Kinga Fabó







The Promiscuous Mirror



Is it detached or all-forgiving?

We need a passport to get through.

It nods us past in quick succession

Just anyone, no matter who.

I can rely on its detachment

As I move from place to place.

All those languages it masters,

Wherever I dare show my face!

It’s no big deal who’s looking in it

As it serves its own blind grace.



It neither befriends nor breaks up with you.

Though when you’re pushed in front of it

Whether you’re plain or just plain gorgeous

It frowns and takes the brunt of it.

Could this absolute indifference

Be Absolute? (It takes no joy

In my bare flesh, nor is it bored.)

In all my phases I am simply

What seems to vanish then return,

Part of its cosmic unconcern.



The distance is too terrifying.

It could be less but it is clear

Some speck of me would still appear.

The mirror will serve us blindly

And whether harshly or quite kindly

Forgets at once. There’s little fuss,

Or major choice required for us.

It lets us do just what we want.

Mine drops me quick without a trace.

Mechanically wipes out my face.



(Translated by George Szirtes)



Note: The Promiscuous Mirror was translated and introduced by George Szirtes, published in Modern Poetry in Translation No1, 2017.






It’s not me, who wants me to be.

As soon as she looks in the mirror

vis á vis


immediatelly I appear


she allows me to be seen.


She is unable to function

upon the mirror until

the one who’s been removed


breaks a gap on the peep.

Meaninglessly blind

and empty.


Stares in my eyes

through me.

As if I were her pretense


against me, where she calls for

a she upon the self-whirling

smooth surface.


This parasite’s a lurking gap

hanging on me grabbing

a chance


not realizing it, not assisting.

Whether I exist or not or merely

allow her to show me off


emptily, meaninglessly blind.



(Translated by Gabor G. Gyukics)




A Suicidal Reflection


I don’t exist based on my own right.

I am, until the mirror

let’s me live, who looks into it

at this very moment.

– I’m not saying: I thank my life

to these two coincidences.

I rather get away.-

If she leaves and I’ll miss her

going over to myself, beyond:

can life return to me?


Do I want life along with so many

conditions, me who is so defenceless?

My otherself staring before the mirror

and pushes through another domain:

I won’t be back.

I place my picture next to the mirror.

I don’t exist beyond the mirror.

(I won’t go back. I leave my photo

next to the mirror.

I can’t live beyond the mirror.)



(Translated by Gabor G. Gyukics)






I thought: he’d clean me out.

But he only vaporized me.

Strained my colors.

Crinkled them back. Inside the statue.


Then came the odors.

The badly installed roots.

As corpus delicti.

On the operating-table.


I’m sterile.

Famous outside.

Empty inside.

My auxiliary verbs are men with headdresses.


His donation: railway tracks without smile;

always ready for tragedy –

strange, like a heartbeat –

sin is only a decoration.


I have no peace. I’m certain:

I’ll take root somewhere.

He is a professional.

He wants me frozen.



(Translated by Gabor G. Gyukics)












Kinga Fabó is a Hungarian poet. Her poetry has been widely published in international literary journals and poetry magazines including Modern Poetry in Translation (translated and introduced by George Szirtes); Numéro Cinq, Ink Sweat & Tears, Deep Water Literary Journal, The Screech Owl, The Original Van Gogh’s Ear, The Opiate, Fixpoetry, and elsewhere as well as in anthologies like The Significant Anthology, Women in War, The Colours of Refuge, Poetry Against Racism, World Poetry Yearbook 2015, Anthology of Contemporary Women’s Poetry and others. Some of her individual poems have been translated into 17 languages altogether:  Albanian, Arabic, Bulgarian, English, Esperanto, French, Galego, German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Persian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, Tamil. One of her poems (The Ears) has among others six different Indonesian translations by six different authors. Her latest book, a  bilingual Indonesian-English poetry collection Racun/Poison was published in 2015. Fabó lives in Budapest, Hungary.



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