2015. november 30., hétfő

Lemn Sissay: Flowers in the kitchen

On buying her flowers
she said

"There's no food in the kitchen
and we can't eat flowers."

On buying her food
she said

"You don't buy flowers any more."

2015. november 28., szombat

Varró Dániel: [Nem illünk össze, drága, mit szépítsünk ezen…]

Nem illünk össze, drága, mit szépítsünk ezen.
A pletykarovatot te, a sporthíreket én.
Te pontban akkor ott vagy, én késve érkezem.
Én két cukorral kérem, te pedig feketén.

Te mondod is, nekem gondolni hosszan át kell.
Ha érvelek, te sírsz, elvágva disputánk.
Te este vagy bujós, nekem meg reggel áll fel.
Én gyereket szeretnék, te inkább kiskutyát.

Te szabályosan írod, én egy essel mi két es.
Bumfordi medveárnyék az én árnyékom, édes,
szökell mellette árnyad tünékeny lányalakja.

Bugyrok közt járok én beszívva felcsapó ként,
te meetingekre jársz HR-tanácsadóként.
De gomblukunkat mégis egymás hiánya lakja.

2015. november 27., péntek

Eleanor Brown: Bitcherel

You ask what I think of your new acquisition;
and since we are now to be 'friends',
I'll strive to the full to cement my position
with honesty. Dear - it depends.

It depends upon taste, which must not be disputed;
for which of us does understand
why some like their furnishings pallid and muted,
their cookery wholesome, but bland?

There isn't a law that a face should have features,
it's just that they generally do;
God couldn't give colour to all of his creatures,
and only gave wit to a few;

I'm sure she has qualities, much underrated,
that compensate amply for this,
along with a charm that is so understated
it's easy for people to miss.

And if there are some who choose clothing to flatter
what beauties they think they possess,
when what's underneath has no shape, does it matter
if there is no shape to the dress?

It's not that I think she is boring, precisely,
that isn't the word I would choose;
I know there are men who like girls who talk nicely
and always wear sensible shoes.

It's not that I think she is vapid and silly;
it's not that her voice makes me wince;
but - chilli con carne without any chilli
is only a plateful of mince...

2015. november 26., csütörtök

Lou Lipsitz: My Father's Girlfriends

From time to time
        he slept with one who had
        what he called "real class,"
who knew how to dress.
Maybe she'd spent time in Europe
        and developed a taste for luxury.
She worked for some specialty store
and would watch cooly
as my father--
        stylish, darkly Mediterranean,
        recently manicured,
        the sleeves of his shirt
rolled up on his forearms,
colorful tie loosened---
         showed her the lastest in sportswear.
And then
         asked her to dinner,
         business of course (though
she understood).
         A sleek brunette, maybe,
with great legs.
         Next day, he'd send flowers
and a romantic note.
"Women," he told me,
         "crave attention."

From time to time, it
was a prostitute.
        Nothing tawdry,
not the tough whores he
        and his buddies used to drive
up to Albany for
when they were eighteen.
        Nothing extravagant
either. A small, neat West Side
apartment. Curtains in the bedroom
like home. She'd never
make him rush. He could take
        the full hour if he wanted to.
"They're the only
ones," he told me, "who really know
how to please a man."

But mostly, the women
were like him,
        Jews or Italians out
of Brooklyn or the Bronx, one step
from the ethnic ghettos, trying
        not to smell of pastrami
or spaghetti sauce, or talk
with an accent;
        dressed to kill, slick and ready
with a joke---good-looking, youthful
women who glanced in the mirror
        a lot and wore
fashionable clothes;
        were determined above all
        not to be old-fashioned;
who'd discovered quickly
        what marriage could offer,
and what it couldn't; who could
keep their mouths shut
        and not tell other people
        what they didn't need
to know anyway.
They liked to gamble, but
not too heavily.

The way I imagine it,
        only once in twenty-five years
did any woman come close.
        He was nearing fifty
and watching the gray make its steady advances
        like a disorganized guerilla army
through the countryside
        of his thinning hair.

