Róbert Gál – poem in 2 parts


Part 3a

To have something to say and not say it. To have nothing to say and say it.

Number one punch.

Find the truth, just like all the others.

Structures that survive because they are worth preserving and structures that merely survive.

Two equally human activities: to make things possible or to make them impossible.

To fail, even in attempts to fail.

A frustration inside out.

Finding the complete in our own incompleteness.

To explain ourselves or to open up to other explanations.

Properly brought-up words.

An indirect proof of the imperfection of content is the perfection of form.

To deepen the high or to overflow the low?

The prediction of addiction.

I’m searching for thoughts. If they don’t exist, I make them up.

Urgency needs urgency needs urgency needs.

Gold and other fish-scales.

Fish mouths, fish eyes.

A self-delusion accurate as an expectation.

Some breathe like others vomit. And likewise.

The feeling of weight or the weight of feeling?

Sport for health, then sport above health.

Breathing has no continuation, because it is continual. It’s similar with thinking and feeling.

Even pain is a trap.

Not believing words that are not ours.

The peristalsis of silence.

Me the phenomenon and me the subject, focused on the phenomenal content of other subjects.

Dead, just as alive.

Freedom is the consciousness of necessity of the consciousness of necessity.

Nerve-paralytic commands.

The state of proximity or the state of exactitude, meditation or point of action.

Truth to lies as light to Lucifer.

Durability reduced to viability.

Invincible relief.

To dish-up the truth to a plate is to presume there is none under the table.

The society of dead butterflies.


A humor-peppered sterility of a tentative look at the truth.

Permissional illness.

I, incomplete in each moment – or she, always complete?

Don’t go out, don’t go in. And other occasional imperatives.

Pre-repeated words.

A sustainable intimate relation with the impossible.


He knew that wings were supposed to be as light as possible, but strong.  By adding strength, he learned to fly.

To find the center of gravity is to eliminate the load.

It is proportional to hope and, just like perseverance, it doesn’t exist.

Lifespan inside out.

Part 3b

His predicament of victimhood, that is to be good among the evil, which over time naturally transformed into needing the guilt of causality, into needing to be evil among the good.

To not be valuable, except as a key, a code to reclusiveness.

Ulterior leitmotif.

In permanent search of something permanent.

A horizontal plane of time, a vertical plane of pain and thought.

Past behind me, past in front of me.

With mortality in the eyes.

The right kind of stinginess with words at the right time.

Truths recruited from the ranks of lies and vice versa.

The need to polemize a thought has nothing to do with thinking.

A minimum of options – fulfilling. A minimum of pasts – emptying.

Self-deceiving my way into truth.

To sacrifice life for its metaphor.

Ontological resolutions.

Everything told seemingly untold, everything untold seemingly told.


If time appears to be a duty, then isn’t killing time an act of free will?

Casting swine among pearls.

Let’s not talk about what we need, but what we have. Let’s not talk about what we have, but what we need.

One cannot live on aphorism alone.

Between the hideaway and the garbage bin.

Despair lasts merely a moment and it’s almost imperceptible. And even then, it is the motor that fully powers the antipode of its emblem, the un-phased oneness, which in that moment shuns immediate decay.

The Godot-style approach.

Every content-steady expression is a phrase and thus content-imprecise.

We first believe the believable, then the unbelievable. Finally, we believe nothing at all.

The best way to postpone a solution is to turn the problem into something interesting.

Constantly extending the limits and limiting the extension.

Irreconcilable fondnesses.

Translated from the Slovak by Michaela Freeman

Róbert Gál
is a Prague-based Slovak writer (1968), the author of several books of philosophical aphorisms and the novels Krídlovanie and Agnómia (2006, 2008, in Czech 2010). A selection of Gál’s aphorisms, together with his work Znaky a príznaky, was published in 2003 in English: Signs & Symptoms (Twisted Spoon Press). An extensive excerpt from Agnómia was selected for Best European Fiction 2012 (Dalkey Archive Press).


About gobbet

gobbet is a literary magazine dedicated to publishing the very best experimental poetry and prose. Intellectual perversity and explorations of dark themes are positively encouraged. We are only interested in work that is progressively experimental. We want to see risks, and we want to see them pay. No previously published work. Prose should not be longer than 1000 words. There are always exceptions. Send 3-5 poems. Include a short bio. Send submissions to gobbetmag@hotmail.co.uk Work will be published every 5-10 days. We also intend to publish anthologies of selected work published in gobbet. We will do our best to reply promptly. Most submissions will receive a decision within a month.
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