Winter 2008

Table of Contents - Vol. IV, No. 4


Poetry    Interview    Translations    Fiction    Book Reviews

Michael Krüger


Marx Speaks

Sometimes, when it clears up in the west,
I watch the glittery monetary rivers
step foaming over their banks
and flood evenly the still dry land.
I'm amused by the dictatorship of gossip,
which sells itself as the theory of society,
if I am to believe the intelligence
I receive from below. I'm doing fine.
Sometimes I see God. He looks well recovered.
We speak, not without joke and astoundingly
well-versed dialectics, about metaphysical questions.
Recently he asked me for an edition
of my collected works because allegedly
he could not dig them up anywhere.
Not that I want to believe in it, he said,
but it can do no harm.
I gave him my personal copy, the last
blue edition, with comments.
By the way he is more educated than I thought,
theology bores him, deconstructionism
he dismisses as sand in the gears, psychoanalysis
he holds as nonsense and makes no bones
about it. His prejudices are amazing.
Nietzsche, for example, he forgives
for each brainless idiom, Hegel in contrast
he cannot suffer. Concerning his project,
he never speaks out of shyness. Please,
he said recently after a long look
at the earth, please get yourself ready.


Speech of the Gardener

Between the roses a vagabond grows
with a swollen body on thin legs,
loved by the snails. In his proximity
the weeds feel well. When it rains
he covers his friends with dark aprons,
after the rain he sends out his honey-yellow feelers
and seeks contact with the bumblebees. Without doubt
he increases the pallet of green. Should I
remove him? If his following increases,
I must intervene. For the time being I’ll let
him grow because he also proudly carries
a Latin name, even if he
does not fit in with the roses.


Speech of the Taxi Driver

The passenger wanted to take the short cut,
not I. At first a hedgehog ran across the street,
later a herd of cows, then a doe,
did not want to yield. A black cat
made us take a detour, up to the border,
and, in addition, to the east. The man had to go
so he got out and got lost in the woods.
Torn and shaken, he lay under blackberries,
where he supposedly lost his glasses. We drew
closer together. We found a few mushrooms,
which we ate raw to fight off the hunger. I was
probably strange to him, although he did not
understand me. During the drive we both
vomited out of the window. You look pale,
he said to me, white as a sheet.
Then we came to a border. Not actually German,
and turned around. At the airport about 5 p.m.,
he had climbed into my taxi. Without luggage,
in a light coat, a thin book under his arm.
To make a long story short: luckily around morning
we somehow reached a town, and had already grown
accustom to each other. My God, what a life
he led. Only he did not want to pay.


Cello Suite

From the window
I can see the train coming--
a rusty insect
with dialated eyes.
How easily it pulls the coffins
through the sunny valley.
Twenty-one, twenty-two…
Are they filled or empty?
Now it lets off a hiss of steam
which gently follows me
like an unclear message.
I turn the radio up louder,
a cello suite. In the background
the musicians' panting
is clearly heard.


The Keys

When clearing out the shed
I found a small box of old keys,
heavy devices with beautiful Assyrian beards.
Each one dreamed of another door
in another century,
from duels and greasy sausages.
One fit into a love-tired heart.
They could have known Bismarck
or Fontane or a lady
in a novel that did not turn out well.
Since they no longer fit any lock,
I put them back carefully.
The house drew a deep breath, relieved.


© Jim Doss



Poetry    Interview    Translations    Fiction    Book Reviews

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