Otto Fenyvesi:


To light a fire. A light.
I wanted even less.
Just the white heaps of silence,
your face between the clouds.
The lights of the see.
Distant white winters
where the invisible
meets the possible.

David Cope
This is an American poem
which is intolerant against whining.
This is not surrealism,
not symbolism.
Just asphalt under your feet.

I found underlined lines in it:
"Man can only transcend the levels of animals in arts as art opens up areas in which time and space are invalid"
Marcel Duchamp

Once, I loved these nice
exact words, and sentences,
that the moon is up in the sky,
and that there are stars.
And the white hopelessness of winter.
And the flow of clouds, winds and waters.
She's gone and come back.
This topic is not unknown.
I scarcely remember.
Miracles rarefy,
clouds became clearer.
There are no coherent stories.


Five easy pieces.
Metaphors are different.
Associations are different.
More and more
to another reality.

I've found underlined lines in it:
"The first important act in creation is always chaos."
James Joyce

What a day. What hours.
An ironbird sails the sky.
News are coming from afar.
Suddenly Saturday and Sunday
bump into each other around midnight.

Dawn dissolves.
The air flows with holy detachment.
Upon the back of frost-bitten clouds
at once we arrive
to an unknown continent,
in a far, unreachable world,
to an unknown town
where love will save us.

Writing is, what it is.
Indeed, that's how it is.
Knowing, however,
how it all comes together.
To be a whole one which is
full of differences. Full of lack,
shades, fractions, omissions.

Yet it's moving, and all does till the end of times
Everything that's possible. The unobtrusive charm
of observing the details.
Everyday mingle-mangles.

New words should be learnt. A new logic,
a new melody, to forget the solicitous
consciousness which allows us to keep
the places of our youth.

Capitalism, neorealism, nationalism,
apartheid, nuclear industry, star wars.
Love and sabotage.
Chromatic abstraction, talking heads.
The prairie for a second.
Anarchism, cultural terrorism.
Hum, hum, the history of Canadian weatherology.
Time is just passing and twisting all around.

Hey, Shakes­peare! Quantum cowboys!
Let's party! Porno-stereo.
Chimborasso. Video junk.
Technophilia. Sado capitalist.
Dancing in ecstasy.
Let us live happily for the time being.


Chip, chip, file, space, enter, mouse.
Insert, Table, New document.
Exe command til first blood.
No need for elevated thoughts.
Transcendent subject and predicate.
Once someone painted his hair violet.
Chip, chip, jackdaw crested sirens,
dripping industrial music.
No woodoo anywhere.

I found underlined lines in it:
"I love the earth, the sun, the animals and I hate wealth...
I hate the tyrants, and I don't argue against God"
Walt Whitman

I stood on the riverside of Ontario
like Walt Whitman did once
and listened to the harmonies,
the booming winds, the murmuring of the waves.
I listened as huge bitter-sweet dumpling-seconds
drifted away in the lake.
So did the people, the animals and the things.
I listened to the song of scrunched rocks.
I heard the your hair rustle.
I heard the angels marching above the clouds.
I still seem to hear as your violoncello hip
rolling away on thin cloths.


Piss off, piss off!
I taste smoke and tea in my mouth. Newton's ocean parallel.
In the distance, bobby-soxers are jumping into Lake Michigan.
Fog is rising up to the sky, and later
tough details are coming.
A rich, exact and dense simplicity.

As you 've lifted.
As you 've lifted your hand to your mouth.
I am content with it.
As your snow-white breast twittered from my kisses.
I am content with
having this sentence.

Come on, cony, I shut you in the hovel
In the drawer of Charlie Mingus
Hum, hum. Yabba-dabba.

Walking about in town.
Magnificient Mile, the world is in my pocket.
I'm deconstructively pestering
the essence cooked in potato dumplings.
The resplendent chinetrain.
Instead of life:
sex, mud, sauerkraut.
Maximum rock and roll
and the poetic things above all.

I found underlined lines in it:
"Every society that prevents love from developing shall perish in the end from the fact that it is against the basic needs of human nature."
Erich Fromm

Titania. Manhattan transfer.
The Guggenheim Collection.
Colored ice cream bombs. A tasty inebriety.
Jackson Pollock. Colorado beetle.
Black Magic Woman.
Important sentences snaking slowly.

Cotton-thistle blues.
Barn dance, corn on the cob.
Sweating armpits, as you snuggled up to me.
There were more stars in the sky than the day before yesterday.
We laid anchored in to each other.
Cotton-thistle and wild succory.
Sexus. Plexus. Nexus.

