Katarina Konkoly

Hungarian Gypsy, 1956

His music grips and rattles every bar

There is freedom to roam so long as you never want to budge very far from one foot always planted within a semi swivel of dust and left hand firmly on the neck of a violin

He could renounce his habitat but he could never leave his violin as if a tree could ever migrate unless prodded         HANDS UP         by the steel grey trunk of a revolver a tree feels at home simultaneously in ground and sky above the pack growling of tanks soars his harmony

His precision fingering a woman practised at masturbation blindfolded he knows by intuition and scent his violin a crumpled red flag and strums it gently at first until she replies and purrs her sensations resonating through scrolled spine

He had plucked as many women as were rings on his fingers as strings had adorned his violin now each one marched across the bridge between Buda and Pest while the moth-coloured wings of his bow hummed the rhythm of their step

His fingers like butterfly kisses suggest music they do not play it and so what if it happens to be a banned nationalistic folk song this is the rule of ensemble not solo

Swollen belly of his violin a chasm to swallow his tonguing vibrations she is his lover his homeland his freedom he hunches over her protectively a Jew counting notes a Russian would say that he had a choice in the music he played if not the instrument

He struck a rebel cord with the populace would later accuse his executioners.

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