Not so long ago I was walking through Rača, the north-eastern-most part of Bratislava, when I was inspired to write this. So here we are:
You walk down the street, and it’s straight – without end,
And the breeze blocks and smokestacks do not relent,
And abysmal spectral faces spectate
And you’re spent – so sick so tired and spent.
The angles stab you, the sad fog grabs you,
All-day casino bars shriek from the pavement,
Tannoys play Patrioticheskaya,
And you wonder what the words could have meant.
And you’re not in the motherland anymore –
You’re in a land of your own – of cement,
You can’t see the future for the travesty,
Nor all those nice woods for the barbed-wire fence
And the ones that taught you: where are they now?
They sold you or bought you and told you: relent.
And the new generation: where did they go?
All the way down to get stoned in the basement.
Na prenájom, všetko na predaj*
Is all you see from the cracks in the pavement
Or maybe the smoke as it rises from ashes
From the sixth-floor window of your tenement.
And the tram trawls by but it’s gone – you’re too late,
And the bar is warm and convenient,
The brandy fires you, the ice-cold wires you,
Crystalised, you see your life; where it went.
* For rent, everything for sale