The wind storm opened the door to the unheated room
and left it open. The cold air blew in through the crevice
for a few days. What did a whitethroat want over there?
A migratory bird at winter. It lay down in front of the
balcony door with dull eyes, its body didn’t have any
warmth but its tilted head rested in my palm.
How much unthinkable evil pushes suddenly in to the
heated rooms. To the rigid impotence of shoulders and neck
there is irritated angry mood in every motion, in this pretty-
voiced bird, that can hide under a single green leaf
in the summer. That this black-capped, fluffy-feathered guest
appears is an unexpected tiny source of joy, but we see it late.
It lies silently on the cold threshold.
a certain degree of freedom
cursed the local machos
and caused pain
on every occasion
once in a half year
went down to change money
wait for him he said
pushed me to the room
with his moneyed hands
tried to start me
like I was a
I had believed
he was so smart
spoke his mother tongue
better than I
yet it wasn’t enough
he obviously had no idea
about my things
when he intervened
how one should live better
then it dawned on me
that he too was in denial
and that ended it with him
no need for disproval
Mónika Mesterházi (born Budapest, 1967) poet, essayist and freelance literary translator has published four books of poetry (1992, 1995, 1999, 2007) and a book of essays (2019) on 20th century and contemporary Hungarian poetry. She has received awards for both her poetry and translations including the prestigious József Attila prize.
Her poems have appeared in Swedish in Två ungerska poeter, (Anna and Per Svenson, 2009). English translations were published in anthologies: In Quest of the Miracle Stag: The Poetry of Hungary Vol. II., ed. by Ádám Makkai (1997); An Island of Sound: Hungarian poetry and fiction before and beyond the Iron Curtain (George Szirtes, 2004); New Order: Hungarian Poets of the Post 1989 generation, ed. by George Szirtes (2010) and in the Hungarian issue of Modern Poetry in Translation (Jim Tucker, 2018).
Gabor G Gyukics (b. 1958) is a Hungarian-American poet, jazz poet, literary translator born in Budapest. He is the author of 9 books of original poetry, 6 in Hungarian, 2 in English, 1 in Arabic, 1 in Bulgarian and 11 books of translations including A Transparent Lion, selected poetry of Attila József and Swimming in the Ground: Contemporary Hungarian Poetry (in English, both with co-translator Michael Castro) and an anthology of North American Indigenous poets in Hungarian titled Medvefelhő a város felett. He writes his poems in English (which is his second language) and Hungarian. His latest book in English is a hermit has no plural (Singing Bone Press, 2015). His latest book in Hungarian was published by Lector Press in May 2018. Photo by Sándor Gyapjas.
Beside writing and publishing for decades, Belinda Subraman was a Registered Nurse for 14 years, mostly in hospice. She’s also an artist working in ink and acrylics. She’s a member of several drumming groups and has been playing African rhythms for over five years taught directly from African masters. She also has a daily yoga practice and a book of poetry called Left Hand Dharma published by Unlikely Books in 2018.