brick by brick, limb by limb
i was born into a country
divided by a wall that:
cut through people’s breaths and yet
straightened their shoulders like a spine;
i was born into a country with
a cast grown tightly around (and into) its body:
finally, the fall came:
as the trees began to shed their leaves,
the wind picked up brick after brick and
carried it away;
it left us with a new kind of emptiness that
made my father tear himself apart:
he took limb after limb and threw it against
that same brick sky until he was no longer my father but a
tiny white spot in the distance
most wars won mean several battles lost,
no big victory comes without defeat on both sides
keep in mind the bigger picture, i hear you sing –
your catch phrase:
keep in mind the bigger picture,
we are making history, we are changing things for the better
(battle after battle, defeat after defeat)
sometimes I open an old book and some of my father’s
fingertips or eyelashes still crumble
out from in between the pages and fall into my lap;
we all keep in mind the bigger picture, of course
but you should know that in order see it clearly,
most of us have to stand on each other’s shoulders,
that’s why some of us fall and break their backs.
humans – you just have to wonder what we’re up to these days …
you say you didn’t see it coming but
you’re a liar (you have a remarkable history of lying to yourself, there’s no one to match you, I swear)
you just can’t let it go, the immediate high
not even because it’s really all that good (it’s not) but
it’s right in front of you: hot sips of instant coffee from a plastic cup, not good but oh so hot; it warms you up like nothing else (that is, if you ever were to try anything else, of course).
you’ve avoided nine dark alleys
convincing yourself you’re better than that (you did it, ace, nine times!)
only to walk into dark alley number ten
convincing yourself that once won’t hurt (or twice or three times or who keeps track of these things anyways, huh?)
I’m sorry to say this, but:
you’re weak and you’re a liar.
(Am I being too harsh? Don’t cry!)
Maybe you’re just being
human – but someone has to tell you:
your human-ness is eventually going to kill
you, for good.
quit searching through the trash for
the touch of a hand, the tip of someone else’s tongue to lick your wounds;
times have changed, dear:
these things aren’t found on the street and they don’t grow on trees (sometimes they do, but only on trees budding in glass boxes, hidden away so you’ll never ever find them)
no, these things aren’t handed out freely – people keep them sealed up in their original wrapping: they’re collectors’ items, they’re sold (like everything else)
you only give to get (and why shouldn’t you when everyone else is doing the same thing – don’t be stupid)
oh, how we’ve learnt to keep little secrets (from our neighbors, our lovers, our children, ourselves) like our lives depended on it (and maybe they do) and
you should learn, too
just look what your carelessness has
gotten you into
if you keep running around with an open heart like that
you’ll eventually bleed
Soundtrack: Rising Appalachia – Scale down
The question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
The answer: “A poet.”
You get up, you breathe in, you drink your coffee, you work, you breathe out, you drink your coffee, you drink your coffee, you work, you work, you breathe in, you breathe out, you work, you go to bed.
The question: “Do people still read poetry these days?”
More questions: “What do you want to be when you grow up? You’re already grown up, so what do you want to be? What are you? Who are you?”
Some answers imperatives: “Choose a career path, choose wisely, make some a lot of money.”
The answer: “No one reads poetry these days.”
“No one reads poetry these days unless it’s scribbled on dirty walls in public restrooms, girl”, says the poet and pours himself another glass of wine from the box. “I should know”
“No one reads poetry these days unless they’re dead drunk and their life has just started unraveling like a badly knitted sweater”, says the poet and pours himself another glass of whiskey from the bottle. “Also, this is exactly when most people start writing poetry” It seems that he should know.
“No one reads poetry these days unless it’s referenced in an obscure pop song, honey”, says the poet and takes another sip from his bottle of dark beer. “And in the end, all they remember is the cute singer.”
You get up, you breathe in, you get dressed, you take an aspirin, you work, you breathe in, you breathe in, you breathe, you drink your coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, you work, you breathe out, you breathe out, you take an aspirin, you work, coffee, work, coffee, bed.
You still read poetry: on dirty walls in public restrooms, on stickers stuck to sign posts, in old books, in new books, in your own books, in borrowed books, on postcards, in magazines; you still read poetry. You still write poetry: in letters, in your notebook, in your head. In your head, in your head, in your head (where’s my notebook?).
The question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Another question: “Do you want to grow up?”
