On a dirty train,
international route Munich – Salonika,
I am trying to read Rober Musil’s The Man Without Qualities.
But this, I come to realize, is surely impossible in places like this.
I reach for a banal substitutes:
to continue reading infinitely harder is
than to find a dozy idler
in every carriage, first or second class no matter,
on all train routes.
Interestingly, this international train
frequently stops even at stations that are local:
I seek invisible symbols in this disobediance of schedule.
I find it is better to give up on reading.
Thus, I am silent and watch,
first, the nightly landscapes of Slavonia,
then, opposite myself, the mirror –
I see my two modest travel bags,
Seemingly not so heavy luggage.
But I fell it is impossible to get rid of.
As the train pulls away
and day comes close
I think it does not matter
at which station to disembark
whose luggage to take.
Translated by Nikolai Jeffs