Janos PILINSZKY translated by Michael CASTRO and Gabor GYUKICS
Don't Be Scared
I could do it, but I will not do it,
I'm planning it, raising the issue of it,
I'm just playing with myself, that is all,
I should rather cry than be brave.
Although sometimes I'm scared, delight
flowing toward my throat might entomb me,
what is just a ruminant horror,
what would happen if I did it?
What would happen if I kindled you
in your house on a sleepy night?
Youd be destroyed there and those whom
you loved would perish with you! Die together.
Before, I would examine your room,
I would sit there for an afternoon,
I would inscribe in my brain where your bed sits,
the papers pattern on the wall,
the stairs that lead to your door,
I want to know what will be with, and against you,
where will the fire go and where
the rebellious room will press you in?
Because you will burn. Below in the yard
a gaping mouth opens for you,
a crying pain, a swallowing throat.
Vainly, you'll rip through doors and windows.
I'll stand across the street and devour it all:
the smoke grow woolen on the firewall,
gather itself in an inflamed bouquet and burst,
a bloody bundle beneath a narrow roof!
That hot anguish that killed me before
now flows over you like puss
youll be a dark, dented, numb wound,
like the night and my face down there.
It should be so. But nothing will happen.
Even in hell, my faith did loosen.
This game gives me no consolation.
This point is the deepest of the night.
That I cursed you? Think what you like.
You dont interest me, I've never loved you.
Sleep restfully, drink and eat,
and if you understand my cursesdont be scared
As a nourishment for all,
as it's been written,
I give myself as a living food,
to the world to be eaten.
Because all who live
must play the hungry game,
might be your best lover,
yet smears blood on your name.
I toss and turn in bed
and shudder till I start
thinking who guzzles up
the beating of my heart!
What kind of trough this bed is,
say, what kind of trough?
And what pushed me here, what desire,
what kind of gorgeous puff!
How the horde gobbles up
my heart that's ceaselessly coming!
I am living nourishment
stammering and throbbing.
I'm your living food
always and totally
digest my essence
to understand my gluttony.
Because he who belongs to no one,
is a morsel for every one.
So waste me you awful love.
Murder me. Don't leave me to anyone.
From below the alert garden
a tree ascends into space,
the stillness is frail and empty,
the meadow looks for boundaries.
Your heart sinks into fear,
and the lurking road runs away.
the stem of a rose with a nervous smile,
gazes into herself:
in distant dubious regions
pain is being prepared.
What Kind of Underground Fight
I've forgotten you for days,
I realize with shock one evening
while, for a cigarette in my empty pocket,
I'm drowsily searching.
Did a gluttonous, gangliotic bush
of my nervous system swallow you?
Perhaps. Or else with my two bare hands
I've chocked you.
Whatever, it's all the same
murderers don't ponder.
However it happened, you are
already six feet under.
With abandoned gray hair,
you're lying under the ground,
amidst my cremated cells
in the clotted mud.
That's what I thought then, foolishly
pondering, until tonight
when a sudden force innocently
drifted me to your side
a dream lay me, bound me
beside you flat
we lay like poor men huddled
together on a thin straw mat.
Like an acrobat high in space
startled by his partner,
I plunged with you
to the hell down under
I followed you, to my ruin,
shivering, myself forgotten,
now again my conscience had taken!
Like a prisoner on his last night
embraces his jailmate
and cries for himself
though they share the same fate,
I embraced you,
as we would dare to love
both dead and living!
Was it an accident, a trap may be,
that I aging could see you?
Since then I can't find myself
here or there, not one clue!
I ask myself a hundred times
how can you go on living while you're dead?
Did you burn or, like a doused basement fire,
are you only smoldering in your ashy bed?
What kind of underground fight
what kind of blood is this
that in the corners of my eyes
since dawn today exists?
The confusion continuously grows
the passion is so cruel,
I believed I buried you
but are you killing me after all?
I'm frightened, I don't know what happens
if I dream again lures my love
I want you, yet hastily
throw clods on you from above.
In my mouth I taste a stench
or furtive hell:
Oh my God, what do you hide and guard
at the bottom of tomorrow's well?