Poems by Katarína Kucbelová

:breath: without content:

if I am a process

criteria of being do not belong to me

I am only the deed of accepting

if to accept is not to make my own of

if belonging's not the purpose

to accept can mean to consent

to consent to the deed of giving

I consent to the deed of giving

but I cannot feel thanks

I can be the deed of thanking

if thanks is the purpose of giving

if I am a process

I cannot be for myself

purpose or reason

I cannot

either want or not want to be

the purpose and reason

if I am a process

I cannot want or be

I cannot not want or not be

:breath which saved my life:


I will not touch

even with a single thought

I cannot stop

I can only remain

I will sever connections

I will let


without me/I am other

only in comparison

I am letting go

I remain other

I am letting

change me

to let

in purest movement

in thoughts

which do not touch me

I remain


if we're one

I can deny


and you'll remain

if we're one

I can deny you

as myself

and you'll remain


:enough not to breathe in:

I wait for


time between breathing in and out

time before death: now

at the limit of physical effort


I wait in the void

together: now

before death

I wait without breath

beyond every limit to hear

infinite space:




:regular breathing exercise:

regular violation of regularity

regular repetition of movement

leads to enlargement of muscle fibres

its regular violation

leads to even greater enlargement of muscle fibres

transfer of particles

regular breath

regular intake of nourishment

regular intake of liquids

and their regular elimination


decay/transfer of particles to another grouping




the heart's beating


blood pressure


activity of veins

tear ducts

taste buds

regular breath

anguish is the anticipation of decay



I measure by breath

silence is an immeasureable value

if it is what we call


of sounds and pictures


prefiguration/prelude without end

silence need not even have a concept

nameless it would be

the ideal object

of quest

the goal




silence could

be a way out of solitude

the air escapes in utterance


space event

cannot be

changed enlarged

by other


of the unnamed

breaths are shallower

breathe upon me

I shall not fly

I shall reply



it breathes life into me

I am the word by which it names me

I do not exist without

its naming me

any word may


a naming of me

I become the word's reflection

I become the word

I am

the result of namings of me

I do not want to name people

such as they seem to me to be

because I name myself in their situations

I name them with the namings of myself

they become

the result of namings of me

they become me

I become them



one day I shall stop breathing

a need to go beyond the limit

of presence


power to comprehend

the ever-present longing

for complete exhaustion

in the conflict


in parallel

directly in proportion

ration of strength

needed for survival

which I need not bear witness to

only be part of

to survive conflict

mutancy of substance

to emerge in another form

Translated by John Minahane