Agnes Lehoczky's 'I's Notebook'

I’s Notebook

There are a lot of cities I would like not to remember. To talk of them as if they weren’t. As if those cities had not existed before. There has to be a hole in the membrane of memory this way. Through which these places can escape into the atmosphere and spill. And refill themselves as memories of no-one and find their home in nowhere. As long as the atmosphere does not eject them. It depends on how many names I could fail to give them. The sunset is not a word, either. Only an incision. Into rocks of greaseproof paper. The sunset is a crater on a photograph. Once upon a time. I didn’t want to remember. A city with a river. This city has not got a name, and the river too, is anonymous. He or she dwelt. A town-dweller, non-significant, that could be I. It is called skinning a white wall. And painting over it again. Depriving space of space. In the end space swells up and all the edges grow together. And there isn’t a millimetre of white left on the page to fill with inky hieroglyphs. The strata of all definitions stamped on greaseproof paper. If only I forgot names. I would be back in the same cul-de-sac. What’s the point of knowing? What it was I met. I could dwell in here. It would be practical. Names overlap. The topography of memories. Reliefs of the mind, the mini-planet. Each a different colour. The earth’s unpeelable skin. They may extend over hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of its surface. And in the end no-one knows. Who I talked about. I could dig down and find the core of it. I could memorise what is not. What not to remember. The sunset is not sunrise. The concave not the convex.



*Agnes Lehoczky an Hungarian-born poet and translator, was born in Budapest in 1976.  She holds a PhD in Critical and Creative Writing from the UEA. She has two short poetry collections in Hungarian, Station X (2000) and Medallion (2002) and her first full collection, Budapest to Babel, was published by Egg Box in 2008. She was the 2009 recipient of the Arthur Welton Poetry Award and the winner of the Daniil Pashkoff Prize 2010 in poetry and has recently won the Jane Martin Prize for Poetry of Girton College, Cambridge. Her collection of essays on the poetry of Agnes Nemes Nagy Poetry the Geometry of Living Substance was published in 2011 by Cambridge Scholars.  Her second collection of poems in English is out it the autumn published by Egg Box.

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