Work Is a Ritual

Poem by Jonáš Hájek


Work Is a Ritual

A walk on a bridge and beyond –
always far away, as if on a rock –
a trash dump of meaning and an assembly line of time.

Only hookers and skaters have managed to populate
the jealous place – a place wildly laughed at
by the Red Army soldier of Znojmo.

You know. A dispensable sculptor staring into empty space,
bold plans of a monument of godlessness,
a word slipped out of the mouth of a passer-by: „…forever.“

I, too, will slide down the local playground,
tomorrow I’ll be making lanes in touch-me-nots,
regularly changing their name,

just for the joy of it.


Jonáš Hájek (1984)

Poet, translator, editor. Published poem collections Suť (Fra 2007), Vlastivěda (Fra 2010)and Básně 3 (Triáda 2013). For the former he received the Jiří Orten Award and was nominated for the Magnesia Litera Award in the Surprise of the Year category. Works for the Totem server and edits the Hostinec column in Host magazine. Translates from German (Günter Eich, Mascha Kaléko) and has edited the anthology of poems by young Protestant authors Hrst (Biru 2013) and two books by Stanislav Vávra. Lives in Prague, works as an editor at a music publishing house.

Translated by Tereza Chocholová

September 15, 2014

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