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NO MAN’S LAND

the finest new german prose and poetry:

no man’s land # 6 Winter 2011 (english) — and lauter niemand (german)

Photo: still from Roberto Rossellini’s Germany Year Zero (1945) (via Sam Rasnake)

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte
by Jerry Ratch
A woman is fishing in the Seine at the far left
of the painting, while time is suspended and light
remains. One man plays a trumpet. A half dozen
people sit or walk under parasols. Couples stroll
and children run or sit or stand beside their
parents. A woman on the lawn is knitting
while she sits with her gentleman. A black dog
sniffs. The tall couple in the right foreground
stroll in perfect and symmetric profile in full Sunday
attire with cane and parasol. She walks her monkey
There is a flower in her hat, and in her gentleman’s lapel
While in the background, a couple is walking away
and a woman caresses her man
as he bends toward her. And on the river that is full
of reflection, white sails, long boats
And in the left foreground, a sportsman or worker
in cap and sleeveless orange shirt, smokes his pipe
looking out at the river, as the sunlight
on the Island of La Grande Jatte
begins to creep up his leg made of dots 
 
[painting by Seurat; text from JR’s book LIGHT published by O Books.]

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

by Jerry Ratch

A woman is fishing in the Seine at the far left

of the painting, while time is suspended and light

remains. One man plays a trumpet. A half dozen

people sit or walk under parasols. Couples stroll

and children run or sit or stand beside their

parents. A woman on the lawn is knitting

while she sits with her gentleman. A black dog

sniffs. The tall couple in the right foreground

stroll in perfect and symmetric profile in full Sunday

attire with cane and parasol. She walks her monkey

There is a flower in her hat, and in her gentleman’s lapel

While in the background, a couple is walking away

and a woman caresses her man

as he bends toward her. And on the river that is full

of reflection, white sails, long boats

And in the left foreground, a sportsman or worker

in cap and sleeveless orange shirt, smokes his pipe

looking out at the river, as the sunlight

on the Island of La Grande Jatte

begins to creep up his leg made of dots 

[painting by Seurat; text from JR’s book LIGHT published by O Books.]


[Christopher Hitchens] … also threw himself into the defense of his friend Mr. Rushdie. “It was, if I can phrase it like this, a matter of everything I hated versus everything I loved,” he wrote in his memoir. “In the hate column: dictatorship, religion, stupidity, demagogy, censorship, bullying and intimidation. In the love column: literature, irony, humor, the individual and the defense of free expression.”
from the NYT Obituary by William Grimes

[Christopher Hitchens] … also threw himself into the defense of his friend Mr. Rushdie. “It was, if I can phrase it like this, a matter of everything I hated versus everything I loved,” he wrote in his memoir. “In the hate column: dictatorship, religion, stupidity, demagogy, censorship, bullying and intimidation. In the love column: literature, irony, humor, the individual and the defense of free expression.”

from the NYT Obituary by William Grimes


«just another ordinary day. just another cloud in the sky. just a man and another man and water running down their necks into their shirts down their pants. just another moment in the prairie far from home. just another attempt to escape and just another day where it’s not happening. not yet. must keep pushing across the plains, through the mountains, along rivers, up hills and down valleys, the eternal couple of guys on another ordinary day with a cloud in the sky. real men don’t stop.»
-ms


garp:

Just another ordinary day (von borealnz)

«just another ordinary day. just another cloud in the sky. just a man and another man and water running down their necks into their shirts down their pants. just another moment in the prairie far from home. just another attempt to escape and just another day where it’s not happening. not yet. must keep pushing across the plains, through the mountains, along rivers, up hills and down valleys, the eternal couple of guys on another ordinary day with a cloud in the sky. real men don’t stop.»

-ms


garp:

Just another ordinary day (von borealnz)

altlitgossip:

action, figure

SMASHING MY HEAD

By Frank S De Hass, [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

SMASHING MY HEAD by Tim Young

I’m thinking of smashing my head

Up against a wall

I’m thinking of the hurt and pain

And it’s damn easy ‘cause thinking don’t

Require action

No action like moving limbs or

Lifting the body into

Strenuous positions

Only mental activity

Mental in my mind

Blowing like wind in the chimes

But don’t be deceived

Because it’s not a pretty song

Hiding its face like the devil

Deception comes cheap

At the 99 cent store

Pick it up on Fridays

Two for one

Remove your wallet

With a careful precision

Wasted motions

Automatically raise the price

And there’s no cap

And there’s no cap on my head

So the blood will spill easily

Against the white wall

Undoubtedly a white wall

Streaking itself crimson

Fine lines crawling carefully into

A fine drip

Dripping into the ocean

Beginning the butterfly effect

Until the waves in the sea

Rise like skyscrapers

And consume me in one giant gulp

Then not only would I smash my head

But the surf would push me

Against the sea wall

An angry wall of commotion

Catastrophe and collision

But it’s all a dream

As I wake up screaming for peace

Stop the bombing

The streaking blood

Ruining every plan for peace

Then I feel a funny wind

Twisting itself around my neck

And again I am frightened for my life

But I want it to be a comfort

I want something other than

A bloody head

I’m scraping the bottom of the ocean floor

For a shred of silence

A moment of reflection

A day of tranquility

When the notions of smashing the head

Have climbed over the front seat

To the back like I did

When I was a kid

Long before I ever entertained

The thought of screaming for peace

Not even knowing what peace was

But now the waters have receded

The sky is clear

And the white wall looms

Ever so temptingly

In front of me

 

 

Calle Principe, 25

rabbit-light:

 

Without warning we lose
the vastness of the fields
singular enigmas
the clarity we swear
we’ll preserve

but it takes us years
to forget someone
who merely looked at us

José Tolentino Mendonça

The Dummy’s Guide To Marriage Proposals by J.A. Pak
She first asked him to marry her when she was five, when `marry me’ meant `I like you more than anybody else’ and she loved everybody around her who was nice to her.  And he was so very nice to her.
She waited two more years to ask again.  He informed her, with regret, that he was already married.  She shouldn’t have dallied at recess.  She wanted to ask again when she was eleven, but she’d begun that process of self-suppression.  Her next proposal was when she’d just turned nineteen.  She was a little on the drunk side and he was so beautiful and all her emotions, her desires, her ambitions, her hopes just kept tumbling and tumbling out of her.  It was her longest proposal — about twenty minutes.  She cried.  And cried and cried.
She didn’t have the opportunity to ask again until she was fifty-six. She asked very lightly and he said that he loved her and always will.
Time flew and suddenly they were eighty-two.  Week by week he came by and they took long walks and he’d find himself proposing. And she’d smile and hold his hand and the question flies in circles, in small, looping circles like a toy aeroplane caught in a drift of warm air.
(Published at: Smoking Poet)

The Dummy’s Guide To Marriage Proposals by J.A. Pak

She first asked him to marry her when she was five, when `marry me’ meant `I like you more than anybody else’ and she loved everybody around her who was nice to her.  And he was so very nice to her.

She waited two more years to ask again.  He informed her, with regret, that he was already married.  She shouldn’t have dallied at recess.  She wanted to ask again when she was eleven, but she’d begun that process of self-suppression.  Her next proposal was when she’d just turned nineteen.  She was a little on the drunk side and he was so beautiful and all her emotions, her desires, her ambitions, her hopes just kept tumbling and tumbling out of her.  It was her longest proposal — about twenty minutes.  She cried.  And cried and cried.

She didn’t have the opportunity to ask again until she was fifty-six. She asked very lightly and he said that he loved her and always will.

Time flew and suddenly they were eighty-two.  Week by week he came by and they took long walks and he’d find himself proposing. And she’d smile and hold his hand and the question flies in circles, in small, looping circles like a toy aeroplane caught in a drift of warm air.

(Published at: Smoking Poet)

BLACKROCK by lucien quincy senna

BLACKROCK



Always say you hunger for me
then maybe it will be true
Puss in Boots
as you strut the saddest tale
by the Liffey
its iron lacing.
I can only make this walk
with you
so far huffing
thrusting like a crowd
at the hastening
the longest walk.

Wait for me pale blue child
meet me at the edges
make me peril of your
hush heavy hands
a farmer’s boy
fond of my obscenities
waves of unknown bells and carnal yells
bronze girl thundering
the forgotten streets of Blackrock
already too dark and too late
for love
for teenage goodbyes made.

Photo: Celbridge Abbey, County Kildare, Ireland (above); Black Rock City, Nevada (below). 