She was fifteen years younger
from a department store in some
        small midwestern
town, and something
        about her shyness
cut way into him.
        They had sex twice, but he was
haunted. She never asked
for anything,
        and he was afraid he
couldn't forget her.
        He knew what it would mean
if this ever got out---
        what would happen to the family,
        what his sisters would say.
He wasn't someone
        to throw it all away
        on one spin of the wheel.
So he let it die out: watching TV, tossing
        the football with me
in the street.

Somewhere in his mid-fifties
he got friendly with a seamstress
        who worked in his shop---
        a motherly woman
with a sick husband.
They worked late.
and she made him dinner
        He gave her extra money,
quietly, just relaxed and
let it happen.
        Only his wife couldn't
see it. She was fond of saying
over and over:
        "Jack worships
the ground I walk on."

Sundays, twice a year, he and I
went to the cemetery where
        his father was buried.
We mumbled the
Hebrew prayer for the dead and,
        keeping with tradition,
put a small rock on the gravestone
to show we'd come.
        Usually, we went home
without a word,
but once, when I was twenty,
        I saw him wipe away tears,
and he started to talk about
my grandfather:
        "He was the sweetest guy.
Everybody loved him. But I'd hear
my mother yelling at him
in the back room.
        And he never yelled back.
Because everything
        she said was true:
        he ran around and gambled
and..." He stopped.
        "Just once
I wanted to hear him
yell back at her:
        "Yes, I"m foolish, but
you don't know me and you
never will."

2015. november 25., szerda

Finy Petra: Tavasz

Olvad a táj
Egy sánta szarka elszomorító nyugalommal
Botorkál a sárrá híguló télben
Megáll méreget
Ismét megáll és megint méreget
Figyeli a hólé mélységét
Hol tudna biztosan belefulladni

2015. november 24., kedd

Leslie Harrison: The Day Beauty Divorced Meaning

Their friends looked shocked—said not
possible, said how sad. The trees carried on
with their treeish lives—stately except when
they shed their silly dandruff of birds. And
the ocean did what oceans mostly do—
suspended almost everything, dropped one
small ship, or two. The day beauty divorced
meaning, someone picked a flower, a fight,
a flight. Someone got on a boat.
A closet lost its suitcases. Someone
was snowed in, someone else on. The sun
went down and all it was, was night.

2015. november 23., hétfő

Courtney Kampa: Self-Portrait By Someone Else

The afternoon we traced our 2nd grade bodies
with poster paint, legs V-shaped on paper
like the outlines of victims at a crime scene,
I was the only girl stuck partnered with a boy—
his fists filthy from prying back scalps
of onion grass, bug shells crushed up in his teeth
because he’d liked the sound. He refused
all paint-colors but blue. Leaned over me,
complaining loudly to his friends. Then his lip,
heavy with focus. And the red wing
of his tongue. Dragging his paintbrush
like a match in a room of gasoline. The week before
Debbie Kaw passed a note saying babies
came from standing too close to a boy,
or if one sweat on you, or spat
in your direction. So the girls called it brave, what I did,
letting one trace me. And I let them think so—
let them run ahead in the carpool line,
the blood still returning to my knees.
Let my mother hang it full length on the refrigerator.
The white space something I’d stepped from.
Its thick blue line sort of wobbly
between my thighs, where his hands shook.
In the mornings my little sister would stand
on one foot, looking at it. Her groggy pajamas.
Her hands playing in her lunatic hair.

2015. november 21., szombat

Kemény Zsófi: Most eldől

Megmentem egy tűzvésztől a világot,
de legalábbis elfújok egy gyertyát.
Hagyok egy kis meleget azért,
hogy ne fázzon a kombinémodell a plakáton.
Feltámadt a szél, de nem baj,
elnyomja a fölösleges
napsütés hangját.
Itt jön most egy szakadék,
úgyhogy fölfelé is, lefelé is indulhatok,
mert mindenképp leesek.
Most az a pillanat van,
mikor kizárok mindent,
és most a szélnek sincsen hangja.
Ha vége, majd talán sírok is.
Vagy nevetek. Vagy ordítok,
még nem tudom, épp most dől el.

