30 December 2007

things to make and do

amnesty international has launched a greetings card campaign. it's about sending a card with a friendly greeting or message of solidarity to someone who is in danger or unjustly imprisoned. These are prisoners of conscience, people under sentence of death, human rights defenders under threat because of their work, and others at risk. if you have five spare minutes and a stamp, please take part. (of course, you'd need a greeting card, too.)

should you lack all of the above, try this. many famous people like dido, skin, the beatsteaks, teitur, tomte, slash and green day and so forth have given their faces, so you'll be in good company.

the other day i was given one of those magnetic words sets (complete with a magnetic board) that lets you mix and match poems. here's the first bit that came of it:

I

seufz

die sache ist modern
im warmen wasser
virtuell und populär
vielleicht als abenteuer
TV schicksal ein
extrem gedicht



II

biernatur... verzeih


III

fahr lieber
lau ist der morgen
verrückt fast in
hochform so gut
und absurd
ist das ende.

(picture taken from pictures of walls.)

28 December 2007

this is an email i got this morning. all the links mentioned you will find here at codepink alert. however, we should not forget that mrs bhutto, at a point, was accused of corruption, too...

Our hearts and thoughts are with the Pakistani people as they mourn the death of Benazir Bhutto. We extend our deep sorrow to her family and the millions of supporters who for decades have seen the Bhutto family as a source of inspiration. We also extend our condolences to the families of the other Pakistanis who were killed in this heinous crime.

We at CODEPINK were in touch with the former Prime Minister when we were writing our book Stop the Next War Now. In fact, Bhutto graciously contributed an essay that was a plea to counter extremism and "a clash of civilizations that can lead to Armageddon, where there will be no winners on earth."

If Bhutto's death proves anything, it is the utter failure of Musharraf's regime and the utter failure of the Bush administration's policy of supporting Musharraf. Pakistani civil society has long been calling for Musharraf to resign. Now leaders like former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have added their voice to that call, publicly holding Musharraf responsible for Bhutto's death and demanding he step down.

CODEPINK agrees that Musharraf is the biggest obstacle facing a democratic Pakistan today. He is not capable of either fighting extremists or building a society that respects the rule of law. CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin and activist Tighe Barry recently had a taste of his dictatorial ways when they were kidnapped and carjacked at gunpoint by government agents, and then deported for supporting the pro-democracy movement. Click here for a piece by Medea Benjamin on Bhutto's death.

The US government must use this time to radically change its policy towards Pakistan. The Bush administration has been a staunch supporter of Musharraf, providing his regime with over $10 billion in financial aid since 2001. Musharraf's use of US funds to crack down on the country's democratic forces has led to growing anti-American sentiments among the nation's moderate, secular forces. Please click here to sign our petition calling on the U.S. government to withhold assistance until Musharraf steps down and a caretaker government restores the independent judiciary, lifts restrictions on the press and sets up the conditions for fair elections.

We should also begin to focus our attention on one of the key underlying causes for the growth of extremism in Pakistan: the extreme poverty that persists, especially in the tribal areas where al-Qaeda is most active.

Benazir Bhutto spoke about this in the essay she wrote for our book. Her words were poignant then, and are even more poignant upon her death:

"The neglect of rising poverty against the background of religious extremism can only complicate an already difficult world situation. The war against terrorism is primarily perceived as a war based on the use of force. However, economics has its own force, as does the desperation of families who cannot feed themselves.

"Militancy and greed cannot become the defining images of a new century that began with much hope. We must refocus our energy on promoting the values of democracy, accountability, broad-based government, and institutions that can respond to people's very real and very urgent needs."

Whether in Pakistan or in our home countries, we can pay tribute to Benazir Bhutto by dedicating ourselves to building a world based on tolerance, cooperation and fulfilling the urgent needs of the human family-which are the pillars of a more peaceful world.

With sorrow,
Dana, Desiree, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Ileana, Jodie, Medea, Nancy, Rae, and Tighe

26 December 2007

for those of you who haven't seen sicko yet

voilà.

vor jahren im traum
saß ich im selben moment
papier = gelb wie hier
jemands satz ... nichts im traum
vor den jahren war anders als jetzt
erst am morgen damals deine nachricht
taucht auf die fehlt jetzt deine
zeichen zwischen all jenen
jemands stets ungesetzt und
vor jahren im traum
meine küsse deine
wassersandhaut auf strand breit
und = gelb wie hier
deine hand ... ich auf dir
in den dünen wars anders als jetzt
hab im traum damals niemands
gedicht übersetzt niemals jemands
geschwätz zwischen unsere zungen
gespült schrieb nie fische ins netz
jener niemande nie jemals
nur auf papier der moment
jenes traums wenn der
morgen vor jahren = jetzt.

22 December 2007

"i blog therefore i am"

here's a long german interview on the motivations to blog.
and here's one on the german version of facebook's (studivz's) new general terms and conditions.

18 December 2007

embrace

to hold you costs me this:
[opens her arms.]

day jumps, night
- ever clumsily -
just falls.

[stands. opens,
closes arms.]

world saw:
[blank space.]
[probe flaw.]

her arms put forth,
flapped shut.

one thought per year
[escapes.]
the others: not.


dich halten kostet mich:/ [öffnet die arme.]/ tag springt, nacht/ - typisch, ungeschickt -/ bricht.// [steht, öffnet,/ schließt die arme.]// welt sieht:/ [nichts.]/ [fühlerfehler.]// ihre arme ausgestreckt,/ verklappt.// ein gedanke jedes jahr
/ [entwischt.]/ die andren: nicht.

miscellaneous

lately i've been spending a lot of time thinking about my thesis topic. while researching i came across some interesting links:

code pink for peace - women for peace
women in black - women stand in silent vigil to protest war
teach first - learning to lead while contributing to a community

good gifts
- give gifts that make a difference in a war torn country
toms shoes - for every pair of shoes you buy, a poor kid will be given one, too
peace oil - oil maufactured by jews, arabs, druze and bedouin working together

pledge bank - i'll do it, but only if you'll help
book crossing - send a book on a journey

15 December 2007

give-and-takes

i say: then take it. for it's
something's gotta give.
i say: i will. i will while you
will leave. they're saying:
something's gotta give.

i think: i heard receipt. for
is it not that what is given
is to keep? i say: it is. i say:
first give, then go, then see.
something's free to keep.