The answer imperative: “Make some a lot of money (and then spend it and then make more money so you can spend more money and then – ).”
Answers: “You still read poetry. Poets still write poetry. Some many people still read and write poetry. You can still be a poet.”
“Choose any career path, girl – as long as you continue writing, you’re probably a poet anyways”, says the poet and pours himself another cup of black coffee. “Trust me, I should know.”
A song and a poem. That’s really all.
Watch those horses
fathers tell their daughters
spruced in Sunday dresses;
so calm and clean,
their necks bending in red bridles
as they go and go
(and you along with them).
Watch those horses
fathers tell their daughters
with their pink-ribboned hair;
sweet and smooth as a newborn.
It smells of popcorn and sweat (it’s Mid-May),
and they go and go and go –
the fair is in town.
Watch those horses –
I watch those horses;
Once a year, every year.
Sometimes when it’s spring,
I’ve almost forgotten about them,
but as April turns into May
the smell of popcorn fills the air and
I hear wooden hooves (and your voice).
Watch those horses –
I watch those horses
as they come and go
(and you along with them):
sweet and smooth as a newborn.
The fair is back in town
(and it doesn’t let me go –
Is it Christmas time yet? That’s not possible, it’s only May – yet: I feel rather festive today; like a Who decorating the Christmas tree, a happy Who-ray on the tip of their tongue! Well, it may not be Christmas but it might as well be because I was just nominated for the Liebster Award, my first blogging award! This calls for another Who-ray!
The Liebster Award is an unofficial award that is passed through the blogging community from blogger to blogger – there is no overseeing authority, no prize money or anything official really; it’s pure blog(ger) love, which is pretty awesome in and of itself. So thank you very much for nominating me Realiction boy!
I also love how the title of this award is half German (those of you who read my last post can guess why: I’m German as well and most days I’ll happily admit it). I’d say the rough translation of it would be Favorite or Dearest Award – and that’s pretty lovely, right? It may not be what we’re generally famous for, but believe it or not (behind the beer and the weird ch-sounds): we Germans are some lovely folks.
Without further ado, though – here are the rules for the Liebster Award:
1. List 11 random facts about you.
2. Answer the questions that were asked of you (by the blogger that nominated you).
3. Nominate 11 other blogs for the Liebster Blog Award and link to their blogs.
4. Notify the bloggers of their award.
5. Ask the award winners 11 questions to answer once they accept the award.
11 Random Facts
1. I have a cactus named Earl. I named it Earl because when I got it, it sort of looked like Earl from the 90ies children’s show “Dinosaurs”: round and chubby. Ever since I got it though, it weirdly changed its appearance and now looks more like a Medusa: it has many heads/arms/legs/whatever. I never renamed it just because I don’t want to own a cactus named Medusa.
2. I don’t own a car. I have a driver’s license and every now and then I’ll drive one for some random reason but I usually get around by bike/bus/on my two feet for two reasons: I can’t afford a car just yet and living in a city, I don’t really need one at the moment.
3. I think eating in company makes the food taste better.
4. I love chocolate, especially when it comes in the shape of a chocolaty chocolate chip cookie. Who doesn’t? That’s what you may think. But seriously: I LOVE CHOCOLATE.
5. I will surely judge your taste in music – if you judge mine. If everyone’s being nice and civil, we’re cool and I won’t even snort when you play that freakin’ Rihanna song that annoys the hell out of me. Promise.
6. I hate when Ingrid boards that plane without Humphrey at the end of Casablanca. And I think Louis is probably way cooler than his uniform makes him look like.
7. I love the sea. Actually, I love all kinds of water: lakes, rivers, even ponds – but most of all I love the sea.
8. There’s a scar on my right hand from when I burnt myself on our downstairs neighbor’s oven when I was four.
9. In my opinion, The Little Mermaid is one of the worst Disney movies ever (a girl that gives up her voice to be with a guy she’s never talked to? Come on. That’s not even subtle, that’s just lame).
10. For a while I couldn’t fall asleep between twelve and one because of witching hour (obviously) – I just spent an hour being afraid.
11. I collect pig-related things: I have a few stuffed animals, a watering pot, even an ice cream spoon. But I’m not weird or anything.
The Liebster Q & A
1. What’s the worst nightmare you’ve had?
I went through a phase where I constantly dreamt of being murdered. All the dreams of that episode were pretty frightening – the one with the scream killer trying to stab me is probably the winner, though.
