02. 05. 2007. 17:13

Bagatelle macabre (poems)

Lajos Parti Nagy

"Like slippers, woven of corn husk,
so as not to step on cold stone.
naked feet already point up,
so immovable, so alone,
in the callous hospital dusk."

Monument

Like slippers, woven of corn husk,
so as not to step on cold stone.
naked feet already point up,
so immovable, so alone,
in the callous hospital dusk.

A monument to two soles, a nose,
a groin. Body, syringe, all of those
necessities of exit, the bed,
no longer warm, the wrinkled bedspread,

trembling in the draughts that blow
from the other side, the hair caught
in the teeth of the fingernail comb
at the curt sigh, as if it ought
even there to continue to grow,

where on the Lethe a ripple subsides,
the waters flow on, and he mingles
with them, as already he glides
through the void, like soap through one’s fingers.


Bagatelle macabre 

Here, sitting, sitting,
mouth stuffed with plume,
as if its wings flitting,
though it’s this vicissitude
I fear precisely,
but hush, nicely, nicely,
a note from death reads
fine, thanks, sends a car
with brass band and steeds,
just to wait here,
nothing to fear,
on its own the gist goes,
squeak-creak, up he throws
me onto his cart,
pats my head, off we start
if it jostles and jiggles,
the underground train
screeches with giggles
that I spur on the mounts,
rascally Spruce,
with his feathered mane,
and little Pounce.

Translated by Thomas Cooper

Tags: Lajos Parti Nagy