Failed Identities

by Katja Perat


Failed Identities

People sit at home

And stare at computers.

They dress up nicely,

They stand in front of the mirror,

They leave the car at home,

Because they want to get drunk,

They call their friends,

They put the effort in

And sometimes they cry,

In order to feel more entitled to their own poems.

Then they host literary evenings

To which nobody comes,

And sometimes somebody does come

But doesn’t believe them.

These are sad intellectuals.

Don’t mind them,

When they quietly moan, whilst you return from work in silence,

And they needlessly think about death.

Years of self-deception behind them,

Which some scientists

Who don’t understand anything

Call coming to language –

Creating a noise between two words,

So that the hole which separates them

Doesn’t become too evident.

Devoting themselves to words,

Learned to evade the thing

Which stands blurred somewhere in the background

And reminds of the unpopularity and weakness

Of the sad intellectuals.

Perhaps you don’t know what I’m talking about

But you’d understand if you went to literary evenings.

© translated in the group translation workshop in the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies, University of Nottingham

Ponesrečene identitete

Ljudje sedijo doma

In gledajo v računalnike.

Lepo se oblečejo,

Stojijo pred ogledalom,

Pustijo avto doma,

Ker bi radi bili pijani,

Kličejo prijatelje,

Vlagajo trud

In včasih jokajo,

Da bi se počutili bolj upravičene do svojih pesmi.

Potem prirejajo literarne večere,

Na katere nihče ne pride,

In včasih kdo pride,

Ampak jim ne verjame.

To so žalostni intelektualci.

Ne zamerite jim,

Ko tiho stokajo, medtem ko se molče vračate z dela,

In po nepotrebnem mislijo na smrt.

Za njimi so leta samoprevar,

Ki jim nekateri znanstveniki,

Ki ničesar ne razumejo,

Rečejo prihajanje k jeziku –

Ustvarjanje šuma med dvema besedama,

Da luknja, ki ju ločuje,

Ne bi prišla preveč do izraza.

Zaobljubljanje besedi,

Naučeni, da se izmakne stvari,

Ki zabrisana stoji nekje v ozadju

In opominja na nepriljubljenost in slabištvo

Žalostnih intelektualcev.

Mogoče ne veste, o čem govorim,

Vendar bi razumeli, če bi hodili na literarne večere.

© Katja Perat, Najboljši so padli (Študentska založba, 2011)