Poems by Pavol Janik

Poems by Pavol Janik
 
 
 
SOMEONE LIKE A GOD
 
I,
You,
He
and someone else…
 
– 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 Beethoven’s 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 Christ’s 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 mother’s 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 there’s time.
 
Perhaps his fate
awaits us, too –
cruel
towards all creatures
who have been surpassed by their own works.
 
 
 
NEW YORK (British English)
 
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 –
stretch limousines,
moulting squirrels in Central Park
and the metal body of dead freedom.
 
In New York most of all it’s getting dark.
 
The glittering darkness lights up.
 
The thousand-armed luster of the mega city
writes Einstein’s 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 hectoliters 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 son was born from himself
in a paper box
from the newest sort of slave.
 
 
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