31 May 2007

day 70

(picture taken from pictures of walls.)

in lithuania they hold a crawling competition for babies. not that this has anything to do with today's post. i've been writing prose for the einseitig competition. they want one a4 page of text, which suits me fine, but need seven hardcopies of that one page, which bugs me. with adolf muschg as one of the members, the jury is staffed rather prominently. i have a couple of textual ideas - but since my desire for publication has ceased, so has my hope for honors. now that i've tried reading my texts to all sorts of people and, by fortunate coincidence more than anything else really, even managed to get paid for doing so, my hunger for recognition seems satisfied. i've realised that, while i could never stop writing, i can absolutely quit showing my stuff around. in the last couple of weeks i was lucky enough to receive some fine advice by highly gifted people - i think by now i have a good idea of what a quality text written by myself could and should look like. now it seems it all comes down to practice. however, exercising myself in writing doesn't involve a single person aside from myself. that's a shame, because i really like people. what's more, i'm missing a political touch in what i'm doing at the moment - in fact, the one political consequence blogging had on my life so far has been that i've been starting to censor myself in order not to snub anyone. bad, right? ...

so what's the main thing here? the main thing is my writing improves. which it does. which is good.

30 May 2007

day 69

i've been late with this week's podcast. but better late than never, right? here's me sounding silly for once. it's a shame there was no guy around to record florian voß's tulips and asepticum (see day 67). to my ear, it's a very male poem.

29 May 2007

day 68

i'm not getting anywhere with my writing currently. in fact i'm thinking of cancelling the novel project altogether and rather focusing on short prose and translations. accordingly, i called off my performance at the kreuzbergslam in favour of a no man's land translator's meeting.

coming saturday, though, i will read at a spring festival organized by the hackesche höfe. artist christina knobbe invited me and i'll get paid for reading for the first time, so that's great.

finally, i have made a translation i long wanted to do but never dared: please find below the second draft of a german version of my institutionals by patricia ferrell. this won't be the last version, so just take it as an intermediate result.

mein institutionelles/ weiße zimmer sind für handel mit dem selbst/ dich gehen lassen geht/ da sich ein personalstab um mich kümmert/ invalid wird synonym für prominent/ draußen lüftet frühling mein geheimnis/ puls, ich höre deinen taktschlag tief im blattwerk/ wendeltreppenstufen tragen mich zurück in die gefahr/ die ich unbedingt erbat/ das unglück selbst reine formsache/ der heilungsauftrag/ eintausend seiten voller rekonvaleszenter träume/ ich melde alles ist unsagbar schön/ die frauen wie weiße geister/ die kommen, meine augen reiben/ wenn sie füllen alles zu zerfallen und die gegend nebelt/ sie mein sein versichern ohne daß ich eine hand heb/ bald bin ich stark genug mich selbst wieder zu lieben/ frei um des freiseins willen/ ohne industrie

28 May 2007

day 67 - florian voß's tulpis and asepticum

okay. here's this weeks's translation of florian voß's Tulpen und Aseptikum. it's a long poem, so this one is a long post. as usual, you'll find my translation above his german original.

for older posts you'll have to scroll down quite a while from now on, i'm afraid.

Tulips and Asepticum


My father withers faster than
the tulips on his desk
His own grave goods he is
pallid and waterless

And in a dream I travelled on
a north pole island:
a ferry made of steel and varnished white
Its saloons great as grots
its lower deck dark forests

My father sinks into the kitchen table
the water surface of the wood
he rests his elbow on
His meagre face flows
down his hand to wood:
of flesh a waterfall


Dying is at father’s
Father billows into it
Father isn’t dying yet
still a liver plump with blood
and no more sausages to eat
Father has a quarter wine
he chokes it with a look
so it cannot choke him
Wine is sitting on the table
smoked a lung
into the cabbage soon shoots death
and chuffs all through the filter

Dying is at father’s
His alter face exposed
his third teeth – in the bathroom
still a glass of water
in it rosy gum splits
In father life smells sweetish
sweetish hangs the air
inside the wall square
Of candles he won’t speak
of flowers, too, there’ll be
no talk here on the brink
The nostrils bulge with smells
of venerable tulips – amber
they are not – a summer coughs
In the corners dust
to be vacated
The lower floor’s old woman
turns up her television slowly
her dog sheds
Planks already quiver
for the dull sound of the news

Tulpen und Aseptikum


Mein Vater verblüht schneller als
die Tulpen auf seinem Tisch
Sein eigener Grabschmuck ist er
bleich und trocken