(i've been feeling bad about not writing, so i've written this, and now i feel bad for having written it, eugh, and how bad. i once read about how only vain idiots publish their bad work. [hang on, have i told you this before?] then again, this blog is to document some sort of a creative process, which, for completeness, should also incorporate the not so productive and brilliant pieces. talk about give-and-take, for fuck's sake. - - - i'm beginning to think that writing is a lot like drawing: once you're out of practice, it will take a minimum of ten attempts to get it right again.)

13 December 2007

12 December 2007

'tanz aus narkose' now online

the swiss online magazine nahaufnahmen published my text tanz aus narkose here, alongside the winner of this year's einseitig competition and selected other participants. since it was a swiss price awarded by a swiss jury and a swiss audience, i guess it doesn't come as much of a surprise that the winning text sounds very swiss, too. in the depths of my heart, i probably just wasn't swiss enough for the whole shebang.... then again, i assume that some of you guys will be happy to finally find the text online?

09 December 2007

minky down-ing aka "look out, folks, my daughter strips!" (a line written by stephen gyllenhaal)

in an act of planned, yet utterly delusional bravery, i walked up to stephen gyllenhaal (indeed, jake's father) the other day and handed over an exposé for a movie plus four pages of screenplay. i think at first he thought i wanted his son's number or something, but then he agreed to have a look at the stuff. why don't you direct it yourself, he asked, there are too few women directors out there. i said i thought that was a neat idea, wondering whether that is what all normal l.a. people do.

...so much for my diablo cody moment (see one of the posts below).

then stephen and a couple of british poets read their poetry at the oxfam winter poetry reading 2007, up in marylebone. alistair noon of no man's land (lauter niemand) and bordercrossing berlin, who was reading as well, told me about the event. it was the last one in the series, with many brilliant poets participating.

alistair also showed me a nearby poetry library the next day, which i will definitely become a member of first thing on tuesday.

08 December 2007

i just learned that jack sadler, a 21-year-old guy who studied at my department, was killed in afghanistan on my birthday. i didn't know him personally, but friends of mine did. with all things else going on (friends and a parent of friends dying in car crashes, strokes, all sorts of stuff), these really seem to be bad times... it is so weird that life and death go hand in hand.

06 December 2007

authors penning to please are in league with the devil for sure

when my 'flood story' was published on der standard's homepage, people made all sorts of comments about it. one of those i still remember said something like this kind of writing serves the writing, not the reading. i think it was meant to be an insult, but i actually find it to be a very valid observation.

it is absolutely legitimate to write for the sake of writing!
especially when, had i written any flatter, i would have been accused of shallowness.
or delusions of commercial grandeur.

i am not quite sure why anybody would want a text fitted to a reading audience, pleasing them instead of making life a little more uncomfortable. i think writers should make life uncomfortable. they should make people think by being uneasy.

(just like that critic, you see.)

03 December 2007

envying what other people do

perhaps i should call myself Minky Down and try some stripping instead?

then again, diablo cody says she's 'not precious about writing'... however that worked!!
and here are a couple of trailers, in case you're interested.
and an interview with her here.

(god knows i'm just jealous.)

01 December 2007

you wouldn't say happy world AIDS day, would you?

i would like to dedicate this to ann cotten

schreibst du mir was, fragt sie nicht.

re: natürlich. schnüre
bleistift bind ich zu nem päckchen.
mach das fenster auf, sag ich zu ihr
im geist und streck den arm raus.
satzig hängts an unsrem handgelenk
im sonnenlicht, wie kitschig. bilden
uns was ein am end, weil wir so
super mit den lauten können.
lauter, lauter. hundebeine.
spatzenweibchen zwickt mich,
dass ich achselzucken muss.
man fängt das auf für uns,
den textwurm, schweigt sie, als ich
nachsehn will, wie hübsch und
aufopferungsvoll die sätze fallen.

kanns zwar nicht beweisen, grins ich,
hab ihr aber was verfasst.

29 November 2007

28 November 2007

no man's land impressions



top to bottom, left to right: ann cotten, me, erik esau.
(pictures taken by adrijana bohocki, more are available here.)

27 November 2007

just in case you wondered

i am writing still... proof: the poem below this post.

apart from that, i am still working on that longer piece i talked about. still very slowly, too, but i think it could become a good foundation for a (= next year's?) novel project... i'm also thinking about drafting a movie script, but as yet, i haven't gone beyond a very rudimentary storyline idea. also, i haven't yet finished a third short story called Oben [Atop], of which around three pages are missing still. so there's plenty of stuff in the pipeline, waiting to be worked on - besides all those uni assignments, that is.

die verganzte zeit/ ein schneeballwurf/ zwei komma fünf/ meter zu weit/ wir ducken uns/ in unsren stiefeln/ oben oben raben auf/ laternen komma ästen/ ächzen als der ball/ platzt fallen fetzen/ aus versagen auf.

[the entired time/ a snowball throw/ two comma five/ meters too far/ we duck down/ in our boots/ above above the ravens on/ the lanterns comma branches/ groaning when the ball/ bursts falling shreds/ of failure catch the eye.]

(picture taken from pictures of walls.)

24 November 2007

apologies

to pamela rußmann at fm4. of course, i didn't mean her article on me was embarrassing, it was just that i didn't know how to react when someone writes such nice things about you.... thanks pamela, i really appreciate it!!!!

22 November 2007

stealing over at galore

i was never particularly fond of maria schrader, but she said something interesting in a galore interview recently. when asked about how to combat creative halts, she replied:

i don't know, you just have to hang in there.
or you just have to come up with good ideas faster.

[now that's a great tip, don't you think?! however, she goes on explaining that]

probably every project has its own rhythm.


i think so, too.

20 November 2007

lauter niemand on the shelves


third row from top, between Literaturen and Bücher.

great reading, by the way.

