09. 09. 2010. 14:00

junk clearing (poems)

I can’t live beyond its borders any more. / Bullet-holes in the houses' walls, / my grandfather’s blood, my grandmother’s fleeing / perhaps burnt into the bricks themselves,   / just like my guts in the air-raid shelter’s depths, / shrieking sirens, the fear of death. 

junk clearing
 
one day in the attic among all the junk, 
split from end to end and already half blind 
although I confess I wasn’t even searching, 
and I almost think that he discovered me, 
he wanted me to find him, to be sure  
for I was in such a particular mood, 
as I packed and packed, among the odds and ends, 
where there were, I thought, no treasures to be found, 
when at once lying before me, there was God, 
he lay there pale and faded, all burst apart – 
 
and I could gaze into him before he cracked into shards  
 
 
Bosnia
 
There was even air-conditioning in the hotel, 
a comfortable bed and early afternoon, 
and stealing through the closed window 
the muzzein’s drawn-out song. 
Perhaps that strange melody was the reason 
why I desired you again and again. 
Indulgence was not the main thing then 
it was much more the reception, 
that I belonged to you and you to me. 
I embraced you. And wanted time to stop, 
I suggested that to myself, and to you,  
and could not believe it could not be so. 
 
Now it is autumn, chill inside and out, 
I desire you, you’ve grown weary, that’s how it goes, 
sic transit and all the other rot. 
We lie on the bed, your back to me is turned, 
and I can’t even picture to myself any more 
a summer, or the air-conditioner’s drone, 
or even that everything now too will pass, 
I can’t even ask for it to be the same 
and as much as it was, there and then; 
only request tiny details, or perhaps  
just this: would you download for me  
the muzzein’s chant so I could hear it again 
 
 
From Abroad
 
I can’t live beyond its borders any more. 
Bullet-holes in the houses' walls, 
my grandfather’s blood, my grandmother’s fleeing 
perhaps burnt into the bricks themselves,  
just like my guts in the air-raid shelter’s depths, 
shrieking sirens, the fear of death. 
As if it releases me by day, but when midnight comes 
the country sits down, and tells me yarns. 
 
It feeds me from its mouth, lulls me with its songs, 
tells me jokes when it is very ill, 
I’ve seen it in weak moments, could see it full of power 
and although it might leave me, I couldn’t step beyond 
its body, slashed to bits for a hundred years, 
its memories, carried by the wind here;  
If I hear what it speaks in its dreams. 
it must be that it loves me and that love is returned, 
I even need its dust, as it clings  
to my shirt-collar, my shoes, my hair,  
in another’s embrace I would only be a stranger, 
it knows me, to myself I am restored.
 
Europe, you lovely damsel, you lay bare in vain, 
before me all your crevices and bends, 
your offer is tempting, desire drives me to you, 
but there is no way for me to make an entrance.  
As I reach your gates I’m overcome with shame,  
and don’t think I’m not cursing my own devotion, 
while again and again I impregnate  
my beloved mistress, my own homely land. 
 
farewell letter – rap
 
don’t be amazed, my love, this is my last letter, 
that other woman no longer will I be, 
the man-stealer, the dad-raider, 
the young lover fucked secretly, 
 
cursed at night by wives left alone, while 
all by themselves they give the kids a bath, 
slipping between the pillows of the conjugal bed, 
no yesterday, today, tomorrow, thanks to them….
I’d rather be a lorry who crashes into time, 
lumbering along without you down the road, 
I don’t even stop, I just pay up at customs, 
if I come to a border, just keep moving on. 
 
I transport my consignment in security,  
and="" />I admit, my love, I will miss you 
but there are some things I just can’t do  
 
and now, whether I’ll be cursed or blessed, 
from this day on I have a new e-mail address. 
 

Translated by: Ottilie Mulzet

Tags: Judit Ágnes Kiss