Dissipated and forgotten

Arise from the dead, concubine of Satan,
shattered into particles in space.
Your eyes sparkle childlike, an enrapturing smile.
And a reproach that is prepared
to trample somebody blissfully. With a whiff of sin.
Just to sink the lips into those roundnesses
and with the tip of the tongue, albeit resisting,
to touch the heels at their foot, but...

Apart from an old photograph
you left behind a whirl of coloured leaves,
in which sins were blown away,
and the more you fade on the paper,
the more the wind becomes wind.


Casting down the nests

We will gain what is later.

Scattering of ash by the wind.

Cloudless and dead calm:
in the evening they found dried-out flowers
below the crosses all turned back-to-front.

Birds sprinkle themselves with seed.

Don't search for me in the wind,
when you cry,
by disappearing I will appear in you.


Far away from morning and evening

The willow bends its wands to the fishpool
and doesn't drink its fill from you either.
That's what it's like with us somehow,
As we drink in ground-water with our veins.

Experiences make their way to the bottom
and petrify into something unknown,
into out-of-the-way ideas
(they toss about a little in the mud)
somewhat like the wrecks of ships.

Whoever goes out in the evening
walking on three legs along the shore
will remain standing stonelike.


Over an unknown grave

A cemetery so draws the eyes
that it causes blindness.
It calms with crosses
and blissfully plunges the mind
into absolute and soft
black velvet.

(As if intending to pass on
the fatigue of the dead
and enfold me with their sleep.)

Hearing is not yet on the wane.
The grave, from where I can hear myself.

What has become of the trance of the crowd,
the racy music and the debauchery,
which so enthused you as you laughed?
(Dancing is the Reaper's love ritual,
linking the first with the last,
mixing pleasure with pain.)
Today you sleep with no comforting touches.

And all that has happened remains together with you
on the tongue of a single lover.

You knew of her intention long before.
When you gave yourself up fatally to the dance,
as if to the last love-making with a woman
beneath whose very eyes you were dying.


The golden statue

She reels across the face of the universe.
From her chest poke bleeding bodies.
Down her cheeks pour tears.

The charred darkness dazes the sun,
and witnesses of the eclipse will tumble
into brackish floods after their heads crack.

Her headless shadow, the shadow of a smashed face,
will reach down to the wet feet
of drunken eternity. To the fiery altar.
In yet another cold temple
instead of the doves
she will once again be feeding the rats.


The journey is its own end?

To close the leaden eyelids
and not to open them again.

Something which broke within you
cuts and cuts. And with such fatigue
that you won't fall asleep for eternity.

We are looking, we are always looking for something
and all the while there's no finding it.

That sleepless night in which you wander
through the valley of mislaid stars,
has impressed memories into your eyelids.

So vivid that you are desperately sorry
that at the same time
they were not played out in a film by anybody
who created it together with you.

Never mind that this is a story
of the greatest ever grief,
of our loss of God,
of one troubled journey
on which we got used to pain.

Just a self-repeating story
of birth, life and death.
And the journey appears to end within itself
when the destination is changed by searching.


Bird's-eye view

Death is heaven
all the more gentle for its bitterness,
all the paler for its colour,
all the more insensitive for its scar,
all the more fragrant for the smoke from the realm of shadows,
silence lightened by noise.

Waiting, devoid of senses.
A darksome foreign woman in a cape,
visiting here unannounced.
She borrows a body and gives us wings,
when the weird moment changes
into an arduously whispered amen.

Clouds close over us
with no response from the other kingdom.
Even dust has crumbled back to its own beginning.

The body becomes red hot from wounds in the heart,
and from bones to skin it pours over us like lava
and makes a casting of the figure that was in the head.

Like dogs we stalk criminals,
following the tracks we ourselves have left.

In the smoke that we are turning into,
a screech-owl hoots piercingly,
and our birdlike torso plunges
into the volcanic crater.


Much too audible vision

When you look into the mirror,
in his eyes you spot the abrupt attack of a tenor
squealing away for all doomed souls,
accompanied by the metal riffs of guitars
strummed orientally with a church organ
and a spinet burning also for the witch
at the stake. You say no, but with your look
you whisper tears of the modern history of the Middle Ages.

Rabid fury continues unabated.
So completely engulfing
as the face on the cross disappears
that I am not the only one becoming lost in myself.


Between straggling and snuggling

One day a fog will come, the impression of birth
with our own spurting image,
someone bewildered by his hand in a glass eye.
A lady in black, in a hat with a veil.

With nirvana, once our bodies' rage has died,
comes true faith. With coins on the eyes.
There the noble lady throws you a white rose.

And so let us trance into unconsciousness,
because this funereal gesture,
when pleasure surely blends into dying,
will make everything at the concert shed a tear.


Translated from the Slovak by Andrew Billingham