Question & Answer 2 – George Szirtes

Question 2

There was a traffic cone scrawled in Magyar / I ate it / burnt the gloss from a secular refrain / where all the broken rivers / collided into a waterfall / a sonic boom / they shut down / the cupcake shop in a wonderful way / threw the flour into the streets and the chocolate icing / into a bin out the back / near the cathedral / I stood under a sign / for M&Ms where he could see me / as he stepped off the bus / my heart swelled and became a hot air balloon / we could ride over the Danube / across the channel / past St Day Road / to a place I could belong / maybe / if I could just learn to sing.

How do you learn / to make your words / sing?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 2

We could ride over the Danube / or sit on the step with Attila József / watching melon-rind drift down the tide / in a summer that is intolerable / while the city is half-asleep or sheltering by Lake Balaton / near the railway track at Balatonszárszó where József / died / it is a long way from there to the city / which is a long way from here / to whatever music is sung in its tunnels / by the dead who must live there / but rarely appear on the platform / we enter through the doors of the Metro / where the nearest waterfall is an escalator descending / the other rising / in the throat / into the light of midday / where a hot-air ballon is turning to metaphor / to a heart / to a cavity / to exhaustion / to coffee / to the rococo pastry of the lungs.

– George Szirtes