5 CORN SONGS WITH GRAPHICS

(written by Kinga Tóth, translated by Timea Balogh)

song one

Corey Taylor on why his scream changed

the grasshopper sat on the ground

of the corn stalks that grow in straight lines

and separated the cicada from the tractor in its mind

only the tempo is different the clicks and the chirps

it drags you through the leaves the same way

watch out it’s sharp and will scrape your finger your foot if you sit on it

its sings differently when the knee is enough to bend the leaf

it doesn’t wrap its entire leg any longer

the sound rises grows louder when the glasses run out

when no one needs the fermented stale seed juice

anymore the cricket sits on it slowly and clicks in

the throat harvests the saliva and lies down

 

 

song six

deer come for the acorns mom dad

their heads flash and shine on the hill in the afternoon

then turn to the fields they flash

white when they notice us

but they don’t flail quick deer-

and squirrel tails small propellers

the recyclable trash cans

the outer aqueducts the lanes of the tourist

elevator shafts are being put into a

cemetery still life

 

 

song seventeen

it picks up polly’s house rips off its roof

it squeezes the window out of molly’s room

it breaks open the threshold to dolly’s room

their ears hurt the cold blown into their hair  

from the guest who no one called

the sound of so many dolphins

they warm them up in blue blankets

cranes pull them flying dolphins

which way is the other ocean

 

 

song twenty-eight
Santiago Giralt: Antes del estreno


we can be seen through our mother’s glasses
rolling down the hill in her delicate smell
getting red cloaks from her
the same pearly chichidolls
she is our mother who opens up her belly for birds
buries things between blankets and can’t catch her breath
in the cupboard we fish inside pillows
crouching the corner of our robe sticks out
this is where we’ve hidden
here mom we can fly away if the house burns down

if dad mows the lawn in the shower inside the fairy house
our coats will get heavier
we are afraid to be forgotten
we leave the corner of the robe outside
and close the cupboard on it

 

 

song thirty-five

we sew small balloons on our skirts

that’s what we’ll use to fly to the geese

from the lake when a dark hole only the sun isn’t out

street lights how will we find our way

the geese left when we arrived

we were led here gathered around the lake

we will wait out the balloons and light up the fireplace

with the ribbons the gas will guide our umbrellas up

we break sails from the reeds and we will snap them off

flick them off if they hold us down by our ankles

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kinga Tóth writes and publishes poems, fiction, and drama pieces in Hungarian, German and English. She is a musician, visual and sound-poet, and has presented her work around the world. Tóth’s book publications include the poetry collections PARTYAll MachineVillage 0-24Wir bauen eine Stadt, and the visual-art catalogue Textbilder. Her novel, The Moonlight Faces, won the Hazai Attila and the Best Novel Special prize in Hungary. English translations of her poetry have been appeared in POETRY, Arkansas International, and the Wretched Strangers anthology by Boiler House Press. She was recently a resident of the International Writing Program at Iowa. She is currently in the process of completing Corn Songs. You can find more of her work at www.tothkinga.blogspot.de.

 

Timea Balogh is a Hungarian American writer and translator with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. A 2017 American Literary Translators Association Travel Fellow, her translations have appeared or are forthcoming in The OffingModern Poetry in Translation, The Short Story ProjectTwo Lines JournalArkansas InternationalThe Enchanting Verses Literary Review, and the Wretched Strangers anthology by Boiler House Press. Her debut original short story was published in Juked and was nominated for a PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers.  She divides her time between Budapest and Las Vegas. You can tweet her at @TimeaRozalia.