7th March 2023


2 minutes read

Peter Šulej

pictures from an exhibition *

translated by John Minahane

7th March 2023

2 minutes read

in the cool noir vein:

angels of anarchy have blown the trumpets for assault

laibach sounds from every speaker

and a magician with mouth open swallows the world —

really a prodigiously successful trick

to which the flâneur contributes with cafe fog

(in eu bars and restaurants from 2022

one may chain-smoke only in poland and slovakia)

as a symbol of “good” old times


the story you told me sounded roughly like this:

you woke before daybreak maybe at 4 : 48

you ran out on the street still pyjama-clad and barefoot

and crashed into a black impenetrable wall

the day will surely come when fate catches up with the fateless

no matter when and where no matter whether in the form

of a sorrowful skinhead princess / ariel angel

or a black wall more real than reality

but what’s all that decadence to us

tell me oh tell shelley my favourite

straying and (newly) not finding

for as you know:


the stalker is never alone there’s always more of them

we need backup for the reports from interspace

failure of any kind is impermissible today

black-and-white vision nicely lovely motley wrapped

bacchantes now lusting only once connected

to the most efficient networks

o emerald green waters of the natisone

even the via francigena nowadays takes a shortcut

through an unknown web address



just as you won’t find sylvia plath’s last days

in hughes’s birthday letters

you will learn in time perhaps to distinguish when

good is evil and evil good

truth is a lie and the lie is truth

in any case


today the darkness comes “from the east

[no one:] on our right hand made the lightnings of hope”     Iliad, Bk. 2, 353

this world

we must again


* the poem is loosely inspired by Martin Gerboc’s exhibition world without me (Zoya Gallery, 2020) and the following pictures are drawn upon in the text: Magician with Open Mouth, Skinhead Princess II, Stalkers, The Last Days of Sylvia Plath


Cover image

Martin Gerboc
The Last Days of Sylvia Plath (detail)
2018, acryl, airbrush, pastel, paper on canvas, 80 x 70 cm
Image/Reproduction ADAM ŠAKOVÝ
Artwork originally posted on the webpage of the White & Weiss Gallery.


written by

Peter Šulej

More about the author

Issue 04


More about this issue

translated by

John Minahane

More about the translator


pictures from an exhibition * by Peter Šulej
A poem with a unique strategy of internal, authorial intertextuality, not merely literary play, but a means of perceiving the world.