16 November 2007

nothing's happening, so here's a post on the weather... and my hair




inbetween writing an essay on nationalism & ethnicity, reading on natural resources as causes of conflicts and organizing my trip back home over christmas, i'm packing some clothes and some poems for a weekend in berlin. i'm looking forward to going very much, even though i hear it's really cold and snowing. here in london, we have the nicest weather ever (see picture). my program for berlin is quite full already, mainly with the reading and meeting friends, but i also have an appointment at a hairdresser's on monday, for example. so yeah, i might just get back to you from there.

14 November 2007

this is seeing angels by the john butler trio.
definitely one of my top ten favorite songs of all time.

13 November 2007

suche/ biete


umbau aller kontinente.


[seeking/ offering
reconstruction of the continents.]

(picture taken in mexiko by my friend K.)

12 November 2007

radio live stream alert

i'm guessing that the interview michaela made with me will be aired on radio kärnten tonight between 8 and 9 pm CET (7 and 8 pm UK time) - click here for a live stream. i think she wanted to feature a couple of readings of mine, too.




Erich Mühsam (1878-1934)

Paar urnische Männlein,
paar lesbische Weiber,
paar Reimer, paar Zoten, paar Schnüffler, paar Schreiber,
Kaffee, Zigaretten, Gefasel, Gegrein -
in summa: ein Literaturverein.




(picture taken from postsecret.)

11 November 2007

a couple of pictures from klagenfurt






top to bottom: johannes weinberger reading at the ballhaus, the view from my hotel room, heinz singer michi and jens donner, michaela monschein.

10 November 2007

to klagenfurt

ein wilder vogelflügelschlag zur kerosinnacht/ die sich an zehn kilo licht verhebt/ dass die müdigkeit sich/ in die wolkendecke webt/ umdämmerung/ und wie die männer sich/ rolltreppenbreit/ am liebsten quer zu allen sitzen legen/ die turbinen wurstweiß gegen/ möwenschnäbel/ aller antrieb gähnen/ drei raben am rande/ des rollfelds.

07 November 2007

showing-off

pamela rußmann @ fm4 is saying a couple of really nice things about me, advertising the event tomorrow...

trip to klagenfurt

i'll be flying to klagenfurt/ austria for this reading very early tomorrow morning. an interview with radio kärnten is also planned, which will air, as far as i know, sometime monday. i'll be back in london by sunday, so i guess i'll just let you know then when you'd have to tune in should you be interested in listening to the show. i'm not sure about www-access during the time of my stay, but i'll definitely put a couple of pictures up once back in the uk. in the meantime, i wish you guys a very nice weekend.

06 November 2007

benennung

er innerung
sitzt auf der busbank
strahlt: jacke, gesicht
es innerung
ein und ausgehnacht
lacht: passagier da
sie innerung
passiert hof wird heimweg
laterne gleich jung
gleich ob ver inn ob
irr innerung.

05 November 2007

new and very interesting link

guys, check out mike marcus' blog a personal intifada, it's really (and by this i mean: really very) well done. should keep you occupied until i'm coming up with new material.

with regards to my trip to austria from thursday til saturday, i haven't printed out the stuff i plan to read yet, so that's definitely high up on my to-do-list. also, i'm really curios how mischa did at the open mike in berlin...

04 November 2007

(picture taken from postsecret.)

03 November 2007

this is a bad conscience post

i wish i were writing, so that i had something fresh to put up here...

02 November 2007

tonight z, a friend of mine, invited me to see a 1998 movie over at our colleagues from SOAS. it was called divorce: iranian style and is definitely worth watching. if you want to do so, please find the first part of eight below. the others you can watch here.

01 November 2007

friendly turns

while my humble self didn't make it into the final round of this year's open mike, my friend mischa strümpel did. he'll be traveling to berlin shortly; naturally, i hope he's going to win the prize and wish him all the success in the world. (the open mike readings will take place at the kulturbrauerei on 3 and 4 november.)

what is more, i'd like to point out that ken yamamoto is looking for some sort of creative writing job or something. if you happen to be in the position to offer one of these, i'm sure he'd be overjoyed if you would get in touch.

i myself have to catch up on loads of reading now that i've spent four days of leisure in frankfurt and mainz with family and friends. most of us have three essays to write for uni until mid december, which will shorten my free time massively from now on - especially with the upcoming reading trips to klagenfurt and berlin in november... but oh, how i'm looking forward to getting out of here again!

27 October 2007

unfinished business

die strassen auf links / und kein schneehuhn / jetzt als ob der winter / hängt und wein und gläser / pinselspitzenwelt / der fernsehmaler stellt/ sein hüttchen in die hügel / ...

26 October 2007


away for the weekend

guys, i'll be in germany over the weekend. i'll try and keep on posting stuff, but i can't promise... otherwise, see ya next week.

25 October 2007

someone doesn't want people to read this

my friend K, who is spending a couple of months in nanjing at the moment, let me know that my blog has been censored in china. i'm not sure whether that applies for the other blogspot blogs, too, but it struck me as being absurd and ridiculous. it is also a great reminder of the fact that freedom of speech and freedom of opinion are values that need to be fought for and defended perpetually. i therefore invite you to sign amnesty international's petition for freedom of expression on the internet. read more about their campaign here or have a look at the Open Network Initiative's global internet filtering map here to see who keeps what from whom.

i have added the campaign's badge to the lower right part of the blog, so that you can see what kind of information has been withheld from people all around the globe. if you click on it, you will be directed to irrepressible.info, where they will tell you from what homepage they took the excerpt and in which country it has been censored.

24 October 2007

2nd try, DIE ZEIT article on switzerland

http://www.zeit.de/online/2007/43/schweiz-wahlen

and oh! and look!

the austrian ballhaus came up with a complete program (plus pictures) for 8 november 2007 in klagenfurt... i'll be reading with johannes weinberger, and marcus smaller of 3 feet smaller will be playing music. neat, i'm really looking forward to this!

i was going to post something this morning, but then i didn't, and now i forgot.

i have to read a lot for uni at the moment, mainly on the differences of so-called 'old' and 'new' civil wars, and how their economies work. all that's pretty interesting, but it keeps me from reading for pleasure. thinking back now, what i liked best about working in munich were the ways to and from work, when i had time to read whatever i fancied on the tube. here, my tube rides are too short for that, and i've also started to walk at least a third of each way to and back from uni, just to evade the masses of gray-suited people that fold themselves into the carriages every day.

in the meantime, lauter niemand has put up the biographies and pictures of the authors reading with me in berlin in november. nice!