Und im Traum bin ich auf
einer Nordpol-Insel gefahren:
eine Fähre aus weiß lackiertem Stahl
Mit Sälen groß wie Grotten
mit dunklen Wäldern im Unterdeck

Mein Vater versinkt im Küchentisch
in den Wasserspiegeln des Holzes
hat er seinen Ellbogen gestützt
Sein mageres Gesicht fließt
an seiner Hand hinab zum Holz:
ein Wasserfall aus Fleisch


Das Sterben ist am Vater
Der Vater bläht sich in das Sterben
Noch stirbt er nicht der Vater
doch die Leber ist mit Blut gefüllt
und Würste kann er nicht mehr essen
Der Vater hat ein Vierel Wein
das würgt er mit dem Blick
damit es ihn nicht würgen kann
Der Wein steht auf dem Tisch
geräuchert ist die Lunge
ins Kraut schießt bald der Tod
und pafft sich durch den Filter

Das Sterben ist am Vater
Sein Zweitgesicht entblößt
die dritten Zähne - im Bad
steht noch ein Wasserglas
mit rosa Zahnfleischfetzen drin
Im Vater riecht das Leben süßlich
süßlich hängt due Luft
im Geviert der Wände
Von Kerzen will er nicht mehr sprechen
und auch von Blumen wird ihm nicht
gesprochen werden hier am Rand
Die Nüstern blähen sich zum Duft
der alten Tulpen - bernsteinfarben
sind sie nicht - der Sommer hustet
Der Staub liegt in den Ecken
bald wird er ausgekehret
Die alte Frau im Stockwerk drunter
dreht langsam ihren Fernseher laut
ihr Hund verliert die Haare
Die Bodendielen zittern schon
vom dumpfen Klang der Tagesschau

für Reinhold Voß, 1938 - 2006

27 May 2007

day 66

(picture taken from postsecret.)

26 May 2007

day 65

spent the day translating poetry. have also started a couple of new prose texts, but nothing fancy.

die krähen auf der balustrade/ stumm und mädchen/ ungeschminkt/ die stadt liegt/ so herum/ wie tote fliegen/ krumm auf dem parkett.

[crows on the balustrade/ dumb and girls/ au naturel/ the city lies/ about/ like dead flies/ warped on the parquet.]

25 May 2007

day 64

in need of material, i tried to translate one of my very own poems. i wrote the original entitled 'what may' in english last year. sadly, the very complex title of the poem is untranslatable, as there is no double entendre of the name of the month may and the verb may in the german language.

what may/ from a roofed platform/ i watch horizon suck in your train/ that red and white train/ that pulls you/ winds you away/ into a trail maze/ industrial grey/ and panic slurps/ radiant days/ doze notions/ of us intertwined/ of your leg on mine/ for an instant last night/ a valiant vagrant/ i mumble goodbyes/ and you/ perhaps/ wonder if life/ makes its mad debut twice.

unter dem bahnsteigdach/ stehend sehe ich den horizont atmen/ tief ein deinen zug/ sehe dem rotweißen zug nach/ der sich aufspult und/ dich mir entwindet/ in ein graues labyrinth/ aus gleisen industrie/ da ist die panik die/ hellgelbe tage stürzt/ die halbschlafahnung/ unsrer körper/ deines beines auf meinem/ eines kurzen moments/ in der nacht/ ich die nichtsesshafte/ flüstere abschied/ du zeitgleich/ fragst dich vielleicht/ ob das leben/ sein irres debüt/ zweimal gibt.

while this poem springs from an actual situation (and chances are the person spoken to here reads this blog once in a while), not every text i write is a factual report. often i embellish rather small ideas on a grand scale or use other people's awkward situations as inspiration. so please, people, refrain from feeling addressed, interpreting this or that, relating this to that or whatever. ein halbes lilienleben ('half a lily's life'), for example, exists for the sole reason of me liking the sound of the word 'lilienleben'. at the moment i couldn't even tell you what made me think of that expression in the first place.

24 May 2007

day 63

i miss uni.

23 May 2007

day 62

here's a poem of mine of 2002. it's far from perfect language-wise, but i like its imagery nevertheless. (below a rough translation into the english language.)

im flußbett/ vor ein paar hundert herzschlägen/ saß ich im flußbett/ es war so trocken und groß/ in der sonne lagen ein paar hundert/ flußkrebse, tote/ trocken wie muscheln im sand/ vierundvierzig rosige krebse nahm ich/ und legte sie hin/ für dich zum gedicht.