Clouds are running by.
Pink swans are running by.
The pure white ones.
Lambs are drifting.
All contradictions live together.
Soul is as cold as bone.
Stones are shivering.

I wanted to pick a flower.
To break into a song.
To wake up in you, and we just watched the clouds.
The weightless sky lambs.
We hushed a lot,
and drank. Drank something.
We smoked Camel.
I wanted to sing then.
To sing and dance with you.
And to run long
across a blazing field.
Racing with red-backed grasshoppers.
Today, I hardly have patience
to suffer life.

Blue new world.
Foamazing content..
A strange thought.
A bit similar to the other ones.
A poster on the wall of the sitting room;
the icy music of a creek
gurgling in a valley.

I found underlined lines in it:
"The more you know
the more desperate is the world."
György Faludy

Toronto. Tokyo.
London, Ontario.
Ink-blue sky.
A corner of Amsterdam.
A cloud of confusion on your face.
A handful of dew on your left breast.      
It would be great, to stay alive.

Kipling, Islington, Royal York, Old Mill, Jane, Runnymede,
High Park, Keele, Dundas West, Lansdowne, Dufferin,
Ossington, Christie, Bathurst, Spadina,
St. Ge­or­ge, Bay, Bloor-Yonge.
Kiss me 'cause I'm gonna die!
Naked lunch, cut-up technique.
Naked America.
The second of August.
William S. Burroughs has gone, too.
There is always a moment
when Death is the protagonist.

If you choose,
the cleaning of a mirror.
Concentration. Surveillance.
A suspected motion
among so many end-points.
A law in contingency.
It's merely practice, numberless details.
Being exposed, provision.
A tense proportion.
Loyalty to the essence of our concerns.

To take a hint.
Message, storage, encoding.
The pearls of world literature.
A red-black carom.
A cloth ripped up, a cue,
Chicago after supper
with termites and paralyzing weed.

Im Westen nichts neues.
If you're not careful,
you'll be lost and lonely.
No changes in the West.
No one can speak Hungarian.
No changes in the West,
we just sit in shining glamour
in silence.

The blue wonder of July.
Dew slides on the leaves.
The branches rumble.
Women take their children to christening.
A new electronic reality.
La civilisation vidéochrétienne.
The medium is massage.
The medium is the cultural cur­ri­cu­lum.

Sarajevo. Bosnia.
A damned Sunday.
A sick witch over the town.
Sun curl up his lip.
Stinking folks in rags.
Bawling soldiers, drunken batteries.
A gray and unclaimed disaster.
Everything is full of pain.
Full of tonic and gin.
Full of Holiday Inn.

I found underlined lines in it:
"Nur barbaren können sich verteidigen."
(Only barbarians can defend themselves)
Friedrich Nietz­sche

A permanent insanity.
A confused world of
half-measures and bad compromises.
From one crisis to another.
Living and dying Hungarian.

Minus ten, plus thirty. Degrees?
Rather worms, rather recruiting dances.
Rather hysteria.
Rather a cloud adequate to the landscape.

Mixed media. A dream about the universe.
Half-way to a new dimension.
No connection, the tragedy is over.
No need to wait for Godot
and for clouds touching the ground.
Superior Society straightened out misery.
No more miles,
no more battered hits.
Latin rhythms are slowing down in the ghetto.
Now we must live
till we die.

They talked rubbish.
About politics, faith, weather, women,
the death of plants and animals.
About a fat man
who turned into a boat on lake Balaton.
They talked rubbish.
About beginning and end.
As if they knew
what it is all about.
They knew what objects feel,
and that man is important to another.
They just talked rubbish
about this whole freaking life.
While something indeed flew away.
A lamb in the sky.

Good times, bad times.
Cirriforms and cumuliforms.
Terrible skies.
With breath bated.
No dot, only installments.
Only sighs and whispers;
Let me stay a little while next to you,
if not on your breast but close by.

On the vast prairie of the sky
wind punches a buffalo herd.
Man has no faith anymore.

God bless us this morning.
God bless us.
Twilight over Ontario.
The ghosts retire.
It's going gray, the world is more and more colorful.
Sorrow comes.
Wind's shaking the balcony window.
Good bless you July, August.
On this holy dawn
I decided to wake up, after all.

I found, underlined lines in it:
"Future's world is the absolute chaos."
Luis Bunuel

Bring closer Sky and Earth
in the wind of my sighs.
The world is not finished yet.
Your heart is not on fire yet.

Summer of 1997

Translated by Michael Visochansky