22 October 2007

i have reworked a poem

these may appear to be only minor changes, but jesusnacht (day 157, 27 august 2007) now goes like this:

und ich stricke zwei sterne/ die du dir annähen kannst/ stick dir an die hand kleine/ perlen back dir dieses und/ jenes tamtam in der ferne ich/ fädel dir singsang ins ohr hier/ ein pilgerfährtchen zum ort wo/ du wohnst vors hoftor/ ein hallo nur ein schimmer/ zum gruss nur ein halber halo.

20 October 2007

DIE ZEIT finds switzerland is getting normal. (it's quite an interesting read.)

john mayer on creation by way of necessity

to read his full post, just click on the excerpt below.

It's been a long time since the days of my playing small acoustic club dates, and though I'm more than happy (and extremely lucky) to be where I am these days, one thing I've missed is the creative spirit of working without a net. Some of my best songs were written because I had a show nearing and needed more original songs to take the place of covers. It was creation by way of necessity. [...]

I'm going to return to that firefight, taking small late night gigs [...], writing songs and playing them when they're still fresh. The date of the gig is my self-imposed finish line and I will play a new song with each set I perform. [...]

I'm also ready to accept the fact that some people will try and read into the lyrics and make gossip out of them, but I can't worry about that. Trying to avoid that would be the worst thing for my songwriting. I won't let the success I've had make me comfortable, or the media exposure make me fearful of expressing myself. [...]


it's interesting how certain aspects of creative work apply to practically every medium of expression. i'm in need of more current original work at the moment, as well, and even though i don't have gossip magazines speculating on my relationship status, i can very well relate.

also, i've decided to start from scratch in terms of touch typing. i've been wanting to do that for a long time and have been collecting information on classes and stuff around my london neighborhood. typing controlled like this takes ages, but i'll just take it as a meditation or something. n i r v a n a . n i r v a n a. n i r v a n a.

random thoughts

i would be hollering bricks whereas you,
you would sound like that church
in the aisle of which i would pause
and breathe and say: god, i really
like your shirt, you know, let's wrap
that cuteness, baby, let's reciprocate.

19 October 2007

reading in berlin

it will be my privilege to read with the following authors at the lauter niemand magazine launch in berlin on 18 november 2007:

ann cotten (i love her poetry, what a pleasure!!!), katarina bendixen, joseph danaghie, katrin heinau and johann reißer.

what else? there's a new cooperation of young german literary magazines. you'll find their project at junge-magazine.de. from what i saw, that page looks pretty good... but what else would you expect, having lauter niemand, edit, bella triste, sprachgebunden and so forth under one roof?

18 October 2007

a poem on static warfare or something

this is, like, the fifth version of this poem. i guess my field of study shows through here.

standlauf


vom ein mann zwei mann
turm her: betrachtung
der nebelkörper

schweben marder
feine silberfäden
vors beobachtungsgerät

rasch: kampfwertbestimmung
die jüngste entfernung
bemessen in herzschlägen

[stets]

näher

[stets]

näher als nirgends.

16 October 2007

ballhaus all the way

there are two confirmed readings coming up, both of which involve not only myself, obviously, but other authors as well:

08.11.2007 - klagenfurt (austria) - ballhaus.at

18.11.2007 - berlin (germany) - ballhaus ost

as you might have noticed, both locations are called 'ballhaus'. this is a total coincidence.

the latter is organized by my friends from lauter niemand, who will celebrate the launch of their this year's edition.

as yet, neither have officially confirmed their programs, so i will get back to you guys with more detailed information once it's all formalized.

i started writing another short story, too, which is coming along alright. as yet, i haven't quite found the balance between reading for uni, writing and leisure, and am still trying to juggle all this and focus my attention on either one of them at a time.

15 October 2007

(picture taken from pictures of walls.)

12 October 2007

gardens & castles

i found marcus roloff's GÄRTEN & SCHLÖSSER [GARDENS & CASTLES] on hendrik jackson's lyrikkritik page yesterday night, shortly after i complained about not having found anything i liked to translate recently. so i stayed up late and translated it. i have to admit i wasn't sure about the comma placement, so i just left them where he put them in the german version of the poem.


GARDENS & CASTLES

that it's autumn & light out of heaven by
heaven, when years created creator's
breath is essential is out of the question, falls
when he off & on oozes on screens of the gardens
for instance & castles of potsdam, down-
wards, to end titles, the last roll, and home
going walks through glass walls with
sun pillars & blue prints, on grounds of
one's pockets, filled with streets & spaces, jacobi's
fathergod in one's bags, only soaked
cookies, a life long aide
memoire for hereafter.

10 October 2007

it seems my this year's luck with competitions is used up. einseitig has sent me an email today, saying that my text tanz aus narkose didn't make it into the final six (out of a hundred); the upside to this is that i won't have to fly into basel the weekend before our first essays for uni are due in december. also, my poem will still be published in a swiss online magazine called Nahaufnahmen [closeup views]. they couldn't tell me exactly when it would be up, but 'sometime soon'. i'm completely unaware of how many more submissions they've chosen for publication, so let's just wait and see.

my daily a4 page, by the way, has in the meantime become a daily half-a-page. i find that still better than writing nothing at all, though.

as yet, i'm still pretty busy organizing my schedule, making myself comfortable on the tube, trying out shortcuts and stuff. i haven't done any translation work in ages, which i regret, but have only today ordered sylvia plath's collection of short stories called Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams - i'm thinking about translating one of these, this time the other way around, from english to german, just for the fun of it.

