The impending birthday makes the poem below even more real.
When I don’t blog, hop around, eat chocolate or annoy the dog, I translate. I have just translated several poems by my Slovenian poet friend who last summer wrote a lovely poem after we spent a day together with our packs at Lake Bled. The translated poem and post about it are here. He writes in Slovenian, I put it into English. A while ago he published his first book of poems in my translation in the USA.
Here is a new one, about the times that are irreversibly gone. The city in the poem and on the photos is Ljubljana where we both grew up, with two years between us. Which means he will be 50 sooner. 😀
Middle Age, by Aleš Mustar
Translated by Manja Maksimovič
Never again smuggling jeans and bubble gum
nor feeling joy upon seeing the grey city light up for New Year’s
milk in plastic bags
black and white cartoons on TV
phone calls from public phone booths
people saying hello in waiting rooms.
No more parties on the shore with the guitar and saccharine songs
tokens for city bus
queues in front of kiosks with fries
mixed goods shops.
No more friendly innkeepers
who let you run a tab
no more giro accounts
and excuses that the bank was closed.
Only heaps of plastic
and the world like the screen of a smart phone
that has been turned off.
Aleš Mustar: Srednja leta
Nikoli več tihotapljenja kavbojk in žvečilnih gumijev,
občutka radosti ob novoletni okrasitvi sivega mesta,
mleka v vrečkah,
telefonskih pogovorov v javnih govorilnicah,
pozdravljanja v čakalnicah.
Nič več zabav ob obali s kitaro in osladnimi pesmimi,
žetonov za mestni avtobus,
vrst pred kioski z ocvrtim krompirčkom,
trgovin z mešanim blagom.
Nič več prijaznih gostilničark,
ki dajejo zapitek na up,
nič več žiro računov in
izgovorov, da so banko zaprli.
Samo veliko plastike
in svet kot ugasnjen ekran
Photo: © signature mmm