2. What time of the day do you prefer to write?
3. Ebooks or Paperbacks?
Paperbacks, hands down. Because you can mark sentences, scribble notes in the margins, and they smell really nice.
4. Do you follow the news and current affairs closely?
I try. I just got a couple of news apps for my smart phone – that’s pretty handy.
5. Keyboard or Pen and Paper?
6. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I booked a very spur-of-the-moment-flight to London last summer to visit a friend for just two days. I also had a friend do my hair dreadlock style in high school and kept it for a day. Does any of this count?
7. What is one movie you can watch throughout a single day over and over again?
A Day at the Races, a Marx Brother’s classic. And also While You Were Sleeping, just because.
8. When it’s raining, would you run through it or stand and enjoy it?
I would choose the golden middle and walk. Or pull a Fred Astaire and start singing.
9. Do you cook?
I enjoy cooking a lot but I only cook if it’s not just me eating in the end.
10. How many drafts are stuck in creative procrastination on your blog?
I don’t even know. If I start counting now, there’s a good chance I’ll be falling asleep in the process.
11. Has blogging made you a better person somehow?
How do you define “a better person”? It’s made me write more therefore I’m complaining less about not writing enough. I’m sure my environment appreciates that.
11 Questions For My Nominees
1. What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
2. Why do you write?
3. What’s your favorite song at the moment?
4. Poetry or prose?
5. If you could have coffee with any person, dead or alive, famous or next-door-neighbor, who would you choose and why?
6. Favorite sports team?
7. What’s your comfort food?
8. Job or vocation?
9. Do you (mostly) write in your native language?
10. What’s the last movie you’ve seen and did you like it?
11. What inspires you?
1. Linamay – a lovely blog that deserves a lot more attention because it’s serious in a funny way. Or funny in a serious way. Either way, it’s really nice!
2. FairyBearConfessions – the second blog I ever followed on wordpress; and still really wonderful!
3. Penguin Hugging – Photography I really enjoy.
4. A Flock of Crows – Inspiring writing.
5. What If It All Means Something – some nice poetry & prose; funny too.
6. Prairie Muffin Manifesto – a blog on food and love – basically all the important things in life.
7. Mirror Muses – Musings.
8. Nathanguitars – poetry, typewriter-style.
9. Bullets & Dreams – A seriously funny lady.
10. Reelsoundtrack Blog – music & movies, because they go together like peanut butter and jelly.
11. Kana’s Chronicles – one of my very favorite blogs, that’s all.
Okay. I know it, you know it – we ALL know it: I haven’t been a good blogger lately. Actually, I haven’t been a blogger at all, and I am sorry. Of course, I didn’t mean to. As always. Blah.
I didn’t really have time to write (at least, not in the way I want to have time when I sit down to share a story or an idea). Yet, this doesn’t mean I didn’t have time to think; think about stories or ideas I’d like to share. That being said: Enter new form of expression (that is, new to this blogger) – photography!
It’s not entirely new terrain but I haven’t really taken anything beyond snapshots in quite a while. Not having as much time to write, though, I’ve come to appreciate its quality to capture a moment on the go (which is handy while you’re on the go yourself) while still holding a certain poetic beauty (if you know what you’re doing).
So without further ado, here are a couple of moments I couldn’t put into writing but I want to share nonetheless.
Just a poem.
A Piece of Advice
An eye for an eye
the Bible says –
just one of its vague suggestions on
how to best love
But you never listen to
what others try to tell you
(because no one listens to you either,
and when was the last time you‘ve seen
any of your neighbors, really?)
so instead of taking the knife
to cut a large X into his thorax (and then hers),
deep into the soft, warm flesh and
muscles, arteries, valves,
11 ounces: a secret maze
butchered and all the secrets shed
on the cold, tiled slaughterhouse floor.
You dig deep down into
your own chest:
nausea, lethargy, dehydration, a tremor
(11 shots of vodka or what was it again?),
a severe case.
And you, the lamb of
a god who’s never read the Bible
and hands out hamburgers and beer for communion,
lie on the cold bathroom floor,
split open like rotten fruit
dreaming of bible verses smudged against
the stark break of day, scribbles on the tiled
slaughterhouse floor: grant us peace.
00:18: It’s over –
the rain stopped, finally.