07 October 2007

i'm on my seventh a4 page, 12 pt, with that longer story. i'm looking at writing as many as possible, ideally 50+. it's gonna be tough re-reading and editing that, though, once i've managed to amass as much text... if at all. but i still want to try, the novel project has not died just yet.

oh, by the way, the location i will be reading at on 8 november is the ballhaus in klagenfurt. come check it out, if you can, the official program of the night is to be released soon.

you're probably wondering why i'm so quiet. well, i've been writing a little, that longer piece i was talking about, just seeing how it goes. there's a concept to it, only a very vague one, so i'm not really confident talking about it here. i haven't been writing any more poetry, either, so there's nothing new to put here, really. sorry for that.

looks like i'll be going to austria again beginning of november. i'll let you know once it's official. besides that, london is pretty great. i enjoy being here, even though it means watching rugby at times. it's actually funny, you know. so yeah, anyways, there's no interesting competitions coming up i would like to partake in, which is good in a way, cause it means that when i'm writing, i'm concentrating on that longer piece.

(picture taken from pictures of walls.)

06 October 2007

more drowsy music - NICE!

amos lee performing his brilliant song keep it lose, keep it tight.



p.s. go to sleep, B!

03 October 2007

here are a couple of pictures of saturday night. i'm pretty sure i've been quoted wrongly, though: i'd never say die einzige Beschäftigung, wo... but whatever.

on my trip back to london i read youth by j. m. coetzee. i liked it, and not only for it's london setting, even though he goes on quite a bit about numerous historic authors i've never heard of before.

the viennese will love me for this

und dieses wien, das viel hellgrauer als das - mein - london ist, das ist kein umgängliches. man trifft hier, von ein, zwei, drei ausnahmen abgesehen, nur wortkarge leute, die sich die lippen beissen. aber t und das glas, davon weiss ich noch, wie das licht durch das fenster und dann durch das bier schien und gelbe quadrate und all die rauten auf jenem kantinentisch. sonst alles steinig hier, viele rillen und endlose fensterzeilen, das ist das wien, das mir bleiben wird, bis ich mal wiederkomme. das und die skateboardfahrer, die sprünge probieren und halbhohe hopser filmen, vielleicht.

[and this vienna, which is way more grey than - my - london, that is unsociable. one meets here, apart from a couple exceptions maybe, just silent people, who bite their lips. but t and his glass, that i'll remember, the light through the window that shone through his beer and threw yellow rhombuses on that tabletop. otherwise everything's stoney here, gouges and endless window lines, this is the vienna that i will remember until i return. that and the practicing skateboard people, who filmed half-high hops, perhaps.]

02 October 2007

back from a wicked weekend in austria, i've been trying to get my head around this:

and this: ,

both available here or here, for example.
(ISBN 978-3-902373-28-1)

there are online versions of the text with the standard (kultur -> literatur) and fm4 (see here).

what a great weekend!

28 September 2007

connected

i strongly advise everyone interested in WOAW to turn on your radios [windows live stream here // mac users, please download the unofficial fm4 dashboard widget here] tomorrow, saturday 29 september, between 14.00 and 15.00 CET time. this would be 13.00 to 14.00 UK time and something like 22.00 in australia. the show you'll be listening to is called CONNECTED.

i'll be in vienna over the weekend and til late monday night, so posting will continue on tuesday.

27 September 2007

habitual writing behaviour

the mean thing about habitually writing at night is that even when i try to go to sleep early, there is always this semi-somnolent moment when imagery and words pop up and i need to get up again to write them down. it's like having to drag yourself out of bed just to pee once more: pretty annoying. so here i am at 23:30 uk time, awake and typing away, when i actually had my lights out two hours ago. i was tired, still am, but now that i've written a half-page already i might as well stick to my new habit of writing one page every day. so far i've been getting ahead rather fine with this, only that it's mostly late night work and i'm not quite sure whether i'll manage to keep that up once my lectures have started... either way, it's a good habit, which would be even better, if it weren't for that charwoman slamming her vacuum cleaner against my door from the outside every morning at seven thirty. or for the fear that no matter how interesting these lectures will get, writing in midnight silence will always be more tantalizing.

25 September 2007

ich stopfe die englische nacht in ein glas
über winter die blauen sirenen
der industriebrotstaat da ein auge ein
augenaufschlag man hat uns
in diesen stall und da unten
der wachmann sein blick brüllerei
eine spitalausfahrt drei vier brücken
die tüten das gras das die bauern
dörren halme halbschlaf und
der deckel die decke die winde der wind
sind im glas.

[i cram an english night in a glass/ over winter the sirens all blue/ the industrial bread state there an eye a/ glance they put us up/ in this stable and down there/ that guard his look a howl/ a hospital's drive three four bridges/ a joint the weed that the farmers/ dry blades doze and/ the top the topping the heaver the weather/ are in that glass.]

24 September 2007

hmpf.

i just found out i didn't make it into the final twenty of this year's open mike writing competition. now that's a bit of a disappointment, as it also has an effect on my planning to visit frankfurt in early november. personally, though, i liked the story i sent them even better than the one i mailed to the fm4 wortlaut competition. but yeah, whatever, maybe next year.

23 September 2007

perhaps i have an idea for a longer text (= novel)... will start writing soon and will see how that goes. have a pretty good feeling about it, i'm even kind of excited.

also, there's the dresdner lyrikpreis on, which is only happening every other year. but i guess i'm not yet good enough to participate, and also the deadline, 30 september, is kind of close. they want 6 t0 10 poems, which seems quite a lot to me, so i really wouldn't even know which ones to choose. i'll see whether i'll be able to decide on some tomorrow, if not, obviously i won't be partaking.

22 September 2007

today i went to have a look at my campus library (maughan library) for the first time, and it's beautiful. in fact, i've never used such a time-honored library before. it's exactly what i hoped for, very english and sophisticated. as yet, i haven't decided on any optional courses, but reporting wars remains a favorite. i haven't written anything worthwhile reading since i got here, apart from a poem my flat mates and i came up with while waiting to be enrolled, maybe. it's called POEM ON THIS and goes something like I THINK I HEARD CABLES COLLAPSE/ I DREAD PIPES/ THESE CURTAINS IN/ BLACK BROWN AND RED/ QUEUE FOR THIS/ THAT'S WHAT THEY SAID. so yeah, you guys haven't missed out.

