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

from current issue:

Situational reviewThe creators of Havel didn’t know that they don’t know. And that’s the worst kind of not knowing!Is director Slávek Horák’s film Havel truly chaos that says nothing at all about the recent history of our Czech nation or its first president? Or are the filmmakers entitled to artistic license and allowed to create whatever they like, despite giving the film and its main character the name Havel? And what does it say about the times we live in that from the legacy of the influential playwright, intellectual, politician, and master of words, the filmmakers chose to focus solely on his slightly sensationalised private life?Kamila BoháčkováNew releaseHeaven over Today’s ChinaWhat is the story behind the feature-length documentary, Heaven, focusing on a Chinese Christian-run orphanage that is also a testimony about today’s China? Director Tomáš Etzler sees the film as a logical ending of his seven years in the Middle Kingdom. The second contribution was written by editor Adéla Špaljová who describes her collaboration with the director on the creation of the final cut of the documentary.Tomáš Etzler, Adéla ŠpaljováNew releaseAs Far As Possible Ukrainian documentarian Ganna Iaroshevych describes how she has been preparing her new film called As Far As Possible. It´s a portray of a man who decided to leave Germany and lives in the Ukrainian mountains fighting against the extinction of water buffaloes. „Our film tells about an alternative way of slow living close to nature and animals, and in harmony with yourself. And it seems to us that now this topic is especially relevant to many people around the globe,“ says Ganna Iaroshevych.Ganna JaroševičNew releaseThe Alchemical FurnaceJan Daňhel describes the concept behind his documentary film Alchemical Furnace that portrays the figure and work of Jan Švankmajer.ThemeIt comes right from the bellyIn this personal essay, a Danish sound designer Peter Albrechtsen remembers one of the world's greatest and most unique modern film composers, Jóhann Jóhannsson. This article was written in 2018, shortly after the Jóhannsson´s death, but has never been published.PoemGramsci’s NotebooksMike HoolboomInterviewKarel Vachek: Films Just Have to Make You Laugh!A doyen of Czech documentary filmmaking Karel Vachek unfortunately passed away on the 21th of December 2020. We publish here the interview he made in 2019 just after releasing his last film, the ninth film novel called Communism and the Net or the End of Representative Democracy. Fifty years after Prague Spring and thirty years after the Velvet Revolution, Karel Vachek “with his inner laughter” looks back on the evolution of our society and predicts a transformation to direct democracy based on the possibilities of the internet that will allow for the engagement of the whole mankind without the need of representatives. Kamila BoháčkováNew BookArmy Film and the Avant Garde?American film historian Alice Lovejoy discusses how her book Army Film and the Avant Garde: Cinema and Experiment in the Czechoslovak Military came to be. First published by Indiana University Press in 2015, the book will be published in a Czech translation by Jan Hanzlík in 2021 by the National Film Archive. The idea for the book emerged during the years the author lived in the Czech Republic.Alice LovejoyIntroductionLiving with inner laughterDok.revue 2.20Kamila Boháčková