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This article is taken from PN Review 239, Volume 44 Number 3, January - February 2018.

Apo phainesthai
ta phainomena
Ágnes Lehóczky
Apo phainesthai ta phainomena. Let the flower turn flesh. Rainbow into meteorological data. Glorious glory into guilt or guano. Animate into inanimate. But my inanimate reader with imagination. An animal has no escape to be anything else because it has no imagination. It lives life without consequence. It desires and it desires to be alive and this, not so much feeling, but longing is its minimum consequence. And the poem inconsequentially, maximalistically yet artlessly, desires to be creature too. Abstractly alive, inanimate but intimate it moves discreetly as timespace event, before it turns into bone. Dear fossilised lover, but why codex the body, sex the soul, the other. Let’s come close enough to keep a distance. Let’s leave the book semi-shut. But this frustration, this quiet fury between delight and disgust, the split second between feeling and failing body (or the heart or the catastrophic poem), this coming too close to keep a distance, this historic hesitation that neutralises the composer and nullifies the composed before accident or mercy would compose it into composition, this meticulous tip-toeing over miniatures, the trivia, the frivolous details of arranging and deranging, the pause at semi-turning the page, nevertheless is always also fuelled by affection even if the creature we are fond of wears the medusa’s head. The attentive artist, my grammarphobic reader, calls it making love [from lufo, lufu, or luuu]. Responsiveness, in other words, with which we observe the body, while alive, just before it turns. Before dusk sets in the civic swimming space. The ...

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