-Translated from Czech by Tereza Novická
sidewalks full of dead birds
sometimes a girl makes a boy think that pigeons are b o r n in the leaves on the sidewalks – that they sleep and during the night they mature/fly off so that children can scare them on the square or feed them pigeon feed and that everywhere like at prague central t h e y r e s t nestled in the netting like in hammocks from wire sometimes a girl makes a boy think that love that forever that happiness and all that jazz and other times other times the sidewalks are just full of dead birds
standing on a balcony on the 6th floor at 10pm it’s a bit chilly old ladies are walking their dogs a few people are coming home if I jumped what would remain? what would remain if I jumped in twenty years what would change if someone jumped from a balcony now from the 6th floor of the building opposite A thump A shriek A few lit windows
unprejudiced violence is giving a stranger on a train platform a knuckle sandwich tripping up a child running by unprejudiced violence is rape stabbing a person on the street in the back just like that to intersect two episodes with one incident at once – merging merging merging merging
JAN TĚSNOHLÍDEK is a Czech writer, editor and publisher from Krucemburk near Zdar nad Sazavou in south-east Bohemia. He has received a number of literary prizes including Orten’s Kutna Hora (2005–2008) and Vaclav Hrabet’s Horovice (2006, 2008). He has written two books of poems: Násilí bez předsudků (Violence Without Prejudice), which received the Jiri Orten Award (2010), and Rakovina (Cancer). His poems have been translated into English, German, Italian, Slovenian, Spain, Dutch and Polish. He was co-general editor at the Czech literary magazine Psi vino from 2008-2011 and is a member of the Prague Writers’ Club, the Czech PEN Club and the director of JT’s publishing house. He lives in Prague.
About the translator:
TEREZA NOVICKÁ grew up in San Francisco, California and moved to the Czech Republic in 2000 where she studies Anglo-American Studies at Charles University. She has translated various Czech and Slovak poets into English including Ondřej Buddeus, Sylva Fischerová, Lenka Daňhelová, Martin Skýpala, Vlado Šimek and Pavel Novotný. She is an assistant director at the annual Prague Micro Festival.