28th June 2022


3 minutes read

Michal Habaj

Smartphone on the Sunday Table…

translated by John Minahane

28th June 2022

3 minutes read

Smartphone on the Sunday table.

It’s all laid out.

Spiders are crawling from underground.

They desire your Beauty.

Their names are Pride, Hate and Avarice.

The web they spin is strong.

Like our business relationship.

In reality they own us.

But you don’t know that yet.

You still dream of Glory.

Of monetizing Beauty.

Of realized potential.

The white slave traders who go door-to-door

would swap you for two black market hoovers.

You have no certificate of origin, without papers

you’ll do for a favela, you’re tasty enough for soup.

And yet for the cover of Elle your price is rising at a speed

of 10,000 Euros an hour.

All the better if you blow a European Central Bank board member

on the 20th floor of a five-star

with champers, coke, whirlpool bath

and on a lead, bent doggie-style

haf haf

butt plug in bottom

let him yell incessantly

where is all my soros money?

and twenty cameras shooting all of this.

And walk away decently afterwards on high heels

down the sun-flooded streets of Paris or New York.

But now: smartphone on the Sunday table.

It’s all laid out.

They got you long ago,

when you were a schoolgirl learning how to count,

even then your lower lip was daintily pouty

and your prominent cheekbones and deep almond eyes

were fashioning your exceptional destiny.

It’s all laid out.

From the smartphone your face glows.

I bend over it

And slowly lick it round.

I lick it again and again.

I shall never lick you all up.

The world is full of you.

You’re smiling.

Along the catwalk you pace, the cameras are clicking.

Flashes beam.

Your eyes are scanning the public.

Our faces are lodged in your head,

where names are assigned to them and bank accounts to the names.

You will choose a reliable partner

who owns half of London.

But now: it’s all laid out.

Smartphone on the Sunday table.

Isn’t calling.

Isn’t writing.

Isn’t sharing.

Isn’t liking.


I have a desire to bend towards you

And whisper in your ear: love.

Won’t you eat?

Aren’t you hungry?

Get photographed and send your snap to the world.

Something’s waiting somewhere there.

Between you and it there’s just one click.

The spiders now are crawling out.

Their names are Pride, Hate and Avarice.

Feed them with your Beauty.

Give them to eat.

They’re hungry.

They’ll whisper in your ear: love.

And they will sell you for a single gaze.

A single smile.

A single yes.

Be a commodity, be a commodity, love,

may you never more be alone

with smartphone on the Sunday table!

The world will screw you on the Sunday table.

And when your teeth fall out

they will be relics for the antique dealers

who trade in remnants of those modelling saints,

the ones that don’t put wafers in their mouths

but only credit cards …

After death they’ll expose you in the Vatican,

so that cardinals may gaze the flesh off you

and trumpet on your infinitely long angelic shinbones.


But now: it’s all laid out.

Smartphone on the Sunday table.

Our daily bread.



written by

Michal Habaj

More about the author

Issue 02


More about this issue

translated by

John Minahane

More about the translator


Smartphone on the Sunday Table… by Michal Habaj
A poem by Slovak poet Michal Habaj, in John Minahane’s translation.