Tamás Korpa was born in 1987, in Miskolc, a city of Northern Hungary. He is a poet, critic and editor. He completed his PhD studies at the University of Debrecen and at the University of Vienna, specialized in modern and contemporary Hungarian lira. He has already published two poetry books: „Egy híd térfogatáról” in 2013 and „Inszomnia” in 2016. His poems have been translated into German and Serbian. In 2016, he received the most significant prize that young authors can get, the Gérecz Attila Prize. He is currently the editor of the Hungarian Young Writers' Association and Editor-in-Chief of the literary review of www.szifonline.hu. He lives in a small village in Hungary with his wife and his daughter.
an almost soundless index finger, opening towards you,
you can barely feel it, marks you out. your little optical chamber, your face,
goes dark inside and out. if everything collapses,
it will start in your eyes. while your dream passes through
your face at night, this soft smile is covered with wild features,
if you wake up at such times. become a deposit
at the bottom of your steps. but do not rest somewhere in your sole.
steps are imprecise, that is, they can be used
for something. the familiar writing-table, two canary yellow chairs
are now left behind. the leaf filter frozen into thick ice
is left behind. the sturdy tarmacadam is left behind.
you start out for a dilemma, where the valley turns
and the well of umbrella terms is fizzing.
it is the headroom that captivates you in the turning,
it closes you in, for too many words fit it.
can you feel this slightly upsetting grinding, this senility
in the crash of the plateau and the slope?
this high creaky voice, the battle of the poles, all these
cosmetics, this stirring, what’s more, itch
in the hip movement of bushes, around the feeder,
in the pine seeds strewn in concentric circles,
in the hair running down to the nape’s wall?
in the pulse count of the brook, when it comes to a drop,
the bank is sandpapering its features. and there is nothing
left of it but the huddling (together) after the splash, intimate
light as air, soft as breath.
again it has a different voice,
a time-consuming, tense babble, offering a new beginning.
to wait for the right wave, how many arguments is that?
what is a head, which hasn’t been aired for years, looking at?
do I continue where she started?
but at times like this too many points of reference are needed –
Cukrová homola (105 m), Na Skale (630 m), Krkavcie skaly (590 m), Turniansky hrad (350 m), Bezvody (800 m), Hradisko vrch (770 m)
Hradisko vrch (770 m) /
this leafy autodidact,
how it has learnt the ways of the night, which is barrenness, which is forgetting,
from foliage to foliage. every word: all the erogenous zones, by which
he was called. the wind could not sound clearer from speakers
than from this foliage, from the bulk of the foliage through this block.
sprinkle it with bedbugs. you keep it back, you keep silent. silence
fills your auditory ducts and then the Rooms of Ulterior Motives.
a foliage permed with cones.
a bit of erosional tarnish at the bottom of the trunk, tender.
the rest up there is whispering, leaf noise, reported speech, red tape.
the coarseness of whispering, its coolness, as the air around it
becomes moves slower. because the obsolete foliage is ploughed in and its place is
sprinkled with salt. some kind of a slow flooding is needed now, up until the padded fingertips,
for them to go through these lines again. and through the narrow throat of the lines
they would flow into the proof of the foliage.
Cukrová homola (105 m) /
and this Bach-disc. as if you pushed
the phonograph needle onto a stone slab covering an old well, so that it can play
the microstructure of the deep. you should then ask in turn, questions like
what kind of acoustics can the maxillary sinus have,
when the inner voice tolls itself, every now and then.
but let go of your ear now and allow
your tympanums to harden, to clog you up,
and fall to your feet, like shells you have listened to death.
familiar sounds, where dead-locks matured, are not
with you now. a sound, surrounded by passers-by,
like an accident, is uninteresting. the orchestra pit
is debacling next to you in the February freeze, unnoticed.
Krkavcie skaly (590 m) /
mrs. tamás korpa. there was someone who, barely released from this name,
was left so alone with it as if dusk had fallen upon her,
uncut, because it is ceaseless. once she takes one more step out
of it, once she gives it some thought, she is only passing it over, prevaricating.
next to her, a barren clearing, molten into fudge. or the broken up
duvet. set free from the coolness of underwear.
what is getting undressed, as undressing someone, the wandering of a
a piece of brandied cherry on the skin. or the park of surmises, wordless.
let she be present, if it does not mean. the perimeter of her face
present in her companion’s eyes. her face is dim, it does not coincide
with her musings. yes, but if she mars her own belly-splitting laughter.
yes, but if she devastates every date. yes, but if she is helped out by this
body language. yes, but if her body language takes after someone else’s.
yes, but if she takes it off and hangs it out, so that the snow can cover it.
yes, but if there is no if and there is no snow.
Bezvody (800 m) /
two of our companions, underneath the water repellent foliage, Surelynot,
Ohwhatthehell, escort me through, please escort me through, as if by rote, on a cold afternoon
we are standing on the disintegrating bank of the periodic river, escort
me through on a cold afternoon. the nudes of shivering teeth in a long row
on the gum’s ledge, a cold afternoon.
gothic of nipples on the thin pullover, cold afternoon
escort me through, when the cold ruffles the barn-floors of the curls.
when the bangs drag the cold up to the forehead.
when it’s been snowing for days on the top of the head, as if a single season had
gathered around a single point. escort me through. when it is late, when it is passing.
when our mouths are wide open, escort me through. when the flood gates are multiplying
on the river of our speech. when the scalding filters are accumulating
in our glass, escort me through.
when the cross-section of our mouth is narrowing,
escort me, Surelynot, Ohwhatthehell, through, the cold
Turniansky hrad (350 m) /
just to arrive next to it. not right there but around it.
only to its vicinity.
someone has brought there a three-piece suite.
they might have been renovating their house down there, and dragged these up here.
