Gratitude to Big Cities

Igor Klikovac
Those days when all pages are empty
are best given to running. Knowing your own name 
is less important if the streets are long, and – better still – 
freshly scrubbed by rain. Then it looks like you’re jumping 
from one façade to another, above the outstretched necks 
and open windows, and that alone already feels like 
an improvement. Under the coloured canopies, through 
the courtyards of tiny churches, over the pedestrian bridges 
that cross no water; through the sleepy eyes of rear-mirrors, 
from shop-window to shop-window, like a rambling thought. 
Underneath you, the specially designed soles squeal, 
and manhole covers rattle with the rhythm of images 
barely catching up with their own mortality statistics …
The problem of the cracked self, thus reduced to a simple 
breathing exercise, at the end simply solves itself, like 
a common cold. When finally you open your eyes, 
the world is again joined up by words, the light thread
which meanders through the scenery like yellow stitching 
in a pair of blue-jeans, and the woman taking a jumper 
from a washing-line and smelling it, while behind her
in the distance a weather balloon rises, is already 
surrounded by that insatiable whiteness, the one 
which never lets out what it once swallowed.

Translation by: Igor Klikovac and John McAuliffe

Page 44, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 120
Issue 120

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 120:

Edited by Vona Groarke

Vona Groarke's final issue as editor is packed with new poems from leading contemporary poets, including Simon Armitage, Sinéad Morrissey, Colette Bryce, Paul Muldoon, Sean O'Brien and Caitríona O'Reilly. Books reviewed include new work from Derek Mahon, Bernard O'Donoghue, Rita Ann Higgins, Martina Evans, Denise Riley and the 2016 Forward Prize winner Vahni Capildeo. The centrepiece of the issue is an interview with Paul Muldoon in which the Armagh maestro shares his thoughts on subjects as diverse as public surveillance, the economic down-turn, and the exclamation mark. The cover image is by photographer Justyna Kielbowicz, and the issue also contains award-winning artwork from Sven Sandberg, Aoife Dunne, Jane Rainey, and Michelle Hall. Instead of an editorial, Vona herself answers the questionnaire she put to the contributors of Poetry Ireland Review Issue 118: The Rising Generation.