Berlin, Paris, New York
Love Poem

Author: Jörg Fauser
Translator: Martina Law

Berlin, Paris, New York

I have seen big cities
and I have always loved the big cities,
their women, their bars, their
twilights before the roar
of the machines and the storming
of the Bastille,

Berlin, Paris, New York,
a street corner in Schöneberg
excites me more deeply
than the snow
on Mount Blanc
or the forests
in the lower Taunus,

I have seen the beauty
of big cities, the splendor
of their avenues, the misery
of the masses and the destruction
of the individuals,

I have loved the big cities
and I love them as well
in their decline,

it’s not the big cities
which destroy the people,
but rather the laws
which do not form people
but strangle them instead,

I was formed by the big cities,
what I saw, what I suffered, what I became
I thank a mother of stone,
the big city,
and tomorrow, when my time is up,
it will be the big city
which buries me.



Love Poem

When we loved each other,
we didn’t love ourselves.

When we declared war on each other,
we already gave ourselves up as defeated.

When we were beaten,
we gave history the blame.

When we were alone,
we drowned it out with music.

When we split up,
we stayed in the same place.

And soon we lay in each other’s arms again
and called it a love poem,

but no love poem explains to us
the fear of love,

and why the sky was so blue
when we met each other,

and why it will still be so blue
when we die,

you by yourself,
me by myself.


Originals © Jörg Fauser, Alexander Verlag, Berlin
Translations © Mark Terrill


Day laborer

Author: Claudia Kohlus
Translator: Martina Law

always a step ahead
always in the hollows
in the field
their fingers
in the soil
like every year
(scabbed-over memories
in a wind-protected sleep)
& down in the village
against all attributes
the maids’ bellies
were growing big


Original © Claudia Kohlus
Translation © Martina Law