Karol Chmel Poems

is the tongue, the living meat.

Gnostic disputes with flowers,
circles on the surface,
being nailed down.

We hold onto the hands
of the dead,
who will survive us.

local culture: stifling nostalgia

you no longer even ask
who is persecuting

enough to look beyond the horizon
to see clay
in a shepherd’s hair
motif of the cross
by a tree somewhere

a train
as product
of divine impartiality

in coffee: the future: a dissolving
sugar cube
infernus: memory of mine, mirror
of my visions...
you smile, mitschuldig, but that helps
only those who require
explanations; prepare for the worst,
the corpus hermeticum’s at stake, the finger
complains of the splinter, the blind man
of darkness:
the winepress ignores the grape,
but metaphor is at work.

poets lie
i lie too (as if
I were a poet)

from madame blavatsky’s
book of dzyan
to the cantos
of monsieur pound


mystery assaults
the capacity to grasp it

water is for drinking
but also for swimming
air is for breathing
but also for flying

the one who is drowning
breathes water
the one who is falling
drinks air

he that doesn’t fit in
is already crossed out

forgive him
forgive me

spring nonhaiku
dandelion from eve
seventeen gone
i wait till it matures
for the wind

(no need to blow)

autumn nonhaiku
beer from alena
thirty and four
i wait till the froth

(no need to blow)

fear of planning
how slowly it heals

i won’t be


goods: relationships
evening attack from parallel
the shop
where today i met
my dead schoolmate
evidently had
nothing else to attract me

supply exceeded demand
as everywhere

talc, chalk, impression

in the queue is gymnastics, ventilators for asthmatics, catalogisation of insurance events, loveletter browsing, speeches and articles, gaping into the abyss of the internet, the certified oranges of hieronymus bosch, night licked by a child’s tongue, window with presentiment of rain wide open, overrunning the draught while headed for paling darkness, centrum securitatis, verbal misdemeanours caught from the street, pandemic of powerlessness, speed of diffusion measureable in knots, let’s be careful with irony

Translated by John Minahane