29 September 2008


friends, if you want to meet me before i move to berlin, you should attend the


in vienna on 2 october.

18 September 2008

17 September 2008

where these edges end

alexander gumz was kind enough to provide me with a more recent picture of his. thus, the post on him and his poem has been updated - see for yourself.

15 September 2008

interview with myself, part 1

apparently, people have many questions about the below mentioned concept of Poetiken. clemens kuhnert compiled them, and gave them to a couple of authors to answer in 2003. i felt like answering some of them, too.

To you, when is a poem finished?

A poem is finished when it sounds round. I like smooth rhythms. A poem is finished when every word is equally important. Some of the poems I put on this blog are not finished.

Before you start writing, do you know where a poem will be going

Not really, no. Mostly I do know how it will end, though, as the last line is usually the first one I come up with. If you want, I write poems backwards. The question for me is, therefore: Where does a poem start? What is it that lies at the heart of the matter?

Do you care how other poets treat a certain subject matter
? Do you tend to follow trends?

I really don't care about what other poets write. Especially not when it comes to poetry. That might be a little different with respect to prose, which I find more important than poetry, because it tends to be more accessible. Personally, I find prose more difficult to write. It's a pain. My poetry is more spontaneous than my prose. Prose is a huge deal. That's probably the reason why I write so little.

I try to avoid trends like the plague, but I do notice a reoccurence of certain topics amongst the generation of writers I belong to. I think that is a) because people are much more alike than they like to believe and b) because zeitgeist and social surroundings take their toll on all of us.

11 September 2008

the paris review has a good story up:

speak no evil by uzodinma iweala,

a young american writer who has received a whole lot of positive attention from reknowned critics. the story is a wee bit predictable, but very well written. his first novel 'Beasts of No Nation' was translated into German and published earlier this year. (picture source)

07 September 2008

on the lack of female german intellectuals

DIE ZEIT is trying to find an explanation. i would like to point out again here that joan didion's the year of magical thinking is absolutely worth reading as well.

sunday lecture

if you're interested in pandora, her box, psychoanalysis and family secrets, and have an hour and a half of spare time, you should watch this video, created by the philoctetes center for the study of imagination. amongst other outstanding women, kathryn harrison (or here) is in it. she wrote the kiss, a controversial book which is incredibly well written and still one of my favorite books of all time. after i had read it in 2005, it took me two years until i was able to email her and let her know. she replied very kindly, which still means a lot to me. thank you, kathryn. picture source

05 September 2008

alexander gumz - where these edges end

alexander gumz (picutre source: private) wrote a good poem called WO DIESE RÄNDER ENDEN. and guess what? i translated it. the german original is to be found below, as per usual.


at the edges of loving you say
stands something annoying that won’t let you
leave here nor stay yet it is
(i can tell from your hands)
more than clear that you’re happy with things

the white signs visible so well
from above move
from under your soles when you
lift the key to the mouth
turn yourself around and say

you’d like to dance with all those who still
stand in the sun (in vast parking lots)
once a week finished off so that
customers leave as fast friends
so that you comprehend

where these edges end


an den rändern des verliebtseins sagst du
steht irgendwas und nervt lässt dich
nicht gehen und nicht bleiben obwohl
(das sehe ich an deinen händen)
mehr als klar ist du willst nichts daran ändern

die weissen anfahrtszeichen aus der luft
so gut zu sehen verziehen sich
unter deinen sohlen wenn du
den schlüssel an den mund hebst
dich um dich drehst und sagst

du willst mit allen tanzen die jetzt noch
in der sonne stehen (auf grossen parkplätzen)
einmal pro woche abgespritzt damit
die kunden auch als freunde gehen
damit dir endlich klar wird

wo diese ränder enden

04 September 2008

who needs a german book prize anyways?

Peter Handke can obviously do without - he asked that his book Die Morawische Nacht be taken off the list of nominees for the prestiguous German Book Prize: "So that the younger authors stand a chance." While that is very generous of him in that the 25.000 € prize money is definitely not going into his pocket, I feel it should be on the jury to decide who most deserves it. By backing out, Handke avoids comparison not only to the younger authors, but to Martin Walser, too. The line between generosity, pretentiousness and headiness seems very thin at times.

03 September 2008

(picture taken from pictures of walls.)

werbung ist ja eigentlich nicht meine art

aber das hier klingt lustig:


die herrschaften passig und lobo in hoechstform... hoffentlich.

02 September 2008

"It lays low the king's head by the wayside so that his hair sweeps the wayside dust as he whispers lewd words to himself and laughs and sticks out his tongue. Such is the nature of love."

Knut Hamsun, 2007: Victoria. Souvenir Press, pp. 36-37.