I cannot see the whole picture: what happened and when.
like after a question one has slept through, when you only wake up to the answer
you don’t understand, but you listen to it.
like a missed sentence, one you have not taken,
you rather wait for the next one. you only arrive next to it.
you flash into the forest with all your might, then you move away,
along the ideal arc.
Na Skale (630 m) /
I recorded on a dictaphone the soda-like twaddle of the Blatnica’s water on those seven square meters of wry house-trained limestone wall above Na Skale
48°37'32.5"N 20°50'45.9"E /
she diverted my attention
to the pitted karst. if we take it, its law is disappearance, she said.
the secretion of insomnia was trickling down her forehead.
she chose a short hole – dug it up and then dug down
farther away. rolled the word here to the bottom of the hole.
an alabaster willow will soon fall in, rumbling,
but not here, not here, she said.
I would learn that fall by heart, if really here,
48°37'57.3"N 20°49'32.8"E /
you choose a plot of land.
you fold it in along its perpendicular bisector. you put velcro on its edges.
and you hang it out so that the flayed, raw wind can rut on it.
then you lay it out, like a well-worn duvet.
you crop it, weed it, day in, day out. and once it’s shed its blossoms,
you take it in again –
the feeling grows over you: to compile the first dictionary of blossoming.
then build a fire in the glossary. it’s blossoming, look, the garden of Periphrases.
the Coherence promenade, for private use only, is entwined with emerald ivy.
would you resurrect anyone in it for five minutes?
by the time you get up, do you notice that you have forgotten everything?
Zadielska chata /
life-sized portraits of trees decorate the council-chamber.
the pets, she says. the natives, he reasons.
in reality, they are the memories of a log crackling in a log house’s fireplace.
leaf noise, tumult, fuss. purple autumn. domino principle.
the rest outside: the snow, come too early, whitewashing
the foliage on the spot, she says.
the snow crystal, like a paperweight, he thinks.
talking big, which is narrow-heartedness, she says.
taciturnity, which is barrennes, he thinks.
and some other times, each leaf, like lots of tiny rubbers
circling in the air. wipe into it and the whole afternoon would cease.
the cold afternoons of antecedents, she says.
the aired, leafy crown, he thinks.
Turniansky hrad (350 m) /
I eased the glowing embers on the hearth shovel and took it down
to the park. I waited for the snow to fall impatiently on it.
the embers were seething, the snowflakes were burnt alive.
later, all the waist-high curtains from the castle’s three hundred and sixty-five
rooms were washed and dried together in the ten-acre
park. seven hundred snow white shells, stiff to the point of brittleness.
a walk on the melting meadow: I walked around the castle. my steps were
crunching, as if I was walking on bubble wrap.
I used to believe for a long time that the repetition machine had been hidden in the laundry room of the Eastern wing, not in the heart of the forest.
but in the woods I saw people made to stand according to height.
something was whispered in the ear of the tallest one to pass it on.
mouths, made to speak till total exhaustion, till the risk of a cave-in.
Zadielska Dolina /
the clocks are boiled in a big cauldron.
dead time is being stirred with long wooden spoons:
it is four o’clock in Dolina, it is past four in Dolina, or
it is almost four, it is just after four in Dolina,
it is still morning in Dolina.
the cogs, like opalescent shells, are peeled with freshly whetted knives.
the pin-sharp hour-hand is
torn out. a can of petrol is lit under them.
the smell of roasted pocket watches and blended wall clocks
is filling up the space. the watch-glasses are bursting one by one,
the ticking is extinguished beneath them. boiled watch-chains
are being hanged out on the clothes-line. belts, worn shiny,
with tongs. the stoutest generations. you feel like stroking them,
like the skull of a mouse.
Okrúhly laz (587 m) /
I know no trap more heart-wrenching than
the wind of a sigh from days ago, which has just arrived here.
when the sigh has long dissolved, and the wind has nowhere to return to,
so it worries at everything, it gives a random comb-stroke to the pine trees in the endless, shivering passages of the planted forest.
in an former clearing an angel stood in the sigh’s way,
without a mouth. he had no cherry lips.
but, as if his pulse had moved into his face,
it was densely pulsating, talking ceaselessly.
Zadielska Planina /
it’s been waiting here since the bronze age. on its trunk, thin as a stick, a tired and
bit of foliage. right in the middle of the wind tunnel.
the answer is always the same answer: she recognizes me.
foliage, a tent underneath, a salt lamp inside, essential oils, a cup of steaming strawberries.
the neighbourhood stems from it. it is the obscure origin.
it has lived in phase delay, since the storm split a slice off it.
the lightning was a platinum blonde dye on the landscape.
its branches: the generations of bias, vows, deviation and donation.
always the same question: do you recognize me?
I know no trap more heart-wrenching than phase delay,
when the wind starts to massage the tired foliage,
and the ten thousand ravenous petals of the blossoming are still just tottering.
Jelení vrch (947 m) /
I know no trap more heart-wrenching than a snow cloud in labour.
than the long, silent, bony billowing.
the way it is stirring its poles within and upon itself.
it is just holding, keeps holding, still keeps back
its pregnant shape, these few acres of snow and shadow made of fog and wind.
a cloud is approaching, which cannot see and cannot hear.
and we have no idea of the inner turmoil, which is a maelstrom.
lightnings of crushing weight lied down inside it.
the big hall of ancient acoustics, that of thunder, opens up, grinding–
what if it slows down to freeze above the short, prolific magnolias