The Train Stops at Stodolní

The places and situations that inspired the poem by Petr Král are depicted in Jan Gogola Jr.'s documentary King Does Nothing

King Does Nothing (Král nic nedělá, Jan Gogola ml., 2012)

The Train Stops at Stodolní

To Jan Gogola, Anežka, Lukáš, Jiří – and, of course, Wanda

The sun has reached the winners' podium
It's Sunday
but the stands are still not for loners
The slope of the square pours the sound of bottles
   into the pealing of bells
Passersby carry further
and further their "You didn't even recognize me"
(whether speaking into a cellphone or as if she spoke into one
like everyone else)
With regard to poetry
it's not the early bird
just the joy of the moment
Black Mountain in a bun (for €2.40) is 
   the most mysterious
In Košice awaits a slender vein of water
   in the grip of hot pavement
and a wind-ruffled dress on a storefront dummy
In the shade behind the scenes of summer
you can lay up a store of bubble stuff     Oh
If you insist on it (as you do)
the number of my ID is 114 407 260
Through the window a view opens up of stolen thunder
It is known even in a train aisle
like on the street people miss each other
Luckily, we have no other responsibility
than to not let Vrútky pass by
In Košice a whole hivehigh of them
   was to be scattered
but mother is alone on the platform
with her piece de résistance
Stodolní Street
quietly suggests flannel 
and snow
in the midst of pandemonium
The road passes through ruts and paintings
the drawn-out urban boulevards 
   and waiting long for the green
No one will shut unsealed valves for us
unlike a museum door
(The green as the goal
a head of cabbage 
kicked straight into the jaws of darkness)
With regard to cities
on certain mornings they are full of menacing dentists
(10. – 14. 7. 2011,


Petr Král

Petr Král, poet, essayist, and translator. His poem The Train Stops at Stodolní was first heard in the film King Does Nothing (2012) by Jan Gogola Jr. and is included in Král‘s collection of poems Welcoming Monday (Přivítat pondělí, 2013) published by Ztichlá klika publishing house. This year, the first part of Král’s Collected Poems is published by Větrné mlýny publishing house.


June 30, 2014

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