Shanghai Bitter by Noémi László

Bottled by a Transylvanian Hungarian in English She stood with a half-emptied glass in one hand and an almost full glass in the other. A composed Chinese gentleman stepped in. He stepped out on the first floor. Ten minutes to eight and there she was, gin-and-tonicked and in love in the lobby, waiting for Zelda […]

Two in the midst by Mila Haugová

All of time’s layers are in motion //claims upon light and dark Are rising//their splendid heads and hair (silk) Mouths in moist recesses //whatever else they may enjoy In this time of absolute pride.   Pale cross on the brow // near to zero and infinity (one day you’re everything for him next day you’re […]

If we indeed have souls by Zsuzsa Takács

It has no single form. And that’s the point! Can we trust in that which constantly changes its appearance? In Blind Hope? It could be a beggar on the street corner, or a young woman, servant to a house, marched off to Auschwitz together with her masters, to the Danube Delta or Vorkuta where she […]

God, White, Man by Attila Bartis

Seven years ago, as fate would have it, I arrived in Indonesia for the first time in my life, on Vesak. Vesak is the celebration of the birth, enlightenment, and departure from earthly existence—or Parinirvāna—of Gautama Buddha. Parinirvāna cannot really be called death, much like the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. From the perspective […]

Magnetic fields of sympathy by Mila Haugová

In the intimacy of stripped-bare sounds I cannot remember any voice My hearing is failing my memory of sound or there is a rift so acute and deep that it escapes comprehension.   I step on the fragile November ice no it’s nothing unsafe // only tread inspired by water on the field path and […]

Underwatersong by Kinga Tóth

‘Wanderselig,wundertrunken Übt ein Vogel seinen Mund’ (Hugo Ball: Kind und Traum) Infants trumpet into elefánt-clouds bu-bo bu-bo: winged lions sing underwater nothing to see do you dare to look into the akvárium do you see letter-snakes rumble on your tongue “the good heart flutters in a bell jar” “churchbells rise upwards” (Kassák) the image is […]

Speak Closer: Poems of Statelessness and Speechlessness by Valzhyna Mort

Many years ago, in Berlin, I met a Hungarian writer. He was tall, smoked a pipe, and walked slightly bent forward, his black suit topped with a matching black hat. He had a child’s smile and a mole on his left cheek. Though both of us were multilingual, none of our languages matched. We were […]

come closer by Marie Iljašenko

at the swimming spot you meet bodies marked by birthing, bearded vaginas, viral rashes on thighs (your own), gold chains and shame. swimming holes understand inclusion, not epiphany: you can sharpen your claws on them all day, but never wash away the tiredness and dust of the city (thus the showers) chlorinated water loses all […]

Black Snow by Anna Terék

We barged along the silence of that winter. Wheat fields labored in the choke of ice.   By the barracks my father shifted from foot to foot. Nothing else moved in that frozen country. My mother, stock-still and angry. My sister and I, motionless. Motionless, other soldiers.   By the barracks he swayed with eyes half-closed, […]