2015. november 20., péntek

Nikki Giovanni: Poem for Flora

when she was little
and colored and ugly with short
straightened hair
and a very pretty smile
she went to Sunday school to hear
'bout nebuchadnezzar the king
of the jews

and she would listen

shadrach, meshach and abednego in the fire

and she would learn
how god was neither north
nor south east or west
with no color but all
she remembered was that
Sheba was Black and comely

and she would think

i want to be
like that.

2015. november 19., csütörtök

Cecilia Woloch: On Faith

How do people stay true to each other?
When I think of my parents all those years
in the unmade bed of their marriage, not ever
longing for anything else — or: no, they must
have longed; there must have been flickerings,
stray desires, nights she turned from him,
sleepless, and wept, nights he rose silently,
smoked in the dark, nights that nest of breath
and tangled limbs must have seemed
not enough. But it was. Or they just
held on. A gift, perhaps, I've tossed out,
having been always too willing to fly
to the next love, the next and the next, certain
nothing was really mine, certain nothing
would ever last. So faith hits me late, if at all;
faith that this latest love won't end, or ends
in the shapeless sleep of death. But faith is hard.
When he turns his back to me now, I think:
disappear. I think: not what I want. I think
of my mother lying awake in those arms
that could crush her. That could have. Did not.

2015. november 18., szerda

Simon Márton: Kínai

A kirakatban lévő asztalhoz ültünk
végül. Üres egyébként ez az egész.
Az étel ehető, de inkább csak
beszélünk, így hárman:
mi ketten meg a tulaj, aki tőlünk nem
messze járkál és egy érthetetlen
nyelven hadar a mobiljába.
A falon tükrök kirakva, körben,
mintha öröm lenne magunkat nézni;
és nem történik semmi, ha kérdik,
majd azt mondjuk, beszélgettünk;
te elmesélted, hogy Keleten
valahol, nem tudod pontosan, hol,
úgy kell enniük a nőknek, hogy nem érhet
étel az ajkaikhoz. Ott arrébb átjött a
felhők résein a nap, szemembe süt,
de mindegy, sokáig csak nézlek aztán;
vajon tényleg nem vetted észre, hogy
két napja nem értem hozzá a szádhoz?
Beszédünk mögött valaki egy
érthetetlen nyelven hadar,
szembenálló koszos tükrökben
egy közhely, meg mi ketten.
Ha már nem kellett, legalább
mondd meg, mi volt ez.
Tudjam, miért fizettem.

2015. november 17., kedd

Charles Bukowski: Throwing Away the Alarm Clock

my father always said, “early to bed and
early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy
and wise.”

it was lights out at 8 p.m. in our house
and we were up at dawn to the smell of
coffee, frying bacon and scrambled

my father followed this general routine
for a lifetime and died young, broke,
and, I think, not too

taking note, I rejected his advice and it
became, for me, late to bed and late
to rise.

now, I’m not saying that I’ve conquered
the world but I’ve avoided
numberless early traffic jams, bypassed some
common pitfalls
and have met some strange, wonderful

one of whom
myself—someone my father

2015. november 16., hétfő

Ronald Koertge: The Ubiquity Of The Need For Love

I leave the number and a short
message on every green Volvo
in town
Is anything wrong?
I miss you.
The phone rings constantly.
One says, Are you bald?
Another, How tall are you in
your stocking feet?

Most just reply, Nothing’s wrong.
I miss you, too.

Come quick.

