Tuesday, November 28, 2017


Away, Out

             to Marina Abramović and Frank Uwe Laysiepen

We turned the Wall into a break-up destination.
Crumb couples now swear they would end up here,
should no desire remain to recall the cake.

What Marina trudged from Shan Hai Gnan
was stones, not dessert but the main,
stumbling from under her feet. She kicked

them to show who’s boss; the bricks and
the tamped earth hesitated to applaud.
I approached her from Jaiyuguan,

my perched arms around her wouldn’t un-
clutch, I scaled her jelly skin,
no matter how much I had wished

for a clean cut. Each and every square
inch of her was willing, even
eager to share history, but not with

me, not any more. Eight years later I got mail,
at least the envelope said so. “Dear
Marina Abramović, you used to be

my Duracell goddess with nerves full
of ire; singing the Marseillaise: ‘Tremble,
tyrants and traitors,’ always replacing

SWEET with SWEAT in ‘home, sweet home.’
Did you manage to unlearn? I covet
you mesmerized, wondering why, I’m

not sure if your blades are still
jagged. Cheers, Shaminella Turul.” I binned
somebody else’s doubts, no forwarding

address. How dry of me, the past. The older I am
the more I resemble to water. To a sea to swallow,
Marina. I fill every vessel, transparent.

What was empty will be empty,
I’m the in-between. Marina. My tide
is your ebb. The same, one, nothing sharp.


The Poet’s Notes on Her Poem
The lines ‘Separated lovers on a coast keep walking / toward each other.’ in Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge’s poem ‘The Reservoir’ reminded me of Marina Abramović and Ulay’s project ‘The Lovers’ at the Great Wall of China. My response is the fictionalized version of the project and its aftermath, also referring to Ulay’s commitment to water . In a 2011 interview in the Brooklyn Rail, he stated: ‘Recently I decided that whenever I meet someone, I should introduce myself as “Water.” Think of it: our brains are about 90 percent water, our bodies about 68 percent. Not even Waterman, simply Water: it makes people curious, they say, “pardon?” and I say again “Water." This immediately starts a conversation and creates an awareness about it. This new name conveys my deep concern about water.’

Agnes Marton is a Hungarian-born poet, writer, librettist, Reviews Editor of The Ofi Press, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, founding member of Phoneme Media. Recent publications include award-winning Estuary: A Confluence of Art and Poetry, her poetry collection Captain Fly’s Bucket List, and three chapbooks with Moria Books. She has won the National Poetry Day Competition 2017 (UK). http://www.facebook.com/agnesmartonpoet/

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