[in the riverbed/ a few hundred heartbeats ago/ i sat in the riverbed/ it was dry and large/ in the sun lay a few hundred/ crayfish, dead/ dry in the sand/ forty-four rosy crayfish i took/ them and laid/ for you a poem.]

22 May 2007

day 61

even before i got through half of Das erste Buch (see day 44), i read florian voß's poetry collection Schattenbildwerfer (ISBN: 978-86520-259-8) in one go. it contains 57 poems, is really good and you better buy it. and go and check out florian's homepage. i've stolen his picture from there, too. i guess that's ok. i've already selected a couple of poems of his i intend to translate soon.

i've also promised him to bring some of my own poetry to lauter niemand next sunday. as i've written three poems in response to his work today in what was probably the most violent creative outburst i've had in a while, i will definitely bring at least the two better ones along then.

the publisher he has published his book with is called books on demand. a smart service that might be of interest to you, too, pauline. by the way: paulines cd has been reviewed and praised by rayl patzak. i admit i haven't heard it yet, but i bet it's great and for matters of fairness i suggest you buy not only florian's book but her cd as well. buy it by contacting her via her blog or another one of her and tobi heyel here.

what more? at the request of some of you, i'll publish more of my own stuff here. the only problem i've been seeing with that is that i'll have to withhold my best work until it was either denied or accepted by the various competition holders i sent or am about to send it to. usually they request unpublished work. as yet i haven't been able to figure out whether online publication on your personal website counts as "published", too. therefore, i'm afraid, you'll have to make do with my less fabulous output. what a shame.

21 May 2007

untitled by h.c. artmann

h.c. artmann, born in vienna in 1921, died on the day i turned 17. here's my translation of a poem of his that doesn't have a title. below, as usual, his german original. here's an audioversion, too.

that one was tricky to translate - no matter how hard i tried i just couldn't save the "frosthorizons" for rhythmic reasons. i'm also very thankful for the people at no man's land who suggested i change my "letters are singly on paper" into "letters are just sheets of paper". sometimes the seemingly 'easy' stuff ain't that easy at all.

oh we de-loved de-bodied
whilst we suspiringly eye
the blooms of the bougainvillea
our left heart departs
untaught that the right part
already winters in frost
the past day i got a letter
that should move me vast
and that well tugs my heart
like a from afar blown touch
yet letters are just sheets of paper
by the sender with hindsight denied

ach wir entliebten entleibten
während wir atmend die blüten
der bougainvilleen betrachten
verreist unser linkes herz
unwissend daß das rechte bereits
an frosthorizonten verwintert
gestern erhielt ich einen brief
der mich weitgehen rühren müßte
und mich freilich auch rührt
wie berührung von fernhergewehtem
doch briefe sind stets nur papier
vom absender nachtags verleugnet

day 60

even though i was told off for a wie-vergleich, a "like"-comparison, with a lizard at lauter niemand, on my way home from kaffee burger this morning i wrote (as in thought of and memorized) this:

die ampeln springen auf/ grün/ wenn ich morgens durch/ berlin/ und dann/ die müllabfuhr die klingt/ wie feierei.

furthermore, i've edited the end of kurzer rausch and am more content with the poem now:

ein halbes lilienleben/ mein lieber/ nicht wahr/ wir haben uns/ kaum gekannt/ als die blätter und dann/ alles -/ ein leises ding/ nach dem andren/ war es nicht so/ lieber/ fielen sie nicht sanglos/ dahin-/ willig in deinen schoß/ ein halbes lilienleben/ hat es sich uns/ nicht lang/ lieb/ verworfen

i haven't yet decided on todays translation. more to come.

20 May 2007

day 59 - yesterday night's kantinenlesen

[before going into this, i would like to point out that my post of day 58 is illogical and badly worded. i'm not even sure whether a plural of the word offspring actually exists. i herewith apologize in due form for all mistakes ever made and would like to invite you to disabuse me.]

last night, jan and i went to an event called kantinenlesen, moderated by dan richter. to my delight, special guest marco tschirpke was invited, whom jan and i had already seen at the scheinbar slam on monday (see post below). i hadn't listed marco then as i had somehow missed his name - in return, i would like to recommend to you his appearance at zebrano theater in berlin on june 22. also partaking were robert naumann, anselm neft and sarah schmidt.

while i've never thought of myself as a feminist, the general absence of women reading their work to the audience is striking. especially, since - as far as i know - many more women write than men do. i'm guessing the problem is the humorous cabaret character of many literary events. whereas i appreciate the absence of whiny texts that wallow in self-pity, i would like to encourage more writing females to make their voices heard. there MUST be more smart and sound (and funny, for all i care) observations out there.

in fact, i'm thinking about making a point by slamming in heels from now on.

