The Czech Issue

The Czech Issue

Poetry by Milan Dežinský, Kamil Bouška, Olga Pek, Wanda Heinrichová, Jan Balabán, Pavel Šrut, Stepan Nosek, Šťepán Nosek, Irena Šťastná, Ivan Wernisch, Jiří Kolař, Ondřej Buddeus, Magdalena Platzová, Petr Hruška, Tereza Riedlbauchová, Jonáš Hájek, and Marie Šťastná.

Marie Šťastná

  AGAIN IN SUMMER   I will love again in summer once foxes with bound feet don’t have fur covered in frost or frozen noses

Jonáš Hájek

  TRANSITIONS   1984 to: I am a man of borders. A city divided by two states. What can and can’t be seen. A hooker

Tereza Riedlbauchová

  [Landscape of the oppressive past…]   Landscape of the oppressive past children lost in it and silence examine the shape of a leaf the

Petr Hruška

The Ukrainian woman slept curled up
like someone / who knows how to conserve space, warmth, / maybe even a dream.

Magdalena Platzova

  IVA   She was pathetic. I was so much more sophisticated. I couldn’t help sneering at her. I said: “My God, to be with

Ondřej Buddeus

  [No…]   No No we No we shouldn’t No we shouldn’t perceive No we shouldn’t perceive the Ukrainian No we shouldn’t perceive the Ukrainian

Jiří Kolář

  Poems from Instruction Manual   NAME   Sit down at the table and clear your mind Take a pen and write your beloved’s first

Ivan Wernisch

  AS THE SNOW MELTED   They appeared as the snow melted Those who had perished in the last days of March, Then those from

Irena Šťastná

  [He leaves those cows of his…]   He leaves those cows of his up to their knees in it. Heads worn raw at the

Štěpán Nosek

he leans out the classroom’s only window

and sees clearly that one of the school’s scuffed canoeshas broken loose from the riverbank

and with the formation of rocking ducks suddenly minglesan arabesque of bright arms and an almost human laughter.

Pavel Šrut

  SISYPHUS´S WIFE   for Jan and Boženka Skácel   He was close to tears as if he had known the penalty the day before

Jan Balaban

  CEDAR AND HAMMER   “Who’s going for a smoke?” a nurse called down the corridor of the psychiatric ward. Of all the patients aimlessly

Wanda Heinrichová

  NORTH STATION   the steppe flows into cold seas the rail embankment ramshackle raft in August clumps of dry grass wave at outings bound

Photo by Ondřej Lipár

Olga Pek

When I regained my faith in poetry, I started writing prose. Concept was my totemic operator. I amassed trophies of species on the brink of extinction and smuggled rare genera across borders to inlay my texts with them.

Kamil Bouška

  DRAFT   The wind outside made the street sing: how strangely the human voice sounds there now,        as if mutating, as if the body’s

Milan Děžinský

At the opposite bank a barge rolls the river under itself. / We are not approaching our end, / but from ultimate emptiness / the end is hurtling towards us.