:: Article

Two Poems

By Aleš Šteger.


Not a day goes by when you don’t think
That a wall was put between you and the world.
Took your perspective. Banished you.

Not a morning goes by when you don’t swear
That today you will tear down this wall, and not an evening
When you don’t return torn down. Your revolt is meaningless.

There is no one who will grant you the security of an opposite.
Bricks are shifting alone, softly like hours.
They let you through, before the palm touched them.

Even though there is no other side, no other place.
You arrive nowhere and nothing holds you anywhere.
You are without a wall, where all this would end.

And your wall is nowhere no one never.



When someone dies, it is not day not night.
And no one present. Not here not there.
A small flicker above the gas stove.

Unimportant. And it does not live and did not die,
What you conceal with the palm.
It does not ask, does not give answers.

It is not on the side of good. It is not on the side of evil.
It does not know lies, not truth, not sense or nonsense.
It is not the future and not the past.

It is and at the same time is not. Is not that it is or was not you.
It will not be by itself or something else.
Not air not fire. Not light not flame.

Not abyss not hope. Not yes not no.
When someone dies, someone has not died yet.
He climbed down the wick inside himself.

You reach behind and extinguish him.


“Wall” & “Candle” from The Book of Things copyright 2010 by Aleš Šteger, BOA Editions, Ltd.


Aleš Šteger, born 1973 in Ptuj, Slovenia. He studied comparative literature and German language at the University of Ljubljana. He published five volumes of poetry, Šahovnice ur (Chessdesks of Hours, 1995), Kašmir (Kashmire, 1997), Protuberance (Protuberances, 2002) and Knjiga reči (The Book of Things, 2005), Knjiga teles (The Book of Bodies, 2010), a novel about Peru and César Vallejo Včasih je januar sredi poletja (January is Sometimes Midsummer, 1999), a book of short prose Berlin (2007) and a book of essays S prsti in peto (With Fingers and a Heel, 2009). He was one of the initiators of the international poetry festival Days of Poetry and Wine, held in Medana and Ptuj, Slovenia. His poetry collection The Book of Things was translated by Brian Henry and published by BOA Editions. (For more about the author see www.alessteger.com).

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Sunday, January 16th, 2011.