[as there's still some space here, i would like to give you notice of a couple of changes i will make in the link lists to the right.

furthermore, i would like to advert the lauter niemand literary lab taking place at fehre6 tonight. i'll be there, too.]

19 May 2007

day 58

what i've learned about prenzlauer berg (prenzlberg) so far:

1. german females, in close cooperation with their male counterparts, DO produce offsprings. prenzlberg is packed with young (or not so young, but young dressing) families. every second kid is called paul.

2. the smell of almond hand creme satisfies hunger.

3. i have to, have to, HAVE TO turn off the internet. i can't work.

18 May 2007

best of berliner wald recording

below are some random pics of yesterday night's berliner wald recording show, cd of which will be out end of october this year. starting top left, in the pictures are frank kloetgen, wolf hogekamp, bas boettcher, the notorious oberkreuzberger nasenflötenorchester, R's and M's beers and yaneq in the background, again the nasenflötenorchester and inga, whose name is actually ingolf. also there were gauner, paul (i hope that's the correct link) and a guy who recited a poem on a factory worker sorting through rubbish on an assembly line who misses a declaration of love carved into styrofoam. very original that was. (claudius hagemeister that was, thanks gauner!) the three topics that clearly dominated the evening were sex, work, and berlin. fair enough.

waiting for the show to begin, i wrote kurzer rausch:

ein halbes lilienleben/ mein lieber/ nicht wahr/ wir haben uns/ kaum gekannt/ als die blätter und dann/ alles -/ ein leises ding/ nach dem andren/ war es nicht so/ lieber/ fielen sie nicht sanglos/ dahin-/ willig in deinen schoß/ ein halbes lilienleben/ hat es sich uns/ nicht lang her/ gegeben/ lieb/ und verworfen

17 May 2007

day 56

i need a post. so... everybody, come to berliner wald tonight. the end.

16 May 2007

day 55

i'm having bit of a slow phase, still. but i've met hang from vietnam today and got my nails done. whatever. so heres yesterday's weirdness, unedited:

heute haben blitze eingeschlagen/ schweine sind aus einem transporter/ auf die strasse gefallen/ und kleinkinder unangeschnallt/ durch scheiben/ frauen von jungen/ ochsen gestorben worden/ heute haben wieder leute/ bomben geworfen/ flieger gesteuert sich/ ins feuer geworfen um/ niemand bestimmtes/ da wieder rauszuholen/ wollten ruß an der backe spüren/ auch blind sein und/ lahme führen/ heute haben sie die/ halbdrogentoten/ vor die kamera geschoben/ die f vom bhf zoo sagt/ heroin und babystrich und so/ daß heute alles anders ist/ in deutschland.

15 May 2007

scheinbar slam

yesterday's scheinbar slam was moderated by sebastian kraemer. once more, competition was tough: i missed the finale by one vote, 13 votes for slam pro bettina, 12 for me. bettina (who also has a myspace) is swiss, too. after an evening of chatting on and off stage when neither of us could tell, we only figured that out on our way to the metro and had a good laugh in the rain. so that was one of the few moments i've spent outside here so far. i've really had it with the berlin weather. it has been raining constantly since i got here. frank kloetgen, part of the famous berliner wald, won in the end and even managed to wangle the champion's title out of julius, who you all might still remember from the wdr poetry slam tv series. the poem he performs is about a young man whose attempts to land a girl are unsuccessful. there's a really good line where he says something like: "you know how in clubs sometimes the walls sweat, so if it's all about the exchange of bodily fluids i might as well just lick a wall." also there were jan, artist christina and moritz, whose text was very well written and didn't quite receive the recognition it deserved in my opinion.

