Trafika Europe Corner: Three poems by Károly Lencsés, translated by Ágnes Megyeri

Nekem

Ne tölts el ostoba reménnyel
Ne vakíts el ígérettel
A magány igazi, s ha énképem
Albumába lesek sok közös fotón
ott van velem.

Igen. Gyakran pózolok vele.
Kéz a kézben járunk. Neked nyűg
Nekem lehet más is. Például
Társam az örök utazásban
ott van velem.

Ne hidd, hogy bánom. Egy részem
Nem szelektálom. Nem hagyom,
Hogy kárba vesszen a sok
Kettesben töltött idő, te elmész, míg Ő
marad nekem.

Végtére is ki mondja meg
Mi vagyok. Ösztönös állat.
Magamat folyton felfalom,
Amit a csonton kívül mindig marad
Az a magány.

Nem hagy befejezetlenül. Kitölt.
Az Ő szemén át a világ letargikus ugyan,
De megszokható. Egyedül. Szótlanul.
Csodálkozva a világra néma utamon világom
Kiteljesedik benne.

For me
(translated by Ágnes Megyeri)

Do not fill me with foolish hope
Do not blind me with promises
Loneliness is real and if I peek into
The album of my self-image in our photos
it is there with me.

Yes. I often pose with it. 
We walk hand in hand. A nuisance for you
For me it may be something else. For instance
My companion in the eternal journey
it is there with me. 

Do not think that I regret. A part of me
I do not select. I will not let waste
The time spent in private, you leave, while It
stays there for me. 

Who is to tell after all 
What I am. Instinctive animal. 
I keep devouring myself. 
What is left apart from the bones
It is loneliness. 

It does not leave me unfinished. It fills me. 
Through Its eyes the world might as well seem lethargic
But you can get used to it. Alone. Speechless. 
Marvelling at the world during my silent journey my world 
Becomes complete in it.

Nekem

(második felvonás)

nekem csönd kell, hogy üvöltsek.
hogy megértse anyám-apám, hogy rugdosnak. 
ez olyam csenevész gondolat, mégis szóra traktál az ész.
mennyit változtam jó ég!
valami hadar bennem késztetést, hogy elmondjam
ép szóval kék-zöld foltjaim.
megpróbáltam lábnyomomba lépni, könnyűnek tűnt.
követni utam. ugyanabba elbotlani.
ha valaki bántott az sokkal jobban fájt megint.
visszanéznem. ugyan az a kéz rángat.
viola ami szemem fellegfátyla. naivan szépnek látni.
s ha újra lépek megint a lábnyomomba
megcsókolom a kezet s karcolom majd a sárba,
hogy engem vezet.

For me
(act two)
(Translated by Ágnes Megyeri)

i need silence for me to howl.
for my mother and father to understand that i am being kicked. 
this is such a scrubby thought, yet the mind makes me speak.
how much i have changed, oh dear!
something sputters in me an urge to tell
my black and blue bruises with unscathed words.
tried to step into my footprints, seemed easy enough.
to follow my path. to stumble in the same place. 
if somebody hurt me it was even more painful again. 
to look back. the same hand is tugging at me. 
viola the cloud-veil of my eyes. naively see it as nice. 
and if i step into my footprint again
i will kiss the hand and etch into the mud
that it is me who is led by it.

Párnacsata
(tébolydai közöny)

