English Translations by Tony Brinkley and the Author SUMMER’S LEASE (18) ÖRÖKLÉT-BÉRLET Eternal, örök, season’s ticket, summer’s lease, nyár ajándéka, a scrap of paper with its clouds, their green-blue-browns. Életet hoz, gives life. Lines dance, fan out, wheat- sheaves of fire-works, a crack, an opening inside me. Bundles of numbed sentences are stirring. When I take a breath, relieved, its flare brings summer to the paper, életet hoz, gives life. Last night I felt that I could glance a star, word-space would open up again today. The sky may open once again today. The word may find itself. A play of clouds? A ticket for eternity? Nyár ajándéka. Summer’s lease. A spell. THOUGHT KILLS ME (44) MEGÖL A GONDOLAT But ah! thought kills me that I am not thought. Megöl a gondolat, hogy gondolat nem vagyok. Or does not. The thought that I am not kills me or could. But I am more than thought. A gift. With air, my birth sign, but so much of earth and water wrought, földből és vízből is vétettem, the smell of earth turned up in spring gives me a foretaste of an ultimate peace – new to the world again, I am washed through the way lake water washes – or with you when I am rocked in you – washed into you and resurrected. That, a thought, if thought, is all of me. SESSIONS OF SWEET SILENT THOUGHT (30, 32) ÉDES, CSENDES TŰNŐDÉS IDEJE For my Father and my two brothers Sessions of sweet, silent thought, édes, csendes tűnődés. Musing, sweet, but choking – your scorching death – my family. As often as I watched: your deep, musing breath, édes, csendes, in sweet, silent thought – poisoning from without to meet a poisoning within, relieving the cold world, tobacco’s scorching scirocco. You were beautiful and happy while I froze – I watched our secret, distant cousin, that churl death, bunkó halál, preying as you coughed and choked, were severed from your bodies. And then Death-Churl, Bugris Halál, there you lost them. They are here and I am with them. WITH THIS RAGE E DÜHHEL (65, 28, 29) Poetry must have something in it that is barbaric, vast and wild. Denis Diderot, as quoted by Jerome Rothenberg With this rage szépség how hold a plea e dühhel how beauty hold a plea how with this rage shall beauty hogyan hold plea with this rage this beauty how dacolhat and deaf eget with my cries t rouble and deaf heaven jajommal trouble a süket heaven with my cries and the deaf sky felverem with my cries so flatter I a sötét arcú night so hízelgek to swart-complexion’d night with beauty flatter sötét arcú night szépséggel hízelgek the swart-complexion’d éjnek let the poem be barbaric, vast and wild so hold a plea with swart-complexion’d night let be the poem vast be vast be TO THESE WASTE BLANKS (77) E PUSZTA ÜRESSÉGRE That world behind your gaze – unknown though intimated – different – always. And my secret: the empty pages of my notebook. To these waste blanks, e puszta ürességre, I trust your overflowing world. To their invisible buds of quiet. Words come hindmost. Utolsónak jön meg a szó. Now I have said it: my love is a black stork, strutting graciously. Now it has happened. We have entered evanescence: I have said it on the eighth day of creation. On the eighth while we look back at being. On the poem’s day, the last day. Words come hindmost. Legvégül jön meg a szó. WORDS COME HINDMOST (85) LEGVÉGÜL JÖN MEG A SZÓ Words come hindmost. Legvégül jön meg a szó. On the day of the poem, the very last day, we look back. On the eighth day when we enter evanescence. Suddenly silence hurt me. I wanted to speak. I wanted to speak about you, and this is how the day came, day of the word, how the day of the poem arrived – a clumsy sentence welled at the quiet gesture of Prospero, my master, who wrote the book of being. Soberly he nodded, with one raised finger. Respect the breath, he whispered, a kimondott szót becsüld, the breath of words respect that bursts to life awkwardly, new born from the womb of nothingness – like a new born, mired in blood – through the gate of the aching throat. BEING DUMB (85) NÉMÁK MARADUNK, BÉNÁK In blood – through the gate of the aching throat – the breath of words, szavak lehellete, tears and bursts into the world. Very often hearing inner voices, I only rarely feel that I can voice them. I listen to the stir, word- movement in its womb, a fleeting tune, the finest cadences, impossible to say, beyond the mouth’s reach, unwilling to become a breath or breathe but lurking in the head and in the nerves, a muted song that never reaches through my hand to paper. Being dumb. Némák maradunk, bénák. As we remain: dumb, numbed, listening vainly to true cadences within. THE BREATH OF WORDS (85) AZ ÉLŐ SZÓ In vain we listen to true cadences within. We cannot word them, sing or play them on an instrument. Or almost cannot – or at times a little. We jot a fragment, a frail bit escapes through mouth or hand despite the body’s torpid hindrances – but only when our master helps, our guardian spirit, who without, will leave us empty-handed, thrashing, as we snatch light-flickers, fleeting air threads. My lover is a black stork strutting graciously: I think my words have named her, and she steps aside and flies away. She vanishes. Az élő szó, the breath of words dissolves.