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CAUGHT IN THE NET 106 -  POETRY  BY
PAVOL JANICK    (translated into English by James Sutherland-Smith)

Series Editor - Jim Bennett for The Poetry Kit - www.poetrykit.org
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Submissions for this series of Featured poets is open, please see instruction in afterword at the foot of this mail.
 

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.

Descend deeper with me,

dream from the back,

dream retrospectively

in a labyrinth of mirrors

which leads nowhere.

 

The moment you come to the beginning of nothing

youíll dream an exciting dream.

 

                 from; A Dictionary of Foreign Dreams by Pavol Janick

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CONTENTS

1 - BIOGRAPHY
2 Ė POETRY
 

 

NIGHT BUS

SUMMER

          AN EMERGENCY LANDING IN YOUR HAIR

A BIG CLEAR OUT

FAMILY STILL LIFE

A DICTIONARY OF FOREIGN DREAMS

YOU CAN TELL AN ANGEL FROM HIS FEATHERS

SOMEONE LIKE A GOD

KOSOVO

          NEW YORK

3 - AFTERWORD
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1 Ė BIOGRAPHY:  Pavol Janick

 

Mgr. art. Pavol Janik, PhD., was born in 1956 in Bratislava, where he also studied film and television dramaturgy and scriptwriting at the Drama Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (VSMU). He has worked at the Ministry of Culture (1983-87), in the media and in advertising. President of the Slovak Writers' Society (2003-07), Secretary-General of the SWS (1998-2003, 2007 - ) and Editor-in-chief of the literary weekly of the SWS Literarny tyzdennik (2010 - ). He has received a number of awards for his literary and advertising work both in his own country and abroad.

 

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2 - POETRY 

 

 

NIGHT BUS

 

 

I admire the smiles

of the wax figures

and the drunks.

 

Their faith.

Their humility.

Their precision.

Their infallible wisdom

determined by the office of normalization.

 

I admire

their wallpapered souls

full of light and brocade.

Their responsibility and legality

surpassing

the price of taxis and wine.

 

Iím terrified by the indifference

with which they listen

to the heavy breathing of the last trolley buses.

 

 

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SUMMER

 

 

The sun smashes our windows.

An urgent song reaches us from the street.

 

On the cellophane sky

steam condenses.

Unconfirmed reports are reproduced

about the wind.

 

The trees are the first to begin to talk

about the two of us.

 

 

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AN EMERGENCY LANDING IN YOUR HAIR

 

 

Planes got it into their heads

that they were better than ships,

but pride comes before a fall.

 

The sadness of victory

is unbearable.

 

In the darkness of your hair

glitter the tiny wrecks

of airships

and to the bottom of your eyes

sink sparkling mysteries.

 

Speechlessly

- like the smile on your lips

Iím awaiting my opportunity.

 
_____________________________

 

A BIG CLEAR OUT

 

 

Towels are the things

which will survive us.

 

Shirts will remind us.

 

Suits and coats

will remain after us.

 

So many things,

to which will be added

just the dust

into which we change.

 

 

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FAMILY STILL LIFE

 

 

I say in vain

to my wife

that she canít nag

genius.

So Iíve recorded this

in written form

for future generations

as advice for death and life, too.

 

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A DICTIONARY OF FOREIGN DREAMS

 

 

At the beginning it was like a dream.

She said,

ďHave at least one dream with me.

Youíll see Ė itíll be a dream

which youíve never dreamt about before.Ē

 

Descend deeper with me,

dream from the back,

dream retrospectively

in a labyrinth of mirrors

which leads nowhere.

 

The moment you come to the beginning of nothing

youíll dream an exciting dream.

 

Frame it

and hang it in your bedroom.

 

So it will always be before your eyes

because a dream which is removed from the eye

is removed from the mind

in the sense

of the ancient laws

of human forgetfulness.

 

Dream your own.

 

Dream your dream

which is reflected on the surface

of a frozen lake.

A dream smooth and freezing:

 

Grieving keys,

a downcast forest,

curved glass.

The tributes of mirrors.

 

The rising of the moon

in a dream of water.

 

Recoil from the bottom

of the mirrorís dream.

 

In the gallery of dreams

then youíll see

a live broadcast from childhood

fragments of long-forgotten stories.

 

Because our obsolete dreams

remain with us.

 

Donít be in a hurry, dream slowly, completely

until you see the crystalline construction

of your soul

in which dreams glitter.

- intentionally and comprehensibly like flame.

 

Perhaps youíve already noticed

that new dreams always decrease.

They wane.

 

Soon weíll light up

in the magical dusk

of the last dream

the despairing cry

of a starry night.

 

Pay a toll to the dreamís

deliverance from sense.

 

You repeat aloud

the intimacies of secret dreams,

with the dull gleam

of your persistent night eyes

you explicate a mysterious speech of darkness.

 

You dream, therefore you exist!

 

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YOU CAN TELL AN ANGEL FROM HIS FEATHERS

 

(For my parents who are not yet - departed-)

 

 

In my innermost display cases

all my glassy memories tremble.

