Ondrej Buddeus

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 crisis
No we shouldn’t perceive the Ukrainian crisis as
No we shouldn’t perceive the Ukrainian crisis as a fight
No we shouldn’t perceive the Ukrainian crisis as a fight of good
No we shouldn’t perceive the Ukrainian crisis as a fight of good and evil
No we shouldn’t perceive the Ukrainian crisis as a fight of good
No we shouldn’t perceive the Ukrainian crisis as a fight
No we shouldn’t perceive the Ukrainian crisis as
No we shouldn’t perceive the Ukrainian crisis
No we shouldn’t perceive the Ukrainian
No we shouldn’t perceive
No we shouldn’t
No we
No

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[Water to water…]

 

Water to water. Bread to bread. Start new game?

Post-war literature is pre-war literature.
In front of doors is behind doors.
In my eyes I’m in your eyes, but how do you see it?

The orchard is in darkness and there’s darkness in the orchard.
Don’t go into the garden, it’ll come to you.
I’m Mohammed. Coffee?

Yes, I’ll indulge in tragedy and one Algerian Coffee with whipped cream,
please.

Courtesy commands: 1) Say thanks when you have no reason to.

2) Take or leave be.

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[Today we’re grilling ribs…]

 

Today we’re grilling ribs

tomorrow hearts.
The concert against the end
of the world was not cancelled.

They will
play
even if no one comes.

I imagine salvation
as a little girl
from Africa, who

adopted me.

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ONDŘEJ BUDDEUS is a Czech translator, poet, and sporadic essayist. He translates from German and Norwegian, and is an editor of the contemporary Czech poetry magazine Psí víno. He is currently working on his doctoral thesis in Scandinavian studies and also works for the Czech theater Alfred ve dvoře. His work has been translated into several languages. In 2011, he published his debut text collection, 55 007 characters with spaces, a picture book for adults, Orangutan in captivity tends towards obesity (co-written with Alžběta Skálová and Martina Kupsová), and a multi-genre project, a me (2012/2014). Together with Peter Dietze (Berlin), he curated the anthology project DISPLEJ.eu (2014) on contemporary German, Slovak and Czech poetry. His attempt at literature as design resulted in the cooperation with papelote on the 365 + 1 novel / Agenda for the year 2016. In 2013, Ondřej was awarded the Jiří Orten Prize for his collection Swiftly and in 2014 the Magnesia Litera Prize and The Most Beautiful Czech Book Award for the children’s book Head in Head (together with David Böhm). Ondřej is a member of the recently founded Czech Writers’ Association.

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Read more by Ondřej Buddeus:

 
Four more poems in B O D Y
Another poem in B O D Y

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About the Translator:

 
TEREZA NOVICKÁ grew up in San Francisco, California and moved to the Czech Republic in 2000. Currently a student in the American Literature graduate program at Charles University in Prague, she also works as a translator. Mainly as part of the annual Prague Microfestival, she has translated a number of Czech and Slovak poets into English, including Ondřej Buddeus, Jan Těsnohlídek, Sylva Fischerová, Lenka Daňhelová, Nóra Ružičková, Vlado Šimek, and Pavel Novotný. Her English translation of Ondřej Buddeus’ text a me came out in 2013. Along with Stephan Delbos, she received the PEN/Heim translation fund grant for their translation of Vítězslav Nezval’s poetry collection The Absolute Gravedigger in 2015.

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