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I’m Dreaming, Stroking Memories

sanjam, gladim spomine
by Tone Škrjanec
Translated from Serbian by
Ana Pepelnik & Matthew Rohrer
Issue 29 Online Exclusive

da, sanjam. razumljivo. vendar moje sanje so drugačne. enkrat vem, sem
iz hladne kamnite ulice stopil naravnost na sonce in se prebudil. tudi skozi
okna gledam. kako forzicija, kako ta rumeni grm steguje svoje cvetoče
roke in prste k strehi garaže in k češnji, ki še razmišljati ni začela o tem, da
bi si na veje nataknila zelene tačke. tudi zamišljeno vlečem dim cigarete in
opazujem kako dan postaja vse manj svetel in vse bolj tih. gladim spomine
po hrbtu kot mačko. enkrat v smeri dlak, pa spet ne.

yes, i dream. of course. but my dreams are different. once, i remember, i walked from a cool stony lane straight into the sun and woke up. i look through the windows too. how forsythia, this yellow bush, is stretching its blooming arms and fingers out towards the garage roof and towards the cherry tree which hasn’t even started considering sticking green paws on its branches yet. i’m also inhaling the smoke of a cigarette thoughtfully and watching the day becoming less and less bright, and increasingly quiet. i’m stroking memories on their backs like a cat. sometimes in the direction of their fur, sometimes not.

Tone Škrjanec, the noted poet and translator, was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia in 1953 and is widely regarded as belonging to the literary vanguard of his generation. He graduated in Sociology from the University of Ljubljana, had a short career as a teacher, and worked as a journalist for ten years. Since 1990 he has been a program coordinator at the Cultural Centre KUD France Prešeren in Ljubljana.
Ana Pepelnik is a poet and translator who was born in Slovenia in 1979. She has translated many American poets into Slovene, including Elizabeth Bishop, James Schuyler, and Noelle Kocot.
Matthew Rohrer is the author of nine books of poems, most recently THE OTHERS, which won the 2017 Believer Book Award. He has co-translated poems by Tomaž Šalamun (with the author), Virgil Banescu (with the author), and Volker Braun (with his mother).