Sunday, December 1, 2019



I’m With You

It’s completely me –
height 180 centimetres,
measurements 108 by 83 by 107,
weight 73 kilos,
five military qualifications
and even more civilian,
brown hair, green eyes,
born on the occasion
of the Hungarian Uprising,
bashful and christened,
married with three children.
I don’t beat out a rhythm in English,
but I’m of the world.

Send me fan mail,
postcards and gifts,
books and pictures,
busts and bacon,
booze and flowers.
Support your poet
who, instead of you, behaves
like an idiot.
Write to my European address –

Call me,
all of you, who love me,
who can’t live without me,
or least die.
Call the number 314 212,
my automatic telephone
will pick up 24 hours a day.
Don’t be ashamed of your feelings.
God is watching you –
at last do something stupid.
Send some dosh to my account
SSS 3478228.
Remit to my pristine account
your dirty money,
I’ll launder it day and night.
You can rely on me
to spend it all on myself
as opposed to other
charitable institutions,
christmas clubs and other swindles.

I’m waiting for your letters,
spiritual outpourings
and filthy lucre.
I know
that all
the better sort of people are shocked
that the worse have not improved.
They can go
and get stuffed.

Ode To Joy

Where are those old poems?
What were they actually about?
And who gave a tinker’s about them.

Somewhere in us
something from them has remained,
a charge timed in Nuremburg,
a Frankfurt porn cinema,
a coca-cola opposite the Moulin Rouge,
Lenin inside a Marseille shop window,
a faded postcard of the Cote d’Azur,
documents stolen in Rome,
undeveloped photos
of the leaning tower of Pisa,
a night in Florence,
Bolognese poofs,
pigeons at six in the morning
on Saint Mark’s Square,
an over made-up customs girl
on the train from Vienna
to Devinska Nova Ves.

Where are those old poems?
Now nobody will write them any more.
They never made sense to anybody.

They’ve suddenly switched off the power in Europe.
A darkness has started, that which
existed before the invention of light.
We walk on the ceiling of our flat
from memory.
Children laugh at us in their sleep.

At the entrance to nowhere
they’ll return us the entrance fee
to life,
which was worth it
even though not so much.

Only for death you don’t pay.

Unsent Telegram

Inside me a little bit of
a blue Christmas begins.
In the hotel room it’s snowing
a misty scent – of your
endlessly distant perfume.
We’re declining bodily
while in us the price
of night calls rises,
waves of private earth tremors
and the limits of an ocean of blood
on the curve of a lonely coast.


Mgr. art. PAVOL JANIK, PhD., (magister artis et philosophiae doctor) was born in 1956 in Bratislava, where he also studied film and television dramaturgy and scriptwriting at the Drama Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (VSMU). He has worked at the Ministry of Culture (1983–1987), in the media and in advertising. President of the Slovak Writers’ Society (2003–2007), Secretary-General of the Slovak Writers’ Society (1998–2003, 2007–2013), Editor-in-Chief of the Slovak literary weekly Literarny tyzdennik (2010–2013). Honorary Member of the Union of Czech Writers (from 2000), Member of the Editorial Board of the weekly of the UCW Obrys-Kmen (2004–2014), Member of the Editorial Board of the weekly of the UCW Literatura – Umeni – Kultura (from 2014). Member of the Writers Club International (from 2004). Member of the Poetas del Mundo (from 2015). Member of the World Poets Society (from 2016). Director of the Writers Capital International Foundation for Slovakia and the Czech Republic (2016–2017). Chief Representative of the World Nation Writers’ Union in Slovakia (from 2016). Ambassador of the Worldwide Peace Organization (Organizacion Para la Paz Mundial) in Slovakia (from 2018). Member of the Board of the International Writers Association (IWA BOGDANI) (from 2019). He has received a number of awards for his literary and advertising work both in his own country and abroad. This virtuoso of Slovak literature, Pavol Janik, is a poet, dramatist, prose writer, translator, publicist and copywriter. His literary activities focus mainly on poetry. Even his first book of poems Unconfirmed Reports (1981) attracted the attention of the leading authorities in Slovak literary circles. He presented himself as a plain-spoken poet with a spontaneous manner of poetic expression and an inclination for irony directed not only at others, but also at himself. This style has become typical of all his work, which in spite of its critical character has also acquired a humorous, even bizarre dimension. His manner of expression is becoming terse to the point of being aphoristic. It is thus perfectly natural that Pavol Janik's literary interests should come to embrace aphorisms founded on a shift of meaning in the form of puns. In his work he is gradually raising some very disturbing questions and pointing to serious problems concerning the further development of humankind, while all the time widening his range of themes and styles. Literary experts liken Janik's poetic virtuosity to that in the work of Miroslav Valek, while in the opinion of the Russian poet, translator and literary critic, Natalia Shvedova, Valek is more profound and Janik more inventive. He has translated in poetic form several collections of poetry and written works of drama with elements of the style of the Theatre of the Absurd. Pavol Janik’s literary works have been published not only in Slovakia, but also in Albania, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kosovo, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Nepal, Pakistan, Poland,  the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Romania, the Russian Federation, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, the United States of America and Venezuela.

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