2015. november 14., szombat

Petri György: És persze dolgozom

Tudod, társnőm, az ember
olyan tétova, zavaros képződmény,
még a magamfajta eszélyes lény is.
Hol fatalista, hol csak
szeszélyes és gyenge,
lökdösik pillanatszülte vágyak.
Közben fél is, amolyan
fedett félelem ez, elfedik
feladatok, közeli célok, mert az ember
tervező állat. A tervezés reflex
– mint a nyálkiválasztás vagy a
pupilla szűkülése-tágulása
a fényviszonyoknak megfelelően.
És persze dolgozom: köddarabokat
dolgozok át jéggé.
A fordítás egy szabadabb neme ez:
az ősz lágy, nyirkos impresszionizmusát
eltolom a tél rideg realizmusa felé.
Úgynevezett színházi fordítás ez
a saját belső színpadom számára,
hol én vagyok a rendező,
s nemkülönben az összes szereplő is.
Más aspektusból nézve
már ami a költő és a vers,
úr és szolga viszonyát illeti,
a szolga én voltam.

2015. november 13., péntek

Frances Mayes: Sister Cat

Cat stands at the fridge,
cries loudly for milk.
But I've filled her bowl.
wild cat, I say, Sister,
look, you have milk.
I clink my fingernail
against the rim. Milk.
With down and liver,
a word I know she hears.
Her sad miaow. She runs
to me. She dips
in her whiskers but
doesn't drink. As sometimes
I want the light on
when it is on. Or when
I saw the woman walking
toward my house and
I thought there's Frances.
Then looked in the car mirror
to be sure. She stalks
the room. She wants. Milk
beyond milk. World beyond
this one, she cries.

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart
and try to love the questions themselves ...
Don't search for the answers,
which could not be given to you now,
because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is, to live everything.
Live the questions now.
Perhaps then, someday far in the future,
you will gradually, without even noticing it,
live your way into the answer.

2015. november 12., csütörtök

Marshall Davis Jones: [You got a good heart kid...]

You got a good heart kid
Eh, it’s a rental

Mine is at the chop shop.
Been there for the last few years.

Got tired of taking it back
To the last mechanic
Not sure if I trust this one

Love is like that
Like a bad mechanic
The one who you give your heart to
And they snap something
Twist another
Keep you coming back
To the same mistake

2015. november 11., szerda

Paul Verlaine: Álmodom egy nőről

Álmodom egy nőről, akit nem ismerek,
forró és különös, áldott, nagy Látomás,
aki sohasem egy, s aki sohase más,
aki engem megért, aki engem szeret.

Mert ő megért. Neki, ó jaj, csupán neki
bús, áttetsző szívem többé már nem talány,
sápadt homlokomnak verejték-patakán
frissítve omlanak az ő szent könnyei.

Barna, szőke, vörös? Ó, nem tudom én, nem.
A neve? Emlékszem: lágyan zendül, mélyen
mint kedveseinké ott lenn, a sírba, lenn.

Nézése hallgatag szobrokénak mása,
szava messziről jön, komoly, bús, fénytelen:
mint elnémult drága szavak suhanása.

(Ady Endre fordítása)

2015. november 10., kedd

Nikki Giovanni: The World is Not a Pleasant Place to Be

the world is not a pleasant place
to be without
someone to hold and be held by

a river would stop
its flow if only
a stream were there
to receive it

an ocean would never laugh
if clouds weren’t there
to kiss her tears

the world is not
a pleasant place to be without

2015. november 9., hétfő

Jenna Fletcher: Reservations

Across the table,
in lands untold,
you stare back at me
from above the lip of your water glass.

Three feet, but infinite distance lays between us;
a mass of oak,
and it’s grains attempting to fill the space.

Feiging interest,
I explore jungles with my fork,
examining the bottom of my bowl,
to find a rabbithole in which to lose myself.

Various on-lookers might observe
a quiet meal shared between lovers or friends—
sipping on their ice water and tea,
while I—
unbeknownst to them—
may as well sip gasoline.

We are resigned to eat in silence…
inwardly willing the check to come.

A quiet meal between friends, yes.

But if I laid my hand upon the table,
yours would not meet mine in return.

And if my eyes wandered to your plate,
you would not offer to share.

And when the check comes (AT LAST!),
we will pay our seperate fees,
and go our seperate ways.

So no, no,
this isn’t a quiet meal between lovers.
Not today.

