Aleš Debeljak: Manufacturing Dust

Manufacturing Dust

Does a little teardrop sting? Do your loins already ache? Do you
really know the pillar of salt which blooms from helplessness? In vain
you stare at the snow on the TV screen. The false prophet’s light
streams by in dazzling carnivals. Yet no one says a word.

The right to choose, you say, the ascetic order you create gliding
across the channels. In fact, the blinding terrors of childhood
rise from that hollow gourd no more. You waited too long
for the sign sought for generations. The depth of the wound

didn’t convince you. Only your pulsing blood reminds you that you live.
Everything else is the gift of hallucination, which leaves you unmoved:
minerals flowing in the Dinaric Alps, liver spots, mercy and the umbilical

cord. Your eyeballs quiver like a trembling poplar, and God’s messenger
doesn’t visit you. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. The whole thing
is beyond you. You just sense that grating covers the arrow slit.

Translated by Christopher Merrill

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