Istvan EorsiHungaryWriting2000

In Memoriam 1931-2005

The Question

When that dress-grey, gray-haired and gray-faced

goblin took charge of me then inside the gate,

which closed behind me for a couple years,

I was still cheerful exceedingly

cheerful nodding out (hadn’t slept for days),

cheerful because taking part in real life

action again, two serious gentlemen

at my shoulders in a night-colored car which

special for me rolled across December’s bridge,

cheerful because I’d yelled out in the street

that this one and that one should be notified,

cheerful because I thought the adventure

a minor excursion, but cheerful also,

because such a gray such a small Uncle

I’d never seen yet, he however

wasn’t cheerful, was reassuringly

bored bananas, boringly signed for

my delivery and boringly turned my seven pockets inside-out,

then with a wooden face confiscated

handkerchief, pocketknife, bunch of keys,

next indifferently requested my belt

and examined personally whether

my underpants operated with string,

yawned apathetic patting me down,

last nearly napping asked for the laces

that wagged lighthearted from my shoe tops - -

“I can’t walk like this” -- he shrugged a shoulder. Left hand holding my pants up, spellbound by

this unprecedented situation, yet

still cavalier I bowed deep presenting

him with the shoelaces in my right hand.

“What’s the point anyhow? I really don’t

intend to hang myself” -- I assured him

lightheartedly. “You don’t?” he questioned. --“Why not?”

On his sallow face neither mockery nor hate.

That was when the fear caught up with me.


(Translated from the Hungarian by Allen Ginsberg)