Átkozottak. A bomlás elegáns
csiklandó görcs röhög
dióbél agy vérér vájta kanyon
nem releváns impulzus
kitolt csípőt lökésre ösztökél
...összetéveszthetetlen
magát kéregető mozdulattal kétrét hajtódik
nedves nyelve csapkod egy gyíké
tévé köpetet mázol
fülből lógó kar hátból kiálló láb
hónalj dús szemöldök alatt gyűrött bőr
egy kupac magát levedlett ember olyan,
akár egy park lopott árnya, amire lapot teszel
grafittal átrajzolod egymásba font millió karom
holtvirágszirom a bomlás sárgája
félig megformálódott cserepes ajkak
s a gondolatba dermedt arc állán
lecsurog és fluoreszkál
holnap nyolckor fényt kap egy repedés
pókhálóra gyöngyöket fűz, mert odakinn a világ
naívan harmóniára készül
a fal tűr, mint ma is s a perc ugyan úgy pereg
hajnal vihogás kakaskodás kalapál a helység kockás
padlóján...
kiseprűz a közöny
néhány egymást dörgöli
kilövellő ragacsos kéj izzadt démonok vonaglása belül...
...párnacsata

Pillow fight
(madhouse apathy)
(Translated by Ágnes Megyeri)

The accursed. Decay is elegant
tingling spasm laughs
kernel brain canyon grooved by blood vessel
irrelevant impulse
thrust hip made to push
… unmistakable
with a reluctant movement it bends double
its slimy tongue whipping belongs to a lizard
television light smearing spittle
arm hanging from ear leg sticking out of back
armpit crinkled skin under heavy brow 
a heap of men who have shed themselves is like
stolen shade of a park, on which you place a card
trace it with a pencil millions of claws entwined
dead flower petal the yellow of decay
half formed parched lips
on the chin of the face frozen into thoughts
dripping down and fluorescing
tomorrow at eight a crack will get the light
stringing pearls on cobweb, as the world outside
naively prepares for harmony
the wall endures like today the minute trickles alike
dawn titter cocking hammering the chequered 
floor of the hive…
apathy sweeps me out
some rub each other 
squirting sticky lust sweaty demons wriggling inside…
… pillow fight

In Latin, recrudescence means “to become raw again.” Through time, the word has morphed to mean an uplifted sense of starting fresh or entering renewed activity. The root meaning of the word remains; however, many have realized that starting over and becoming “raw” again does not necessarily mean returning to a reduced state. 

Károly Lencsés’ poems expose this rawness that can exist for us. The poetic “I” in “For me” shows the company that can be found in loneliness after losing someone in your life, while “For me (act two)” expresses the changing of one yet to be recognized by others stuck in the past. “Pillow fight” provides oxymorons, contrasting decay with elegance and an interior with an exterior, one preparing for peace and the other for further development. Recrudescence seeps through these verses. 


Károly Lencsés (1976) is a Hungarian poet and artist who has published widely in various Hungarian literary magazines. He has had two poetry collections published and was recently granted the András Dugonics literary prize. These poems are brought to us in English by translator Ágnes Megyeri.


Recrudescence (TE 25) is set to be published in April 2024. Check out www.trafikaeurope.org to get updates about the publication and our projects. 


Read previous posts in The Trafika Europe Corner series:

Trafika Europe Corner: Three Poems by Guðrið Helmsdal, translated by Randi Ward

Three poems by Deniz Durukan – in Trafika Europe Corner II.11 by Andrew Singer

Three poems by Marius Burokas – in Trafika Europe Corner II.10 by Andrew Singer

Three poems by Franca Mancinelli – in Trafika Europe Corner II.9 by Andrew Singer

Three poems by Nina Kossman – in Trafika Europe Corner II.8 by Andrew Singer

Three poems by Alexander Kabanov – in Trafika Europe Corner II.7 by Andrew Singer

Three poems by Andrey Gritsman – in Trafika Europe Corner II.6 by Andrew Singer

Kosovan poet Fahredin Shehu – in Trafika Europe Corner II.5 by Andrew Singer

Three poems from Icelandic by Gyrðir Elíasson – in Trafika Europe Corner II.4 by Andrew Singer

Trafika Europe Corner II.3 – New Latvian poet Jānis Tomašs by Andrew Singer

Trafika Europe Corner II.2 by Andrew Singer

Trafika Europe Corner II.1 by Andrew Singer

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