21 September 2007

back. ish.

we just had a false fire alarm in the building and after walking down the stairs fourteen stories, waiting outside for fifteen minutes, and walking up ten floors only to hop into an elevator that would take us down to the ground floor again, i figured i might as well make the best of the situation and go online when nobody else would.

so here's one of the first couple of pictures i took in london this week. i haven't been writing much since i got here, mainly because i've been busy organizing things and getting to know my flat mates, which are lovely.

oh, and i decided against sending in that story i wrote for the walter serner price, as i really wasn't happy with it in the end. i'll have to rework it sometime end of this year, when plenty of time will have passed and i'm not as confused about how i want to sound anymore.

16 September 2007

Sorry

as yet, there's no www in my room. this will change coming wednesday evening, from then on posting on this blog will continue in more or less regular fashion. until then, i recommend all of you read christian kracht's faserland, it's really good.

14 September 2007

an wann [of when]

bin laue nacht bin/ spider ohne mann/ am kellertor/ die waschweibhand/ am brett die reibt die/ spinnt den dreck aufs land/ das liegt lag lang und/ breit die muskelfinger/ ach bin nacht bin/ hab an wen gedacht/ im gang.

[am mild night am/ spider sans man/ at cellar door/ the washer-women's hand/ at board rubs/ yarns the dirt goes rural/ land lies lied and long/ the beefy fingers/ sigh am night am/ thought of someone/ going.]

11 September 2007

bye bye berlin

what a grand time we had!

thanks go out to:
lauter niemand (adrijana, clemens, hendrik, ernesto, florian, erik, johannes, jörn, isabel, yaron, andré, ...),
dachbüro (dominik, jockel, valentin, clara, markus, ...),
ulla and kilian, felix, ola and paul,
steve and jeanne, obviously,
and everybody everywhere who has been supportive of my writing.

10 September 2007

Frage - Nikolaus Lenau

O Menschenherz, was ist dein Glück?
Ein rätselhaft geborner,
Und, kaum gegrüßt, verlorner,
Unwiederholter Augenblick!

09 September 2007

08 September 2007

(die tiger des zorns sind weiser als die pferde der weisung.)

07 September 2007

06 September 2007

day 167

writing this story is friggin' torture. i re-arranged and rewrote five out of six pages now (by hand!!), changes which i will still have to key in later tonight. that's ok, though, as i will have a finished draft by tomorrow night, which i can then edit for a third time on saturday. things are going slowly, but surely as usual.

05 September 2007

es sommert noch/ da beschlagen die scheiben/ nun wer ist die/ unvernunft und/ wer wirft den/ kiesel hinauf an mein fenster/ den weißen/ es sommert ein klirren noch/ gegen die scheiben.

04 September 2007

day 165

i'm at 1'694 words at the moment, page no. 5 of the story. it's tricky this time around, i'm not yet happy with the overall sound of the text. writing, at the moment, is only limited fun. in spite of this, i'll try and stick to my plan of finishing it by friday evening, so that i can let it lie around for a couple more days before sending it in. i've thought about pulling out of the competition as well, but since half of lauter niemand is partaking and i would like to top my time in berlin off with a presentable piece, that's not an option.

03 September 2007

day 163/ 164 - zwei wochen südsee

zwei wochen südsee herz aufs meer ein palmblattboot und rosa lichter muschelschloßkapellen kokosgroß und glas in unterwasserdunkelrot und die gesänge herz die trommeln schlagen alle lippensegel alle blütentakelagen flutlichtabschied herz ein hulatanz an vierzehn südseetagen

31 August 2007

day 161

i'm still researching and writing my story. at the moment, i'm at 822 words. looks like i'll have to alter the beginning quite a bit though, cause there's more to the case than i had known and remembered. i'm a bit nervous about this whole thing, as there's a true story behind it and i really want it to turn out good.

30 August 2007

alles kann, nichts muss

(picture taken from cicero.)

[roughly: everything goes, nothing has to: "dear voluntary conscripts, to get you in the mood for looking alive, may i offer you the following incentives..."]

29 August 2007

day 159

surprise, surprise: i've started a third story for the walter serner preis. this time, though, i'll stick with it. i have a pretty clear idea of where i'm going and still enough time to make an effort to write it well. i've written 233 words in one go now, little more than half a page, which is always a good sign. i'll go out for lunch soon, which is fine, too, because the ways to and from give me time to develop my text in more detail.

plus: the super funny snoopy looks i get from people when taking notes in public.

27 August 2007

day 157

today i sent three poems of mine to gaby blattl, the person in charge of accepting entries for the othmar seidner jungautoren competition. i chose strassenschlachten, zum 1. august and tausendundeine, primarily because there was nothing much else to come into question. this competition included, i'm currently waiting for six selection committees to make their final decisions. wish me luck, please.

jesusnacht

und ich stricke zwei sterne
die du dir annähen kannst
an die hand kleine perlen
ich backe dir dieses und jenes
tamtam in der ferne ich fädel
dir singsang ins ohr hier ein
pilgerfährtchen und dort eine
alte bekannte vielleicht auch
ein foto vom ort wo du wohnst
ein hallo nur ein schimmer
zum gruss nur ein halber halo.

[jesusnight// and i knit two stars/ for you to attach to/ your hand small pearls/ i bake you this and that/ ballyhoo in the distance i thread/ singsong into your ear here a/ small pilgrimage and there an/ old friend perhaps a/ picture from where you live/ a hello just a clue or a glimmer/ to salute just half a halo.]

25 August 2007

day 155

i spent my afternoon grating carrots while watching how to lose a guy in ten days. my friends hate me for liking this movie, but i just about die laughing every time i see it. so i'm guessing you figured i ain't writing much at the moment.

24 August 2007

day 154

here's ani di franco performing her song hypnotized ...and i drew a treasure map on your hand...

23 August 2007

day 153

this picture doesn't have anything to with anything, i just found it very beautiful and therefore stole it from john mayer's blog. it's him and alicia keys, in case you didn't recognize them.

my writing is going so-so, i'm a little afraid i've become gridlocked and not sure yet whether i'll find a way out of my story. perhaps i'll have to start all over with a different one yet again.

