The Medicine Show

Life on wheels.
It spins and turns,
my vision blurs.
At least I don’t have to travel
using my own limbs.

They are weaker and weaker every day.
Age gets me too, not just him,
but I’ve lived my life in every possible way,
so I have no reason to complain.

I just still wonder how something can so
powerfully stink
like the stomach of this huge
pendulum machine.

At least I have a hiding place,
a rag, a bowl, no straps but a shoelace.
I shall be grateful.
There’s always food to eat,
there’s always time to play.
Real danger I’ve never had to face.

Never been beaten or kicked
and whipped only twice.
I’m not ashamed or angered
I don’t roll the dice.

Shapes and voices so frequently change,
Can’t keep track of them.
Luckily, there’s no need.
A new town to discover every week,
so many hands reach up for the miracle
they so desperately seek.

Does it work? How should I know?
I’m not the mastermind here.
I’m just a servant, faithful as I am.
I don’t swallow, so I have no fear.

But I do know that when I hear
someone uttering the word ‘fake’,
He is silent, he is trembling,
and fortune starts to fade.

And suddenly I look for an escape.
Any hole will do, if it’s bigger than me,
or I hop on my home and watch the wheels,
Soon the horizon is the only thing I see.

The night is the time when I can find peace.
He is happy telling stories and tales,
singing songs about flowers and bees,
wishing for the return to the land of free.

Then my mind becomes quiet.

I can sit on those humble stairs
and watch the stars above.
I don’t know the colors
but I can sense their glow.

And I can see there is hope,
even if too tight is the rope
around my neck.
I know we are friends,
although not the best.
The rainy days are the worst ones.
Despair gets him too fast.

And my home is the nearest object,
So it’ll be the subject of his fury.
His eyes gleam when he says sorry
but his kind words never fool me.

I love the life I was given.
Sometimes I just lie and listen
to the wind whistling among the trees
I fall asleep, dream sweet dreams
to the rhythm of the wheels.

 

 

Off the Tracks

They promised us
that it would be good,
a fantastic experience,
but soon we learnt how
all the nice words color up the world
with faith and permanence.

A life without passion
is a fire without flames
(impossible you know that quite well).

It’s not so hard to learn to cry,
it won’t take you too much time.
(Let’s see who’s the first to ring the bell!)

Now we’re choking from the smoke,
keep losing the hope,
the engine’s running too high,
but we must keep holding on.

We are running.

You have no reason to complain,
you were the one who introduced me to this game.

Now your demons are hunting you down
and you don’t have enough space to turn around.

But you could still be my best friend,
Cuz I don’t mind losing what I dread.

And we still can win,
we just need to stay in
and take one step further from the pain.

We are running.

Every day we play
the same goddamn game
and we still don’t know
how to be better than
we were yesterday.

We keep on running.
We got to keep on running.

 

Orsolya Karácsony

Orsolya Karácsony

Orsolya Karácsony is a PhD student at the University of Debrecen, Hungary. My field of research is American popular culture, especially the survival or fall of the American Dream.

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