14 May 2007

yesterday's lauter niemand literary open stage was brilliant, by the way. i received mostly good criticism which, i was told, is rare there. i read my text Vom Klingeln ("Of Ringing") to around thirty people, many of whom - as i later found out - belong to berlin's inner circle of contemporary literature. amongst the people who liked my text, for example, were adrijana bohocki and florian voss. their appraisal of my work and general encouragement is really quite an honour and reassures me in my undertaking tremendously. (no man's land who held the translator's meeting last week, by the way, is an affiliate of lauter niemand.)

so far i have been really impressed with berlin. there's a great many literary events taking place all around the city. tonight there's a poetry slam at the scheinbar, which is a 60 minutes public transport ride away. i'll go and try to perform nevertheless. i'm tired and it rains and i've got a hole in my shoe, but i suppose all that doesn't count.

day 54 - a sarah kirsch translation

i promised a female poet last monday, so this week's podcast is a sarah kirsch translation of her poem Ich bin sehr sanft, called "I am very mild". she was born in 1935 and started publishing her poetry in 1960. here's the audioversion, too.

i know it has been a lot of winter and spring and angels and all that, so my promise for next week would be a different topic of choice.

I am very mild

I am very mild call
me camomile
my fingers are tender build
churches in your hand my nails
wingscales of angels caress I am
a summer an autumn even a winter in spring
I would like to be where you
show me the country we go
from lake to lake which needs
a long lucky existence
the fish are two
the birds build nests we
are of the same feather

Ich bin sehr sanft

Ich bin sehr sanft nenn
mich Kamille
meine Finger sind zärtlich bau'n
Kirchen in deiner Hand meine Nägel
Flügelschuppen von Engeln liebkosen ich bin
der Sommer der Herbst selbst der Winter im Frühling
möchte ich bei dir sein du
zeigst mir das Land wir gehn
von See zu See da braucht es
ein langes glückliches Leben
die Fische sind zwei
die Vögel bau'n Nester wir
stehn auf demselben Blatt

13 May 2007

day 53

tonight i'll be here. other than that, nothing much new. made a list of even more competitions i could partake in and wrote a poem i might send in to partake in this competition tomorrow. i appreciate how most of the organizers accept digital versions in .doc or .rtf formatting nowadays, because it allows people to hand in their work short term.

12 May 2007

day 52 - why i skipped day 51 and what i don't like about my life right now. and what i like, too.

ok, so i didn't post yesterday. ok, so yesterday was a rebellion against myself. instead of writing i dusted. dusted! and, admittedly, watched tv. so i dusted and watched tv. read: broke my very own rules. in fact, i adhered to rule A, though: only frustrated people dust, if not for money. rule B: daytime tv is for dickheads, if not for money. which brings us right to the first point of my list of facts i don't like about my life right now:

1. i don't like that i haven't earned a penny yet with what i've written. it doesn't feel good to just use up resources without increasing the added value, so to say.

2. i don't like having to work at the mercy of my own inspiration. this, in fact, was the reason why i never tried to become an illustrator. at the moment i'd really rather draw, though. funnily enough, i experience a similar problem with writing as i used to when i drew more: what you have there once you're finished just doesn't resemble the idea you had in mind. not the least bit, actually. i'm guessing that's due to a lack of skill. so, in fact

3. i don't like my lack of skill. i don't like that i don't like what i've written. i don't like that i send in material for competition i'm not 100% content with. i don't like competition. but you know that already and i won't go down that road again.

so here's what i like about my life right now:

1. berlin. nice people, space, beautiful appartment, cheap everything.

2. that i'm on the bastard slam list and will get to slam there in june.

3. the prospect of producing some good texts again soon.

4. gurgling cats.

LIKE wins 4:3. ha.

10 May 2007

day 50

(picture taken from pictures of walls.)

yesterday night, when thinking about what to do about the novel problem, i had another idea for a prose manuscript. i drafted it roughly, named it's characters - a lot easier this time - and started writing. i'm at 421 words at the moment. style-wise, i like it much better than the last attempt already. in case i'll decide to stick with it, i'll defintiely put up a second word count, but for now i just want to see how it goes in the next couple of days. i have also made a couple of very minor changes to my new slam text. again, the text is far from funny (and thus not very likely to earn me any titles, either), but i'm looking forward to reading it on stage still. as to Die Resignation: i'm thinking about sending it in to that blauer something prose competition i told you about, in case i can't manage to come up with something newer and better until then, that is.

