10. 26. 2010. 11:13

’44, Tiresias, Escher (poem)

Anna T. Szabó

Blind fate shrieking, living wound inside.
God’s beggar. What is he hoping for?
Here on the riverbank, leaning against the sidewall.
When there is no law, only will. Where he has no homeland, only betrayal.

                The spirit-world is extinct
 
Blind fate shrieking, living wound inside.
God’s beggar. What is he hoping for?
Here on the riverbank, leaning against the sidewall.
When there is no law, only will. Where he has no homeland, only betrayal.
When no one sees him, only the Contax II.
 
                I am the world – everything that was, is
 
He doesn’t see, doesn’t even hear who stands before him. If anyone even stands.
If a gun is aimed at him or the camera.
He doesn’t want to be alive. He is alive.
Shouting from rent throat.

               
Do you have a voice for this sick land
               On the marrow-jolting strings?
 
                Your blood has thickened,
                Your brain-marrow dried up
 
The eye is white inside.
On the stone, brown blood.
October, chill.
Who dares to come here?
The wind rattles the leaves.
The flags machine-gun clatters
 
                And even the stone, as if it were our bones
                And the wave, as if it were our blood that flows
 
Today at midnight, they emptied the hospitals. An old lady
moaned in a falsetto voice the entire way, like one gone mad.
 
               By the Danube
               
               Ruddy from the scarlet blood
               At last the sun dares to emerge
 
He hears everything, he hears nothing.
He drags the bow.
 
               So that the melody through hearts will pass
               Along the Dniestr’s twisted course
               A Hungarian entrenchment in retreat
               So, boys, a soldier’s life is sweet
 
His father at the front. His son at the front.
He too is at the front. He has no home here.
There is no home here.
There isn’t.

               
This train is about to start,
               the locomotive festooned and wreathed
 
                Like cemeteries, gravestones reeling.
 
Into the cattle cars.
The passers-by spit.
Into the cattle cars as well, the flower-wreathed soldiers.
The passers-by salute.
 
                Murderous brother –
 
There are no civilians.
 
                The homeland-defenders go beyond the Dnepr
                around them the villages are burning
 
                There is war in the great world now
 
They haul up the dead from among the sleepers.
Dawn, Russian mass-grave.
Their names don’t count.
No one even knows where they died.
 
                The earth aches with people
 
At the foot of the line, thirty centimeters of earth.
Then another line of the dead.
One of them his son, eighteen years old.
 
                May your string resound more wild than the tempest…
 
                Bellow out a song for us, that in their deep graves…
 
His wife is still alive. Soon she will die.
On the exploding Margit Bridge.
In the Danube.
 
                I love you so much more than ever before
                every moment I think of you a hundred times more

                What do they scream, lament in the mad scurrying
 
The oracle of God, he prophecies everything to God, things that God himself doesn’t even know.
 
                And we suffer his every suffering
 
The photographer stands in front of him for only a few seconds,
he feels the shadow on his skin.
He believes a cloud is covering the sun.
He doesn’t believe anything.
There is no sun. There is no cloud,
only this off-key falsetto song, his own voice,
nothing, but nothing else.
 
                this is cessation. I come from this. You see,

What God himself doesn’t even know.
 
In a month’s time there won’t be anyone to take him away from here.
In a month’s time
there won’t be.
 
                Drag, drag the bow, who knows for how long –
 
The lock rattles.
 
 
Photo:
Károly Escher (1890-1966): Blind Musician on the Bank of the Danube

Translated by: Ottilie Mulzet

Tags: Anna T. Szabó