22 August 2007

day 152

last night i realized that my story for the walter serner preis is only due after i left berlin. technically i've known this all along, but now, when i write, it feels like i'm writing myself out of berlin... wicked!!!

i'm at 519 words at the moment, which make a little over one page, which is perfectly fine. just like the last couple of times i've started a new story - i just can't continue producing material i don't feel excited about. it's that feeling in your stomach that tells you 'this could really be something, keep going'... so the story i'm writing at the moment doesn't have anything to do with chemistry or our planetary system (not at this point at least), but instead with people and children, the usual stuff - stellar vaults just didn't seem to do it. haha.

21 August 2007

day 151

(picture taken from postsecret.)

i have a couple of story ideas, one of which includes chemistry. that's weird, because i never even fully understood the periodic system of the elements. there ain't too much time left... i should absolutely be starting writing something by the end of this week. i would like to get back at writing some good stuff again, poetry or whatever, but i'm still only pondering mediocre ideas.

20 August 2007

day 150

okay, what everybody has been predicting has come true. that anthology i was protesting to be featured in will go to press these days, the publishers want to start selling it to ... people with a very bad taste in poetry, i'm afraid ... for a whopping price of 34,95€. the 150 authors they picked (from 1.460 entries, they say) are entitled to buy them at 24€ apiece, but i won't do so. also, dear kinsfolk, please do not give one to me as a birthday present or something, i really don't want it. however, should you still be interested in the winners of the competition or what a finished book could look like, click here. curiosity really is a bitch sometimes!

19 August 2007

day 149

schau, wie die dinge sich bewewigen
in immer verstreichelnder zeit
die verleitenden offen
hinfortsetzungenschlecken
die süßsee, tiefe
nurmalkostengründe
ein herz verwächselt mir
über den kronkopfen
im entscheidschungel
einflußlauf, zweiflüsterei.

sorry, no translation this time.

17 August 2007

day 147

by now, the poem i was talking about below is revised. i won't publish it here, though, 'cause somehow that wouldn't feel right.

as to the writing competition on living in big cities, i haven't progressed. i still lack a decent idea, but try not to freak out about that just yet.

day 146/ 147

here's part of a long poem i wrote in a room kindly provided by the dachBüro, prenzlauer berg, berlin, today. you should check out their site, btw, they've got a very interesting concept.

[...]
Da schieben die Türkinnen ihre Melonen

In meinen Text wickeln sich ihre Tücher
Alles ist fast wie immer, die Glocken der Kirche hier schlagen sich
Über die Strasse, die Alten spazieren, die Schafe
Und Wiesen um Edinburgh
[...]


[There the Turks hustle their melons
Their scarves wrap my text

Almost business as usual, the bells of the church strike
The street, where the elderly stroll, there the sheep
And the meadows round Edinburgh]

the whole text is considerably longer, and when i finished it this afternoon, i really liked it. in the meantime, though, i've read it a couple of times and am not too sure how to handle it anymore. generally, i believe, it's quite good, but there are some rhythmical problems i want to take care of tomorrow afternoon. i might call it N369, but i'm not quite sure yet.

15 August 2007

day 145

i'm in a bit of a hurry, cause i have a friend from constance over for a couple of nights. to keep you entertained, here's a pastiche i wrote on rainer maria rilke's poem Herbsttag, when i was only thirteen years old. i really like it.

es war ein heißer sommer/ dem ein kalter herbst/ nun folgen muss/ nimm/ was zur reife drängt/ ganz einfach hin/ und lass dem kühlen/ wasser seinen fluss

das einsamsein in einem/ leeren haus heißt wind/ der durch die ritzen/ pfeift/ und einsam ist auch/ wer nach briefen greift/ man kann aus blättern/ keine bäume schnitzen.

[ONLY VERY ROUGHLY, AS IT RHYMES IN GERMAN: it was a hot sommer/ that has to be followed/ by a cool fall/ just take/ what wants to ripe/ and let the river keep/ its water

loneliness in a/ void house is wind/ that soughs through chinks/ and lonely is/ who reaches for the letters/ yet out of folios/ you cannot carve a tree.]

14 August 2007

ORF, the national austrian tv station, has a brief article on the fm4 shortlist, too. i'm very pleased with this snippet, as my story has been mentioned in an extra sentence:

Wir waren gerührt von der unsentimentalen Schilderung des langsamen Sterbens der Großmutter.

[We were touched by an unsentimental description of a grandmother's slow death.]

yibbbbiieeee!

13 August 2007

sooooo....

after talking to zillions of people who know the business (okay, four) and some extra consideration, i've decided that a publication won't hurt. after all, you never know beforehand what other authors or work is going to be published alongside your own entry, and chances are no one will take notice of me being included in that anthology anyways... apart from all of you guys, of course. and who knows, perhaps it's going to be all neat and nice, right? *sigh*... thanks ken and su for your sympathy.

12 August 2007

now look what i got:

apparently, 'kossi' didn't win that competition with her poem, it was all some sort of misunderstanding (yeah, right!). but anyways, she has corrected her false assertion on her blog, so that's that.

Liebe Annina Luzie Schmid!


Ihren Umut können wir nachvollziehen und danken Ihnen für diesen Hinweis.
Die Behauptung von Frau K. besitzt keinen verifizierten Hintergrund
und ist wohl als Mißverständnis zu verstehen. Sie gehört nicht zu den
Preisträgern des Wettbewerbes!
Die Gewinner des Wettbewerbers werden erst am Montag benachrichtigt und
nach Rücklauf des Korrekturabzugs auf unserer Seite veröffentlicht.
Wie sind bemüht dieses Missverständnis schnellstmöglich aufzuklären.

Wir bedauern diese widrigen Umstände zutiefst und hoffen den Anstoss für
Ihre Entscheidung aufgeklärt zu haben. Bitte teilen Sie uns mit, ob Ihr
Wunsch auf Streichung Ihres Beitrages fortbesteht.

Herzliche Grüße!

Ihr Lichtstrahlverlag

it's weird, though, that the winners of a competition will be announced only AFTER the majority of authors has been contacted - usually, the winners are informed first.

either way, even though she didn't win, it looks like her poem has been chosen for publication, so i'm still not sure what to do with that... any ideas?

day 142

turns out one of my german poems ought to be published in an anthology compiled by lichtstrahlverlag. i've found the winner (?!?!) of this competition online, too, so i'm actually thinking about retracting my entry. no kidding.

