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Marton Koppány - Post-Visuals

Marton Koppány

My intention was to write in light on the dusty canvas of sky a word which is illuminated by the four small quotation "lamps" – but also hidden by their unusual arrangement. It is about the paradoxical nature of evocation, and it is also a kind of "response" to "Light and Dust", the poetry site of my late friend, Karl Young. The other dedicatee, in parentheses, is my late father who Hungarianized his name before I was born. First came "aside", but it was too descriptive, then "ash", with my family's idea, but it was too direct, finally I found "dust".


The small handwritten symbols are there to indicate the places where missing elements are to be inserted – as we use them when correcting manuscripts or school assignments. But nothing is inserted. The three lower ones should suggest that something is missing from the sky, and the fourth upper one should suggest that something is missing from "blankness" as well.  I wonder whether my symbols really  mean in "your" culture what they mean in "ours". And I'm a bit scared for the moment because my piece should be simple and clear, and if it is not clear to you, I must have done something wrong! Please let me know what the handwritten symbols mean for you, if anything. Are they misleading in a way?

In the sky blankness should be inserted, and in the blankness the sky as the vees indicate it (do they?), respectively. I'm a bit relieved to hear that you would use the vees as I use them.

Thank you indeed! Yes, exactly, the piece was made because I suddenly realized that the v's, I mean the symbols of insertion, are breathing – they inhale blankness when "staying" in the sky, and inhale sky when staying in blankness.


I imagined white on white: italized white on white.


Playing cards are symmetrical, you can turn them upside down. They are the same from both directions, and that has a metaphoric sense as well about ups and downs etc. But you can’t turn my card upside down. There is only one "right" way to read the message.You can’t choose. It is not a game. Or if it is a game, it is a social game with fixed roles.


"Hello"? I don’t remember. But always the stranger at the door: always the stranger inside: we are connected.


I frequently feel that my visual poems are simply comments on their titles even when the title is made last. I mean: the visual comments try to communicate something about the subject in the title that I wouldn’t have been able to communicate in words (especially not with my very limited English). In case of the X-piece I'm moving ahead by striking myself through, as if invalidating, disaffirming myself. What you actually see is not me but a walking deletion. But without its kind presence there would be no walk at all. Of course it is not only about my English. The piece contains a faint hope though that it is not completely so, because the form of the poem speaks, perhaps, for me, somehow (although not necessarily in English). But that "me" is less personal.


The title refers to an invisible Master with unknown identity, but he or she certainly has a leash. And there's an "i", represented, whose head sunk between his shoulders. That "i" is half a Times New Roman letter, half a kind of neo-Nazi creature (or just a good citizen), half serif, half boot. And his title/head radiates like the sun, but one ray is replaced by the leash, and there the direction reverses. The basic image just emerged – there was nothing conscious about it. It has nothing specifically Hungarian about it, at least from my angle. Perhaps it is enough to know that (well, from my perspective) Hungary has become an autocracy with strong inlinations toward racism and xenophoby, and the majority apparently buys it. "Hungary" in the title makes the poems tale-like too, because it is a far-away place for most of my potential readers.


The guy should leave now, because we see on the first stamp that it is only one minute to midnight. But on the other stamp the escaping of the trunkless foot is quite artificial – almost ceremonical. It belongs to the scene. We are in a stamp, after all.


I listened to a few friends’ advice to use my health issues as a source of inspiration. I also wanted to do something more "physical" than before (or at least in the last two decades). The right "ear" is bigger than the left one, so the F EAR is growing... (In reality, my left ear has become smaller as a result of the first operation. It had to be trimmed.) The quotation, accompanying the piece, (from "Meaning, Understanding and Knowing-what: An Indian Grammarian Notion of Intuition" by Chien-hsing Ho) is deliberately mysterious. The joke is about having a – relatively – small fear at first and then having a bigger one as a result of thinking it over. And the reference to the essay is quite ironic, too, since fear is rather spontaneous.


"He" is also a punctuation mark (most of my works written over the last 15 years or so has had something to do with punctuation), a period in this case, in the making or perhaps in the process of disintegration (the wind can do both to a crumpled sheet of paper) – who knows and who cares when the breeze is so nice. It comes from other recent sequences with three pellets (embodying ellipses, frequently subtitled or titled as such), and then with four ones (in "peut-être le Messie", which is an ellipsis unlimited :-). It follows that one pellet – in itself – must be a period. But no full stop is absolute! And when a period is destroyed, the breeze has done a good job. It is on the border of asemicity but I don't want to cross that border... Also, and to slightly contradict my former comment, it was written from the period’s perspective, because it is a self-portrait.

copyright © Márton Koppány, 2020

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