Tag Archives: prose

poetry is dead, says the poet – a Q&A session

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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.”

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Achtung, Liebster!

Achtung, Liebster!

I.

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.

 

II.

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.

III.

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. 

My cactus ... the way it used to be at least.

My cactus … the way it used to be at least.

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.

 

IV.

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?

Night time.

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?

Both.

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.

 

V.

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?

 

VI.

My Nominees

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.

A Piece of (Personal) History.

Monday’s children.

Part of the Berlin Wall – painted by artists after 1989.

Birthday Wishes.

I was born on a Saturday. Twenty minutes to midnight I came: no beautiful dress to show off, just one of the smooth glass slippers, the left one. Old spells seem to wear out much quicker these days. Even on your birthday. Old superstitions, however, never do: my mother always says she would have wanted me to be born on a Sunday. If only you could have taken these extra minutes, she’d say, you’d have been born a Sunday’s child – born under a lucky star, as they say. Maybe then, things would have been a little different, she thinks (and sometimes my mother must have wished for things to be different). That’s probably what she’s really wanted, for a long time (but there’s no spell, not even an old one, that can turn back time) – you just never understand these things when you’re younger. On the other hand, maybe things wouldn’t have been that different after all – but who knows? (I don’t.) Probably a lot of babies were born that Sunday, and possibly, all of them lucky– but again, who knows? (No one does.)

Written in the Stars.

I’m quite sure, though, that all the babies born on the Monday after, they were born under a revolutionary star – born under a night sky lit up by candles, torches, lanterns; born to the sound of raised voices; born to the smell of autumn; born to the bittersweet taste of frustration paired with anticipation. Every time my mother sees a shooting star and wishes I was born on a Sunday, I close my eyes and wish I was born on a Monday – I would like to be a Monday’s child. I would raise my candle, torch, lantern and leave a mark: a dab of light, like a tiny hole in the dark sheet that covers the earth at night. There’s more to life than simple luck; more than old spells that wear out even before the clock strikes twelve, more than old superstitions that leave you hanging on to things that could have been. You can’t change the past, but maybe, if you try, you can change the future.

Zeitgeist.

Sometimes, in the short moment before falling asleep, I feel the light of candles, torches and lanterns warm on my skin; I hear people chanting; I can smell fallen leaves and I’m overcome by a sullen feeling, quickly followed by a feeling of hope. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel restless. It’s nothing I could ever explain, it’s just something that is. If I had to try to find words for it, I might simply say that I’m a child of my times. We all are.

Hearts and Cages.

Even now, the idea seems so strange, so unnatural, that I can’t wrap my head around it. No matter how hard I try. No matter how often I try. Sometimes I look at a map and trace the borderline with my index finger. With my scalpel, I cut through a city, an entire country – I become a surgeon. I take out half a nation’s heart (pincers!), just like that (swab!), and it’s bleeding all over me. Desperate people behave in ways that scare me. They get that frantic look in their eyes that always reminds me of a caged animal. And maybe that’s what they are: caged. Trapped in their despair.

Solidarity.

We’re all people. We’re all in this together. We’re all created equal. But then: How could anyone be so mean (cruel)? How could anyone be so indifferent (inhumane)? How do you sell an entire country for a breadcrumb’s worth of power? How do you barter with millions and millions of people’s fate? Everything’s going to be okay, they said. In the end. They’re all liars; or blind and dumb and deaf. Or all of that. The upside : They’re also solidary like nothing else: you didn’t even have to kill yourself – it was done for you (working men of all countries unite. Unite, unite, unite. Shoot, shoot, shoot.). Once there was a man. He looked at the grey concrete, the barbed wire and the men with their nice uniforms and polished guns and he realized: you have to run. For freedom. Whether you’ll make it or not – you’ll be free, everything’s going to be okay, in the end.

Dancing.

I don’t know whether my mother was truly happy about the fall of the wall. I once asked her if she remembered what she’d done the night people were dancing on it, if she’d been dancing as well. I probably changed your diapers, she’d said, and that was that. My mother never was the dancing type – but maybe not because she didn’t want to dance, I often think the world just wouldn’t let her.

Aftermath.

The sudden feeling of liberation might have been too much to handle for some – as anything that comes down on you so unexpectedly and overwhelming. The wall came falling down in front of their feet and then the ground fell out from underneath them. Maybe it was that feeling that scared away my father. Or maybe he was just high on freedom and so he went to find some more, another fix. And I don’t think anyone could have held him back, not with any luck of the world.

Scattered.

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…

...when thoughts scatter like birds...

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.

Coherence!

Shut up –

I am scattered. And sometimes, it is a nice feeling.

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