Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013...4:47 pm

b.z. niditch | when in budapest

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WHEN IN BUDAPEST

When outside a Budapest cafe
holding a cold cup
of coffee au lait
and murdered Danish
on the one hand
and my violin case
in the other,
waiting up for
the Russian film festival
to begin
when Potemkin
as a vessel of survival
would again became alive,
soon after the monkey
from the organ grinder
followed you
by the steps
to Attila Joszef’s statue
and you met
the former junkie American
and lost citizen
who called himself Hamlet
and knew Frank O’Hara
at the Cedar Bar
and Fire Island
and heard my Aunt Rita
a mezzo soprano
sing Carmen in Paris
who once took on Vichy
and survived,
he somehow knew
that lifeless connections
become alive in art
and read me a street poem
about Dimitrov
in an unlettered tongue,
and still believed
in Sacco and Vanzetti
Liebknecht and Luxembourg,
that Beat would intersect
all jazz music
and imprint all paintings
even pantomime,
and wanted to go to Cuba
to harvest and play
Latin jazz
who once sold Lenin
pins at a youth festival
as collateral
for his survival,
and when I played
Brahms Fifth Hungarian
dance he applauded
in the front row
and I treated him
to goulash and beer
he survived another night
without passport
or deportation.

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