Wanda Heinrichová




the steppe flows into cold seas
the rail embankment ramshackle raft
in August clumps of dry grass wave
at outings bound for small towns on the Elbe
now nothing just the platform edge of all
diving board
perhaps to some old hoary anecdote
to and fro with Cohn
between Vienna and Berlin
almost a hundred years
to Tolstoy’s Anna her resolve
down the steps into the hall
tiles on the walls
and on the benches decaying
heaps in Salvation Army coats
I can’t miss the crater further on
the future           a loose tooth




the toilet halfway to the landscape
go there in a dressing gown along
the corridor past other flats
ear to the air-shaft’s shades
vibration cricket hum
rail lines out in the open
they glimmer as they greet
the loving
slip tracks
of trains

sewerless apartment matt glow of books
beneath the windows flow forlorn
my night sisters
piece by piece
they carry me off
to the deep
of the city




barely made out it all came clear
even that time clear as day side stage
in Petergof slipped in to the mix
of fog and sea beneath a layer of bird-

shit marble and also a white concert
piano relic counterfeited a few times
in the drizzle tragic presences
heads raised from the water hands reaching toward stems

toward my dejected, cambered gaze no way
they want to be saved on my lips de-
pends a half-deaf waiter stalled expression
like an English butler (his master now flat broke)

light film of slivers               the glamor gone


WANDA HEINRICHOVÁ was born in Žilina, Slovakia, in 1968, and has lived in Prague since 1988. She has translated the work of Durs Grünbein into Czech, and teaches German in a language school. Her first collection, Nalomenou, was published in 2011.


About the Translator:

JUSTIN QUINN’s translations of the Czech poet Bohuslav Reynek will be published by Charles University Press in 2016. He works at the University of West Bohemia.