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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 29 | volume V | November-December, 2002



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 29November-December, 2002
Poetry

The Scent of Tea

Translated by: Ana Jelnikar


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p. 1
Primož Čučnik

The Scent of Tea
Hearts
To Edvard Kocbek

_______________________________________________________________________

The Scent of Tea

My friend is an existentialist. He collects china
and Japanese teapots. You get the best cup of tea at his place.
Steeped to perfection. It may not be a true ceremony
but in our drinking, when we sit around the table,
there is definitely something aesthetic. I like the scene
when we keep silent and sip the scent of tea.
All of us are existentialists. First we laugh, only then
do we say a good joke. The two of us also read Šalamun.
Once we spent the whole summer saying: Jonah are you
a fish? I am a fish. Then we were all on the island Hvar.
I have yet another friend who is a Buddhist. We were standing
on the border between philosophy and theology. We said: ouch, it’s
sharp. You can cut yourself here. Perhaps he will read the Tibetan secret
tantras and then we can all have a laugh together on Shoemakers’ Bridge.
Another time we joked about nothingness, how horribly cold it is
for our homes. He said: I am sated with wisdom. From now on
I shall take only with a teaspoon. It will lead us all astray.
Branko sent me a sacred cow from Nepal.
He should’ve come back by now, but he is a wanderer.
Two of my friends are musicians. One writes to me from the North
though he carries an Eastern name. Lao Zi is a legend.
The other is a bass player. He may speak to Peacock one day.
On Tales of Another footprints are white. Jarrett is talking to
angels. Spirits too, if you will. When we discuss music we never
know where it comes from and where it goes. But for sure it is not in the
notes. This much we agree on. And I know from personal experience.
Another friend of mine works in printing. The two of us ride bicycles together.
Sometimes we don’t speak at all. Perhaps he doesn’t know when I am decent.
That I uncover myself when I am hot. Because I was afraid that he’d fall
I gave him The Climbing Skills. A book from 1950.

Let’s all go to Medvode once for some tea to say a thing or two
about our destiny. Something fine binds us. Grom said
a good piece is like a stick of gum that stretches and spreads
to all sides but doesn’t snap. It seems to be the same with us.
We are swinging on rubber, careful not to be too rough.
When it is hot we wait for it to cool. We blow too,
and our wind makes ripples on the edges of china.
Something fine binds us. The important thing is that it bursts
but doesn’t snap.


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