 

At the end of silence to hear last yearís rain

how it dictates whispering

its incomprehensible telegram

A pack of sad angels

howl in the light of the moon

 

The river falls from weariness,

the mortal spirit of water

in it falls with ease

to the bottom

 

I feel mercury in my veins

after the explosion of blood

- itís in my guts

supersonic angels

rise from the dead.

 

Their deafening engines

start up in my head.

 

When they take off

the deepest silence begins

in which perhaps Iíll hear

distant pearls

how they pour on the parquets.

 

A morning confession of frozen tears

freezes me

in my yet more Autumn eyes.

 

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SOMEONE LIKE A GOD

 

 

I,

You,

He

And someone else Ö

 

- the fourth like a dimension,

the fifth a season in the year,

the sixth like a sense,

the seventh like a continent.

 

The eighth like a day of the week,

The ninth like a point of an octagon,

The tenth like Beethovenís Ninth Symphony,

The eleventh like a commandment,

 

The twelfth like a football player,

The thirteenth like an apostle,

The fourteenth like Friday the Thirteenth,

The fifteenth like Louis Quattorze,

The sixteenth like the fifteen,

The seventeenth like a sixteenth,

The eighteenth like the seventeenth century,

 

The twenty-second like an eye,

The thirty first like a thirty percent fall in bonds,

 

The thirty third like a tooth,

The thirty fourth like Christís year,

 

- the unending like a god

and so just sexless,

 

the powerless

like one who makes love,

 

painless and therefore senseless,

 

unrivalled like a god

in the world who has no other gods,

ungodly like a god

who has neither a god beside him

or over him,

 

bottomless like a sky,

unrestrained like the wind,

boundless like thought,

immaterial like a ghost,

 

nameless bearer of an unknown name,

 

hopelessly faultless,

 

aimless like a perpetual runner,

 

childless like the father

of a crucified son,

 

unreasonable like death

and so just remorseless,

 

nationless like a god

of all people

and beings similar to them,

 

sightless and faceless,

legless, handless and wingless,

hairless and toothless,

 

safe as a harbour

for immortal wanderers,

 

without charge like a promise,

 

unparalleled in perfection,

derived in its own home,

unmediated like touch,

helpless like a deed,

dreamless like a night,

careless like a bird,

 

inconsolable like truth,

ungoverned as the oldest citizen in the world,

 

implicit as love,

without consequence like justice,

 

a creature without colour,

taste

and smell.

 

He wanders in space as if without soul,

a creator without parents,

a being without dwelling place,

a vagabond without address,

 

from beyond memory without work,

from time immemorial without bread,

forever he proceeds without footprints,

 

always thinks without considering

and always the same,

 

he breeds without hesitation,

gives birth without reason,

regardless of anything or anyone,

 

kills without dispensation

- everything and everyone,

since the beginning of the age of ages,

 

he abandons us without regard

for race, religion or conviction,

 

he always triumphs without battle,

judges without mercy,

punishes continuously

and then weeps without sorrow

over the spilt motherís milk

of the immaculate virgin,

who bore him a son

so he could give him

deviously and thoroughly to be crucified

at the hands of his chosen people,

 

so he rules the world without check,

an uncriticised despot,

 

he acts unceasingly without rest

and knows everything without consciousness,

 

he prays to himself without words,

he accepts himself without reserve,

 

he grants himself adoration without consideration,

he is blessedly silent about himself,

 

so continuously decides without witnesses,

without rhyme or reason,

with no way out,

 

wholly without himself,

headless,

heelless,

heartless,

with not a drop of blood,

 

without anything.

 

Redeem him

while thereís time.

 

Perhaps his fate

awaits us, too Ė

cruel

towards all creatures

who have been surpassed by their own works.

 

 

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KOSOVO

 

(for JŠn Tuěinskż)

 

 

A burning

paper Goethe

prays

in Serb

for four hundred dead children

 

In Schillerís stone eye

gleams a tear of mercury

 

Thereís a Gypsy weeping

for a little Romany fairy

at the bottom of the Adriatic

 

Blood

has an irresistible color

of the bluish dusk of the sky

from which falls

light and glitterings

like a gust of May rain

to fertilize the wounded earth.

 

 

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NEW YORK

 

 

In a horizontal mirror

of the straightened bay

the points of an angular city

stabbing directly into the starry sky.

 

In the glittering sea of lamps

flirtatious flitting boats

tremble marvelously

on your agitated legs

swimming in the lower deck

of a brocade evening dress.

 

Suddenly we are missing persons

like needles in a labyrinth of tinfoil.

 

Some things we take personally Ė

stretch limousines,

moulting squirrels in central Park

and the metal body of dead freedom.

 

In New York most of all itís getting dark...

 

The glittering darkness lights up.

 

The thousand-armed luster of the mega city

writes Einsteinís message about the speed of light

every evening on the gleaming surface of the water.

And again before the dusk the silver screen

of the New York sky floods

with hectolitres of Hollywood blood.

 

Where does the empire of glass and marble reach?

Where do the slim rackets of the skyscrapers aim?

 

God buys a hot dog

at the bottom of a sixty-storey street.

 

God is a black

and loves the grey color of concrete.

 

His sun was born from himself

in a paper box

from the newest sort of slave.

 

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3 - Afterword

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