2015. november 7., szombat

Mihail Jurjevics Lermontov: Így, ilyen forrón

Így, ilyen forrón, nem téged szeretlek,
szépséged énrám hiába ragyog;
elmúlt ifjúság, árnnyá hűlt napok:
régi sebeim sajdúlnak tebenned.

Nézlek: szép vagy, gyönyörű szenvedély,
és szemem hosszan a szemedbe mélyed;
álmodozva, tudom, veled beszélek,
fájó lelkem mégse hozzád beszél:

egy lányhoz beszél, aki vesztve rég:
arcodban őt keresem - arca mását,
csókodban - egy elmaradt csók varázsát,
szemeidben - két kihúnyt szem tüzét.

(Szabó Lőrinc fordítása)

2015. november 6., péntek

Brian Fish: At Two…

I will say no when I mean yes,
I will say no when I mean no.
When you answer the phone,
I will spit out my water and play in it.
When you write an email I will demand to be on your lap.
Oh, and trust me everything tastes better when it comes from your plate.
At two I will be contrary just because I can…
Yet at two,
I will learn to dance, Even when people are looking.
I will sing and, applaud myself.
I will give you hugs and kisses so full of love they will make you cry.
I will smile and try to tell you about my day.
I will always be excited when you come home.
Two comes only once…
At two I will sing, I will count, I will have fits.
At two I know I love you, and I know you love me.

2015. november 5., csütörtök

Sarah Lindsay: Origin

The first cell felt no call to divide.
Fed on abundant salts and sun,
still thin, it simply spread,
rocking on water, clinging to stone,
a film of obliging strength.
Its endoplasmic reticulum
was a thing of incomparable curvaceous length;
its nucleus, Golgi apparatus, RNA
magnificent. With no incidence
of loneliness, inner conflict, or deceit,
no predator nor prey,
it had little to do but thrive,
draw back from any sharp heat
or bitterness, and change its pastel
colors in a kind of song.
We are descendants of the second cell.

2015. november 4., szerda

Gyóni Géza: Memento

Kit megálmodtál egyszer magadnak,
Hajad selymével kösd le a párod!
Források mentén nimfák kacagnak -
Hinár karokkal rája tapadnak…
S ha soká késel, majd nem találod.

Tárd ki karod, míg hófehér, hamvas,
Bontsd le hajad, míg hullámos ében.
Irígy vénekre csak sose hallgass!
Majd jön a bánat, a rút, unalmas,
Majd jön a bánat még idejében.

A szerelemben nincsenek évek,
A szerelemben csak csókok vannak.
A szerelemben jaj a fösvénynek!
A szerelemben csak azok élnek,
Kik szerelemből mindent odadnak.

2015. november 3., kedd

Donna Hilbert: Credo

I believe in the Tuesdays
and Wednesdays of life,
the tuna sandwich lunches
and TV after dinner.
I believe in coffee with hot milk
and peanut butter toast,
Rose wine in summer
and Burgundy in winter.

I am not in love with holidays,
birthdays—nothing special—
and weekends are just days
numbered six and seven,
though my love
dozing over TV golf
while I work the Sunday puzzle
might be all I need of life
and all I ask of heaven.

2015. november 2., hétfő

Mindy Nettifee: 7 Things I Never Told My Older Sister Because I Know Better, in Reverse Chronological Order

1. if you ever feel like leaving him, renting a rich blue convertible and becoming someone else somewhere in the desert, i’ll go with you

2. thank you for all the horrible and/or dangerous things you did first, so i could learn from your mistakes. specifically: getting herpes, dropping out of school, getting a trendy dream catcher tattoo.

3. i dropped acid with your ex-girlfriend.

4. remember back during your chunky crystals and channeling spirits phase, when you told me in the back seat of a Ford Taurus that you had spoken with my higher self and she was “really worried about me”? i haven’t trusted myself since.

5. i took French in school because you did, and i thought we would be able to have top secret conversations about sex and drugs and rated R films in front of mom. why didn’t we do that?

6. i was the one that destroyed your Black Crowes tape, not the dog.

7. every time you ran away from home, i followed you.