The night’s gotten too cold,
she shivers (it must be
aspen season already).
off water drops that
have collected beneath
the folds of her
many, many eyes.
The water drips down and
she breathes a sigh of
relief – a night breeze,
soft and sweet and a little bitter.
I think, it’s really over.
00:19: Clang –
broken glass or
No, it was the moon.
She fell off the sky.
She fell to pieces:
how beautifully they glimmer
as they drift in
a tiny puddle of dirt –
what an odd wishing well.
I light a cigarette
and make a wish.
00:20: Smoke fills the kitchen –
I don’t open a window.
I just don’t know how
to let go of things.
I let it fill the empty space
he left behind (along
with an empty promise:
revenant like a ghost or
maybe just a nightmare);
all the emptiness
of the walls, the sockets,
blue and quiet
00:21: Clang –
louder this time, almost violent.
I feel a breath
in my neck, a cough:
sour and stale.
I blink, splinters in my
shivering hands (it must be
aspen season already):
Your promise – it lies in pieces and
finally, I can even see it:
Tiny holes in the dark like
fresh cuts that won’t stop bleeding.
As I spent some time looking through the pages of my notebook this morning, I found an unfinished poem that’s probably about a year old. And, as it sometimes happens with writing, it felt oddly appropriate at this very moment in my life – maybe even more so than back when I first started writing it. So I decided to finish it today. And that’s what I did – here it is:
Piece by Piece.
Words, words, words —
so stuck in my mouth
and then all of a sudden they fall out:
tiny milk teeth, white and edged
I must have touched you
one too many times
lost my fingerprints
all over your skin
they ran out of my hands
like sand out of shoes
it’s the curse old women
have always warned me about
I lost myself –
but does that make me free, liberated?
Now I’m no one
Take my hand, would you?
Or my eyes, my legs, strands of hair –
you can have a piece of me
if you don’t want it all
these are merely moving pictures
and it’s hard to hold on to something
that’s always on the move,
in motion, motion, motion
sometimes it strikes me:
we’re nothing but cold light
we’re already dead
but too busy to notice
My heart is flip book —
First: The obligatory apology for having neglected my blog for so long. It seems, I have been quite the neglecting being lately. I may have been neglecting not only my writing but also some people over the last couple of weeks. My apologies for all of that. I didn’t really mean to, I have just found myself being somewhat – scattered…
Coherence! – an angry voice is yelling, somewhere in the back of my head: Coherence for crying out loud!
A number of thoughts are twisting and shouting in my mind – freestyle – while some are standing by the punch bowl (spiked, f*** yeah…), holding on to whatever there is, staggering, trying not to fall over. Other bits and pieces of me are hiding in broom closets and niches: getting high, making out, writing their last goodbyes before jumping into the darkness…
Coherence! – was lost somewhere down the road.
I’d like to twist or shout or get drunk or get high or make out or write my last goodbye – I don’t feel any need to jump, though. I’ve been collecting my own darknesses in a shoebox since I was four. They come in all shapes and sizes. And different shades of dark. They are, in fact, pretty to look at and feel quite nice. Like tiny pieces of velvet. Coherence! What’s one got to do with the other? She asks.
This angry voice again; it sounds like my second grade teacher who I was scared of.
Shut up! I’m feeling scattered.
Sometimes, it is a nice feeling. Sometimes, it smells of empty roads, summer rain, the sea – of i-can-do-whatever. Other times, it feels heavy, like sinking. It feels like missing a piece, a limb; lacking. Because there are parts of me scattered all over. I’ve been leaving them behind like pebbles – to make my way back, someday, in the moonlight. In spite of monsters lumbering. In spite of the dark.
Coherence! – has been annoying me ever since writing my first essay in second grade for the teacher who I was scared of. Coherence! – is highly overrated, for crying out loud!
I’d like to do a million things at the same time. I’d like to be in a million places at the same time. I’m dreaming a million dreams at the same time.
I want to be there for my friends and family whenever they need me I wanttobethere for myfriends – my family – whenever (Coherence!) I want to be a writer a teacher I want to make adifferencein childrenspeoples (Coherence?) livesatleastforsomeofthem I wanttoteachand notbescaredIwanttoteach and not scaremystudents I wanttowrite astorypoetryanovelabook. (Coherence?!)
I want to be.
Shut up –
I am scattered. And sometimes, it is a nice feeling.