09 May 2007

still ignoring my novel problem, i spent my day writing a second slam text and organizing a next performance in june in berlin @ the bastard slam. the text i wrote was meant to become a prose text, which it still is - just a very rhythmic one. i'm considering using it for one of the upcoming 1-page-of-prose-only competitions, too. since rhymed texts appeal to me, i suppose i'll write more of them in the weeks to come. why not collect them, string them together and call them a manuscript?

here's a clip ken yamamoto sent to me yesterday night. he's performing Seekin' the Cause by Miguel Pinero. impressive as usual.

for all of you who weren't around in april when i posted a translation of his poem Notizen bei Tagesanbruch, Notes at Daybreak, please check my post of day 26.

day 49

i still wouldn't have a clue about how to overcome or solve my novel problem, so let me procrastinate a little and tell you about my day yesterday. in reverse order.

yesterday night i went to a translator's meeting organized by no man's land (see link list english, too). it was a meeting set up especially for people who translate from german into english. after all, of all berlin, nine people attended. i like how everyone has a forum here. just as expected i was the youngest attendee. but since there wasn't a set schedule for the meeting and how it should proceed, i became first to read a couple of my translations. i read So Many Words I Now Chow, my translation of mr. sartorius' poem So viele Wörter ich jetzt esse and an untitled poem by h.c. artmann. i got helpful comments, hints and ideas for both of them. for example, i wasn't quite aware of the extent of "colloquialness" of the word chow. they suggested the word devour instead, so i'll have to see what i can do about that. apart from myself, one poet read a beautiful translation she made of a prose text describing some mountain range. we all got really into it and discussed her choice of words for a long while. to everybody not involved this must sound terribly nerdy, but i enjoyed it a lot and will definitely go for the next couple of meetings held while i am here in berlin.

during the day, out of sheer desperation, i decided to partake in another competition, a poetry competition this time. i have known about it for a long time and have let it's first deadline pass because i didn't really feel the topic at the time: Erst gestern, Only Yesterday. after it came to my attention, however, that the IGdA has extended the deadline up to may 15, i decided to give it a shot nevertheless. apparently they weren't happy with the replies they got the first time around, so i figured i might as well try and wrote a trilogy that chronicles a girl's thoughts on her love life. the middle one has a very poetry slam tone to it, so i might prolongue it in one way or the other and use it some time soon. we'll see. the most urgent problem at the moment, for sure, is how to best come to my novel's rescue.

yesterday morning i walked to the alexanderplatz ("alex") and bought a new charger for my phone. on my way there i took a wrong turn that led me through the better part of prenzlauer berg. what should have taken me 20 minutes took me one hour plus. well, at least i have a better feeling for berlin distances now.

08 May 2007

day 48

in order to get back into my story, i started re-reading what i had written of the "novel" previously. i only got down one paragraph. it's crap. real crap. now that's a problem. i'm thinking of starting over. something new. not sure yet. fuck.

07 May 2007


this is just a quick evening post to let you know i have arrived safely in berlin. the bus trip from the airport to where i get to stay was impressive already: besides the many berlin sights i got to see through the windshield, i met my first "berliner"in. a girl circa my age - suppose that makes her a woman, then - from munich who organizes concerts and events for a living. just like everybody else here, it seems. it turned out she and i know a couple of same places and people, or at least thought so. awesome, now i know three people here.

day 47

this week's translation is of a poem called Liebestöter that was written by ralf rothmann (*1953). i called it Passion Killer, although i considered Passion Slayer, too. it's one of these poems that may seem to be easily translatable. i didn't think so. please find the audio version of the english version here.

next week, i'll try and go for a female poet. sexual equality and all, you know.

Passion Killer

I saw your flashing look in the reek, your
hips like thunder - they fired me up

and i dropped at your feet

in a fancy of gin.

Now your irony smile chokes my throat
the pile of your letters
and that you drop by every night
tack your golden battleship "love" back to mine.

The gin is finished.

xcuse the impossibleness
of a life under your blonde sun
that i don't heat up in your arm.
Excuse my chatting you up at the time
thinking just about you know what

everything else in disregard.


Ich sah deinen blitzenden Blick im Rauch, deine
Hüften wie Donner - das peitschte mich auf
und ich fiel Dir zu Füßen
in einer Laune aus Gin.
Jetzt hab ich dein eisernes Lächeln am Hals
die Flut deiner Briefe
und daß du hier aufkreuzt jeden Abend
im goldenen Schlachtschiff "Liebe".
Jetzt ist die Ginflasche leer.
Verzeih das ich nicht leben kann
unter deiner blonden Sonne
daß mir nicht mehr warm wird in deiner Umarmung.
Verzeih daß ich dich ansprach damals
nur das eine im Kopf
das andere werweißwo.

