Wednesday 9 November 2022

Two Poems by Lea Nagy Translated by Hélène Cardona


in a long brown coat.

at nine forty sharp.

you wait for me in the parking lot, as always.

I get into your car. 

you offer me a cigarette. 

your hand is shaking.

you are shaking.

at nine fifty sharp. 

I accept. 

and we start. 

Lea Nagy Translated by Hélène Cardona 

The furious and the mad 

we have no more air 

the pressure is too great 

I tell you to do it 


drive faster 

beyond it 

a vacuum 

empty space 

we barely feel our fingertips 

only numbness on our lips 

we run furious 

like numb lunatics 

the furious hissing of the telephone 

like the pain of a screaming machine 

distant ringing in the ear 

the taste of blood 

memories of a piano and a suffocating cabin 

blood on the sheets 

spread through the falling leaves of the trees 

our serotonin levels pointing in the same direction 

what you have on 

and even your skin don’t seduce me 

yet it’s only through this that you feel when I touch you 

that god exists 

and does not exist at the same time 

that man is no longer an animal at all 

but still 

the animals are furious 

and mad. 

Lea Nagy Translated by Hélène Cardona

Lea Nagy is a Hungarian poet born in Budapest in 2000. The recipient of an an NKA grant (National Cultural Fund of Hungary), she has published two poetry collections, Kõhullás / Whirlwind (2018) and Légörvény / Stone Fall (2020), with Editions Napkút in Budapest. She won the prize for Best Young Hungarian Poet in 2018, which is awarded by the Hungarian Writers’ Association. A third collection is forthcoming in Hungarian. Her first collection in French, Le Chaos en spectacle, just came out from Éditions du Cygne in Paris.

Hélène Cardona’s books include Life in Suspension and Dreaming My Animal Selves (Salmon Poetry) and the translations Birnam Wood (José Manuel Cardona, Salmon Poetry), Beyond Elsewhere (Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac, White Pine Press), Ce que nous portons (Dorianne Laux, Éditions du Cygne), Walt Whitman’s Civil War Writings for WhitmanWeb, and The Abduction (Maram Al-Masri, White Pine Press). The recipient of over 20 honors & awards, including the Independent Press Award, International Book Award and Hemingway Grant, she holds an MA in American Literature from the Sorbonne, worked as a translator for the Canadian Embassy, and taught at Hamilton College and Loyola Marymount University.

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