The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Marjan Strojan

Paysage maritime


A town; this side of it – a cemetery. Stones,

bougainvillea everywhere; no streets, only

bare rooftops setting their colors against

each other. Up on the knolls, lush with mist,

the felt presence of an abyss, running down

into a toy-like cove. Look at the sea – what

has remained of it? A scar on the horizon

into which open two glass wings of a door,

           each into its own interior.



Marjan Strojan

Happy News from Home


The phone we buried is still working.

Ferns grow where they wouldn't.

Brambles push where they didn't.

Snails climb the window-panes to

the sun. Our relations who survived

the terrorist attack in their general

vicinity dropped by. We had chicken

with mushrooms; I’d been lucky 

to find some. There's also development

in the construction business.

The rundown heaven was finally

cleared away, the newly built one

now reaches almost to the ground.

Everybody talks about it. Some

lodge complaints, others laugh,

still others  try to get to the lifts

which as yet have not been installed...

I fly; write some; the earth rings.



Marjan Strojan

A Ticket


It’s after dinner. A red light in the last

carriage sways to the beat of the worn out

tracks. In the diner, they start a film. I watch

with one eye only, anxious lest nobody has got

me a ticket. The film shows random things,

singing, celebrations, airplane models. There’s

even more of white stockings, short braids,

outdoor holidays. Conversely, the scenes of


drowned dogs and children’s diseases seem real:

people wait to see themselves, their parents, their

houses, their school-mates. Others, however,

are getting up, the invalid tries out his accordion,

a nutcase threatens to pull the brake; another

shouts that crime pays. I’m about to ask

my father something when the moon enters

          and everyone is showing it tickets.




MARJAN STROJAN (1949) was brought up on a small farm in Slovenia. He studied philosophy and comparative literature and worked in several professions including those of the luggage carrier and a load-sheet-man at the local airport, a film critic in Ljubljana and a journalist in London. He published nine volumes of poetry and translations of Beowulf, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Milton’s Paradise Lost, Shakespeare’s Songs from Plays etc.



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