------ just now i've sent them this ------

Sehr geehrtes Lektorat,

nachdem ich erfahren habe, welches Gedicht Ihren Gedichtwettberb gewonnen hat, möchte ich hiermit gerne meinen Beitrag zurückziehen. Ich bin nicht damit einverstanden, in Ihrer Anthologie veröffentlicht zu werden.

Bitte entschuldigen Sie die Umstände, die Ihnen meine Teilnahme gemacht hat, und bestätigen Sie, dass Sie mein Gedicht von Ihrer Veröffentlichungsliste streichen werden.

Mit freundlichen Grüssen
Annina Luzie Schmid

------ and here's my poem ------

ich will dir zeigen ich
bin nachgewachsen
aus haut aus
mundstücken ich
bin silberfliege
ohne zwischenfall gelandet
auf der hand des
vielleicht letzten mannes
nach dir will zeigen
da sind lachfalten
aus haut aus
mundaufentzücken ich
bin windrad
alle farben tanzen in spiralen
an seiner hand ich
bin tretbootpedale
auf dem nachdirsee er
aus haut aus
hand lenkt um
dein schilf.

[i want to show you i/ have grown again/ of skin of/ mouthpieces i/ am a silver fly/ that perhaps/ has landed/ on the hand of the last man after/ you i want to show/ there are laugh lines/ of skin of/ mouthopendelight i/ am a wind wheel/ all colours dance in a spiral/ me and his hand i/ am a paddleboat pedal/ on the afteryou lake he/ of skin of/ hand steers round/ your reed.]

11 August 2007

day 141

i've told you about this story i'm thinking about, right? its topic is "living in big cities" and although i've spent the better part of my life in big cities, i can't seem to think of anything remotely interesting. or, if i do, i feel i wouldn't enjoy writing about it. so while i know that most people i've been talking to do understand that i get slow phases in between writing periods, i'm afraid they aren't quite aware of the actual length of those times. or, how much i hate them. i mean, how would you explain to someone that, no, you're not actually working, and, no, you can't just make something up, because that's of no use. i hate writing things when there's no creative or artistic add of value. like harry said to sally: so you wanna become a journalist to write about other people's lives? ... NO, darn it!!!

i'm reading oriana fallaci's the rage and the pride (next will be: the force of reason), which is a truly wild book. you should read it, should you get a chance. she wrote it after 9/11 and in it talks about her perception of the muslim culture, cultural heritage in general and the dalai lama in a popeye t-shirt.

10 August 2007

day 140 - back to ... erm ... normal

i write best in trains, streetcars and in my bed. capote liked to write in his bed, too, saying he was much more of a horizontal thinker than a vertical one. as for me, i'm still thinking about my next story, vertically AND horizontally, but can't quite settle. as usual, i've already written a page of stuff i'll probably dismiss again soon, but at least that keeps me occupied...

with my moving to england mid september, i'll also have to think about what to do with this blog once writing isn't my preoccupation anymore - when, in fact, it will forever be just that. at the moment i'm thinking i'll just keep posting, hopefully still on a daily basis, and see where this goes. i find that with a stock of around 500 regular individual readers per month it would be such a shame to discontinue this.

first and foremost, though, i'm back in berlin for four more weeks, which is lovely, despite the bad weather.

09 August 2007

nichtrauchertraum [a nonsmoker's dream]

stirn an stirn mit dem atlantik/ zwischen klippen/ im traum was zu kiffen/ dir zuhörn wie du den andern/ das leben erklärst/ mein mund voll/ er rauch/ der muss lachen ob/ all dieser dinge die/ du den pferden erzählst/ und ich häng mich/ dir an den nacken/ ein schwung ein kuss/ gott den warst du mir schwach.

[braving the atlantic/ between cliffs/ a dream of spliffs/ listening to you/ explaining life/ my mouth full/ with smoke/ a smile/ for all the things/ you tell the horses/ and i hang myself/ on your neck/ a swing a kiss/ god you owed me.]

08 August 2007

(picture taken from postsecret.)

the bad news: i haven't been writing much lately.
the good news: i can't wait to get back at it.

i sent the story i was talking about below there and am also thinking about participating here and here and here and here and here and here. so plenty of work to do... will be back in berlin late thursday evening, so posts should be coming in daily again from friday on.

holiday weirdness:

in einem augenwinkel/ blinzeln/ zwinkert ein marienkäferkind.

[in a corner of the eye/ a twinkle/ blinks a lady bird's child.]

die bienen die finden/ die blüten im/ dreckigsten busch noch/ die spinne/ meine dünne/ nasenspitze dann/ die fessel und an ihr/ entlang aufs buch in/ dessen seiten kriecht/ sich fest ist hin/ als ichs zusammenschlag.

[the bees they find/ the flowers even/ in most filthy bushes/ and the spider/ finds the slim tip of my nose/ the shackle up/ along onto the book and/ in between its pages crawls/ athletic dies as i hard/ smash its covers shut.]

05 August 2007

some prose

i wrote this little story when still in berlin a couple of weeks back. i'm thinking of using it for a writing competition, in which case i would have to take it back down again soon - so better read it quickly. an english translation, as usual, you'll find below.

SORRY, DECIDED TO TAKE IT BACK DOWN ALREADY. BOOOOHOOOOOO.

04 August 2007

(i drew this around two years ago.)

zum 1. august

die sterne springen in den see vor zürich/ wie wir liegen staunend still auf deck/ da stehen/ brennen feuer rauchen ferne hügel/ fass mich - zärtlich - an/ die vielen ufer über siebenhundertfünfzig jahre lang/ da wie es zauberlichter regnet/ zwischen allen stegen/ sanfter wellengang.


[roughly: to august 1

the stars are jumping into lake zurich/ how we are lying silent on deck/ standing/ burning fires in the distance fuming hills/ touch me/ all these watersides are more than seven hundred fifty years along/ over there it's raining magic lights/ between the footbridges/ all gentle swells.]