06 May 2007

and some english nonsense, too

out there / a terrier barks / flame-red sparks of fur hair / it barks at tarts / in skin tight shorts / of which kate moss owns a pair. / we're talking boulevards here / bully yards / packed central parks / fashion whores / terrier carriers / bodily spare parts stores.

yeah, right, whatever... was i drunk?!

some of last year's confusion (unedited)

sie sitzt in ihrem braunen sperrmüllsessel, beine überkreuz, mit dem gefälligen blick, und hübscht ihre lahmen geschichten mit eigenlob auf. in der hand eine tasse mit drei tage altem prosecco. sie bläst den zigarettenrauch mit rollenden augen über sich aus, legt den kopf teif in den nacken, schließt ihre augen. sie muss denken, ich falle auf ihre einstudierten anekdoten herein. sie schenkt mir ein halbes glas ein, ein dreckiges, und reicht es herüber. um meine sinne zu trüben, wie ich vermute. damit ich ihr glaube. ich danke.

(picture taken from pictures of walls.)


it's the sleeping again. i can't sleep. i've tried reading the book i mentioned, which was very interesting yet indeed tiring, too, but still didn't make me sleep. i've been re-thinking my exposing myself to competition of late, and would like to clarify that i have never liked competition. i remember 3rd form sprints when my then best friend and i crossed the finishing line first at the same time, holding hands so that our teacher couldn't tell who really came in first. i have never liked putting any of my work, no matter what kind, at the mercy of people. it never mattered what anybody else did or said. this isn't to say that i don't appreciate praise or that i don't enjoy winning. not at all. the point i want to make is it bothers me that the only way to get your work out there is by competing. quite possibly even by battling people who don't enjoy any of this themselves. were there not times when you could share your ideas rather than keep them to yourself, without having to be afraid that somebody would steal them and outdo you with your very own vision at the first opportunity? am i being a paranoid insomniac? come on, let's share texts, guys.

this here is an observation of a woman who sat opposite me on a train to st. gallen about a month ago. it's the first time i've typewritten [typewrited? not really, is it?] this and believe me, i wouldn't normally do so. it's just because i'm so tired and i thought you might want to read of my general, latent confusion. i haven't edited it or anything, this is the original version:

wieder im zug, dieses mal auf dem weg nach st. gallen. mir gegenüber sitzt eine große frau, die die zeitschrift "kanu" liest. ich wußte gar nicht, daß ein solches magazin existiert. ich sehe mir ihre oberarme an. die sehen nicht aus, wie ich mir die oberarme einer kanufahrerin vorstelle. der leitartikel trägt den titel "der see ruft". ich bin mir nicht sicher. / auf den balkonen, an denen wir vorbeifahren, sitzen menschen in der sonne. möglich, daß einer von denen darüber nachdenkt, worüber die bahnreisenden nachdenken. alles dreht sich im kreis. das leben selbst nicht, aber alles darin. die erkenntnis ist lange vor dem fehler in unserem leben. / die kanufrau lernt jetzt arabisch. auf ihrem koffer steht "academy for infection management". / eine frau ist auf einen einkaufswagen geklettert und wühlt im altglascontainer. / heute stehen viele alte leute unentschlossen an den gleisen. / zwei mädchen auf dem fußballfeld. die eine schwingt ihre hüften und hüpft, als der zug vorbeifährt. man sieht ihren bauchnabel. ihre freundin, in weinrot, steht daneben und lacht. / es gibt einen ort, der "mooshausen" heißt. / es steht: "selbstmontage". ich lese: "selbstmordanlage". ich denke, wo befindet sich der schlüssel zu diesem metalltor? / die kanufrau streckt mir ihren hintern entgegen. sie hat einen knackigen arsch und trägt keinen bh. / in letzter zeit bin ich aufgeregt und schlafe schlecht. manchmal machen mich lieder nervös. in lindau ein dicker mann in jogginghose. / die kanufrau kehrt ihre krümel unter die sitzbank. ich denke, sie macht der putzfrau das leben noch schwerer. / die leute wählen ihre sitznachbarn erst, nachdem sie dreimal im waggon auf- und abgegangen sind. / die kanufrau und ich binden uns gleichzeitig einen neuen pferdeschwanz. sie [ohne brille an] sieht zu mir herüber, aber ich weiß, wie dick ihre brillengläser sind, und daß sie also gar nichts sehen kann. / der zug wird voller in lindau. ich schreibe nicht über jeden. / wir haben die österreichische grenze überfahren. das ist mir entgangen. noch vierzig minuten bis st. gallen. die schweizer grenzwächter sind hübsch. / in lustenau kommt ein bärtiger aus einem schuppen. er sieht aus, als hätte er onaniert. / manchmal ertrage ich nur lieder ohne text.

the clock says 2:24 am.

