New York by Pavol Janik

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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.

 

Translated into English by James Sutherland Smith

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