Poetry from Peter Macsovszky



Hands. After using urinals. How do they use

urinals? They never touch them, after all.


The glossarists of this sex notice.

That from time out of mind they do not wash.

When did this habit of theirs get underway?


As early as the Middle Ages? Or in ancient times?

What did they do with the toga? How did they pull it up?


The fact that you’ve just used the toilet can’t be underestimated,

it can’t be swept under the carpet.


The worse habit, the more one rests content

with uncompleted philosophizing.


They don’t wash, what for indeed? They merely grabbed a penis.

Their penis. No one else’s. And what’s mine does not exist.


These are my bacteria, surrounding me like

a halo, I’m wrapped in them.


And they don’t turn the toilet seat down. When  they feel embarrassed

urinating side by side, they seek out the bowl.


They don’t turn it down, because they think someone else will come

and lower it. No, that’s not what they think. They keep that other

man in mind, thinking he shouldn’t have to lift the seat.


Thus gentlemen change all toilets to the gents.


Whatever the gentlemen




will instantly turn to the gents.


He takes out his penis before the urinal. He urinates, then he

thrusts it back. Off you go back to solitary! He zips up.


A germ from the prepuce migrates to the fingers.

And late drops of urine too. Microorganisms

from the pubes. Travel on fingers out of the toilet.


Some take a fancy to the doorknob, others will

sprawl on teaspoons, cup handles,

a slice of bread, a glass and a tablecloth.


The gentleman’s fingers take the lady’s hand and her hand

becomes part of the global gents.


They don’t turn the seat down because they think

it’s hygienic not to touch.


They think so afterwards.


I saw one come out of there,

he had guilty expression in his eyes.


For a moment he hesitated, whether to go back and wash.


(Clichemantra, F.G & G, 2005)




my poetic language

having been sterilized

has sunk

into slimy swamps


of demonstrative,


and indefinite


It is held above water

only by the limbs

of auxiliary verbs,

among which

the auxiliary verb

to be

in the present tense

and third person



the most stupefying

the most boring,

the most dead…


(Ambit, Drewo a srd, 1995)




This text probably represents

some other text. Represents. Replaces.

Does not explain. Refers to some other,

far deeper meaning –

the meaning of unattainable depths.


This text probably represents

itself, stands for itself, of course,

only when it is not here, it is by itself,

replaces, confirms itself. For itself

it is a reference referring to itself.


So this text has no other meaning,

except for the single one it has. Apart from that,

no other meaning may be arbitrarily

ascribed to it, or removed from it.


It’s only meaning is that it has

no meaning by itself, but this is not

the same as meaningless.


This text is part of secret sciences.


(Fear of Utopia, HEVI, 1994)




the words of this poem

cannot survive in isolation.

they are afraid of: fear

of the moving frontiers

of emptiness…


the words of this poem

need companions,

even though sometimes

they are treacherous and unreliable…


the words of this poem

need other words

of this poem

to form a chain:

a chain bridge


to be able to

walk along and throw down

trite sounds

and shriveled,

invalid meanings


that they never

tallied with,

no bounds between them

ever being formed.


(Ambit, Drewo a srd, 1995)