05 May 2007

looking forward to going to berlin

now that i've sent my story to fm4, i'm really looking forward to going to berlin. i hope there's no internet i can log into in the apartment i get to use. i'll really need to focus on the novel in the next couple of months and can't really use distraction. i know only a couple of people in berlin, who'll of course have to work during the days, so that's good.

pants about the fm4 competition is that the texts will be pre-selected by the editorial staff; the actual jury will only assess the twenty texts chosen by the editors. given that they anticipate 1000 stories, pre-selecting only twenty seems a little harsh.... bugga!

the next competition i want to partake in has been announced by blauer salon. they're looking for short prose, which suits me just fine. there was one more contest judged by a rather famous jury of which i've forgotten the details at the moment.

day 45 - finished the flood story

8 pages, 254 lines, 2'998 words, 18'634 characters with spaces. two more revisions later, a .pdf file is made, a copy is printed. i know it's a rather short story, but as i was assured by SJ last night, a text has it's natural length. this sounds totally plausible. if i'm not mistaken, with 2'998 words i'm pretty close the story's first edit's length.

need a break, will get back to you later.

04 May 2007

day 44

i'm still only on page 4 with my fourth revision, so i retreated to tricking myself into finishing the story off: i bought myself a book i mustn't read until i've completed my work. if the book interests me enough, this usually works. this time it's a suhrkamp insel edition that compiles personal statements of various german authors regarding their first novels. how much time it took for them to write it, their working procedures, how they feel about it today and so forth.

another interesting read i found in my mailbox today is Destination King's, the welcome guide for international students at king's college. suppose i'll better get revising.

03 May 2007

day 43

i have been working so incredibly slowly in the last couple of days, i feel like i've been putting my brain to sleep. bringing out the best of that text exhausts me. to the right is a picture of my fourth revision. as you can see, i still make zillions of changes and yet nothing ever sounds right. finding a balance between what is better left unsaid and what needs to be inclosed is tricky, to say the least. also, the whole text has to sound like it was written in one go - as natural as a vespiary. all this, of course, when you shouldn't raise your hopes. let me tell you, guys, it is impossible to not bring your hopes up: the damn things bring up themselves. after all no one works on a project for weeks on end looking forward to all his effort going unnoticed. unlike with poetry slams, i partake in this competition for the sole reason of recognition. everything else is hypocrisy.

02 May 2007

a tribute to sylvia plath and ted hughes, parts I (above) & II (below)

quite obviously, it's difficult to make a movie on poetry. there are no hot chicks in bikinis or cars exploding in these films. just gifted people and a couple of female suicides.

day 42

alright: 3rd revision is finished. due to some necessary shortening/ altering in the latter parts of the story, i'm at 3'083 words or 19'066 characters including spaces at the moment. i guess that's ok. now: food.

01 May 2007

day 41

i'm still at the third revision of my flood story. brought the word count up from 3016 to 3154. including spaces, the story consists of 19'521 characters with spaces at the moment. i've just finished revising page 5 of 8 and concentration is fading. not sure why exactly, perhaps i just need a break. the plan is to complete the third revision tomorrow, so that i can print it out and revise it for a fourth and last time the day after. once done, i'll send it in by email. as a title is not required, i'll probably leave the story untitled. somehow i just don't enjoy giving titles. i never read them, either. chances are, this is why, so far, i wasn't aware that the fm4 competition is held in cooperation with the austrian newspaper der standard.

my institutionals by patricia ferrell

white rooms exist for bargains with the self.
entirely possible to let you go,
with a staff to care for me.
invalid becomes synonymous with celebrity
outside spring reveals the mystery of me.
pulse, i hear your music deep in the foliage.
spiral ladders taking me back to where danger
was what i asked for most.
the accident mere formality
to get down to the business of recovery.
a thousand notebook pages filled with convalescent dreams.
i'm here to report it's all impossibly beautiful.
there are women in white apparitions,
who come and wipe my eyes.
when they fill to fall and landscape blurs,
who insure the prescriptive steadiness of being me
i needn't lift a hand.
soon i'll be strong enough to love myself again.
free to be free, i have no industry.

[punctuation was inserted by me somewhat randomly. also, i wouldn't have a clue where patricia made her linebreaks. still i find this transcript is better than no transcript. listen to patricia ferrell reading my institutionals here.]