«Even as dawn approached, the number of moons didn’t increase. It was just the same old familiar moon. The one and only satellite that has faithfully circled the earth, at the same speed, from before human memory. As she stared at the moon, Aomame softly touched her abdomen, checking one more time that the little one was there, inside her. She could swear her belly had grown from the night before. 
I still don’t know what sort of world this is, she thought. But whatever world we’re in now, I’m sure this is where I will stay. Where we will stay. This world must have its own threats, its own dangers, must be filled with its own type of riddles and contradictions. We may have to travel down many dark paths, leading who knows where. But that’s okay. It’s not a problem. I’ll just have to accept it. I’m not going anywhere. Come what may, this is where we’ll remain, in this world with one moon. The three of us—Tengo and me, and the little one.
Put a tiger in your tank, the Esso tiger said, his left profile toward them. But either side was fine. That big grin of his facing Aomame was natural and warm. I’m going to believe in that smile, she told herself. That’s what’s important here. She did her own version of the tiger’s smile. Very naturally, very gently. 
She quietly stretched out a hand, and Tengo took it. The two of them stood there, side by side, as one, wordlessly watching the moon over the buildings. Until the newly risen sun shone upon it, robbing it of its nighttime brilliance. Until it was nothing more than a gray paper moon, hanging in the sky.»

(from: 1Q84.)

«Even as dawn approached, the number of moons didn’t increase. It was just the same old familiar moon. The one and only satellite that has faithfully circled the earth, at the same speed, from before human memory. As she stared at the moon, Aomame softly touched her abdomen, checking one more time that the little one was there, inside her. She could swear her belly had grown from the night before. 

I still don’t know what sort of world this is, she thought. But whatever world we’re in now, I’m sure this is where I will stay. Where we will stay. This world must have its own threats, its own dangers, must be filled with its own type of riddles and contradictions. We may have to travel down many dark paths, leading who knows where. But that’s okay. It’s not a problem. I’ll just have to accept it. I’m not going anywhere. Come what may, this is where we’ll remain, in this world with one moon. The three of us—Tengo and me, and the little one.

Put a tiger in your tank, the Esso tiger said, his left profile toward them. But either side was fine. That big grin of his facing Aomame was natural and warm. I’m going to believe in that smile, she told herself. That’s what’s important here. She did her own version of the tiger’s smile. Very naturally, very gently. 

She quietly stretched out a hand, and Tengo took it. The two of them stood there, side by side, as one, wordlessly watching the moon over the buildings. Until the newly risen sun shone upon it, robbing it of its nighttime brilliance. Until it was nothing more than a gray paper moon, hanging in the sky.»

(from: 1Q84.)

A Dreamby Jorge Luis Borges In a deserted place in Iran there is a not very tall stone tower that has neither door nor window. In the only room (with a dirt floor and shaped like a circle) there is a wooden table and a bench. In that circular cell, a man who looks like me is writing in letters I cannot understand a long poem about a man who in another circular cell is writing a poem about a man who in another circular cell … The process never ends and no one will be able to read what the prisoners write.(Translated, from the Spanish, by Suzanne Jill Levine.)Un SueñoJorge Luís BorgesEn un desierto lugar del Irán hay una no muy alta torre de piedra, sin puerta ni ventana. En la única habitación (cuyo piso es de tierra y que tiene la forma del círculo) hay una mesa de madera y un banco. En esa celda circular, un hombre que se parece a mí escribe en caracteres que no comprendo un largo poema sobre un hombre que en otra celda circular escribe un poema sobre un hombre que en otra celda circular… El proceso no tiene fin y nadie podrá jamás leer lo que los prisioneros escriben.
Text via: A Thousand Words. Podcast: spoken by Nic Sebastian (of whalesound fame, now seen at Pizzicati of Hosanna). 

Photo: folioline:

asemic integration for j l borges

A Dream
by Jorge Luis Borges 

In a deserted place in Iran there is a not very tall stone tower that has neither door nor window. In the only room (with a dirt floor and shaped like a circle) there is a wooden table and a bench. In that circular cell, a man who looks like me is writing in letters I cannot understand a long poem about a man who in another circular cell is writing a poem about a man who in another circular cell … The process never ends and no one will be able to read what the prisoners write.
(Translated, from the Spanish, by Suzanne Jill Levine.)


Un Sueño
Jorge Luís Borges

En un desierto lugar del Irán hay una no muy alta torre de piedra, sin puerta ni ventana. En la única habitación (cuyo piso es de tierra y que tiene la forma del círculo) hay una mesa de madera y un banco. En esa celda circular, un hombre que se parece a mí escribe en caracteres que no comprendo un largo poema sobre un hombre que en otra celda circular escribe un poema sobre un hombre que en otra celda circular… El proceso no tiene fin y nadie podrá jamás leer lo que los prisioneros escriben.

Text via: A Thousand Words. Podcast: spoken by Nic Sebastian (of whalesound fame, now seen at Pizzicati of Hosanna). 

Photo: folioline:

asemic integration for j l borges