Orderly Existence

Milan Děžinský
Translated from the Czech by Nathan Fields

A tree rots in the forest unnoticed.Lichen trims bark. A raucous reek.The bruised framework sinks into the earth.A woman with a man's physique treads the path sobbing.The night telephone above the table takes a bite out of the darkness.A dog that begins to howl in its sleep,as if it weren't supposed to be alive anymore.Power over words is power over things.We sleep and have everything — relations,a favorite restaurant, happy home.But something here's not clicking. Not only words.

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Milan Děžinský is a Czech poet and translator. He studied pedagogy of Czech and English Languages at The University of J.E. Purkyně in Ústí nad Labem. He is the author of six poetry collections. His latest book of poems, Obcházení ostrova (Walking Around an Island, 2017), won the Magnesia Litera Award for poetry. In 2014, he was nominated for the German-Czech Dresden Lyrics Prize and in 2016, he became the first laureate of the international Václav Burian Prize for poetry. He translates poems from English and lives in Roudnice nad Labem, where he is also engaged in politics.

Nathan Fields (1977) was born in Oceanside, California, and studied Literature at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, Writing at California State University San Marcos, and Anglophone Studies at Metropolitan University in Prague. Since 2002, he has translated widely from Czech, both fiction and non-fiction, short stories and novels, entire books as well as contributions to anthologies, periodicals, art catalogues, and exhibitions, such as for the Museum of Metropolitan Art in New York and Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China. His recent translations include the novel Nahr Al-Bared – Cold River (2014) by Jana Kotaishová and Glare (2014) by Jan Čumlivksi. He lives with his family in Prague.

July/August 2019


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