali grob. Občutljiv ali grob.

Vse to nad ubogo lužo. Ki nakazuje

kje se narava in človek dotakneta.

Koliko ji vzame in koliko da. Vse to.

Pa vendar hočem povedat nekaj

drugega. O sanjah. Kako je ko se

zbudiš in ne veš kaj naj. Recimo

naredim snežaka sredi mesta in s tem

izpolnim prvi predlog od štirih.

Drugega tako da res vsakič ko grem čez

trg revolucije zažvižgam pogrebno

pesem (tišino trobente ki jo na čisto

jasen dan z zahodnim vetrom na ulico

prinese z Žal). Tretjega vsakič ko si tobak

prižgem z vžigalico in slišim

kako les poklja sredi plamena. Zadržim

sapo in ustvarim svojo tišino za človeka.

In četrtega. Ne bojim se ljudi. Ker z njimi

prebivam in delim. To mesto. V vrsti

med njimi v trgovini se obračam. In jih

opazujem in hočem da bi lažje dihali.

Vmes je to postala najožja

pesnitev. In dvakrat je sneg

nehal in spet začel. Padat.

Začela sem boj z bacili

in padla. Jokala in ugotavljala

da bi se svet lahko spremenil.

Če bi vsaj za trenutek nehali

verjet v to da se vrti. Okrog nas.

Ker ni tako. Ampak ko ves brez

moči ležiš in se ti strop vsake toliko

dotakne čela res verjameš čisto

nekaj drugega. To da si slab. Da ne

obstajaš. Da te ni. In to boli.

Ampak ja. Ljudje so slabi. Tako se

piše najožja pesnitev. Brez radirke dlak

in pomislekov. S svinčnikom jezikom

in srcem. Vsak je kdaj bolan.

Razlika je le v tem koliko

sredstev uporabi da prebrodi

to neznosno bitko s samim sabo.

Na slabšem si če se boriš samo

s čajem in limono. Manj spiš.

Spanje je baje pozaba. Spim malo

včasih nič ali slabo. Premalo. Zato

težko hodim po tem mestu. Ko vsaj

sedem ur na dan čakam da se odprejo

vrata neke hiše na obrobju in noter

vdre čista sreča ki me strese

in priveže. To je taka sreča

ki ne da bi vedela skrbi

za to da ne verjamem da se svet vrti. 

Okoli mene. Jaz krožim okoli in po

njem. Imam dobre in slabe dneve.

In se trudim. In skrbim. Predvsem

za to da ne bi bila slab človek. Sneg

že dva dni ne pada. V torek ponoči

je bila na ulicah našega mesta cela

delegacija službe za vzdrževanje

cest. Komunala. Nešteto

plugov lopat kombijev prikolic

tekočin soli in rok se je spopadlo

s tišino. In mirom ki ju dela sneg

ko pada. Vse to je izginjalo iz

minute v minute. Iz ulice v ulico.

Iz ene sence med dvema uličnima

svetilkama v drugo. Ko naravo

usmeri človek. Jo zabremza in še

malo bolj uniči. Vse to me je malo

streslo. Mojo tišino. In mir.

Moje nočne pohode. V njih nisem

bila več. Sama. Niti na videz.