becoming an ape made easy
drunk in the dark
leaving the house
daily dramas
excavating a writing desk
the shifting wind

By Arne Rautenberg

Translation Ken Cockburn

becoming an ape made easy

flounder in water
swim on land
jump into mud
get arms and legs
go into greenery
grow some fur
clamber right
to the top
of a tree
an ape from every
burden free

[affe werden leicht gemacht]

 

 

drunk in the dark

a light bulb
sky
a light bulb
oho
a light bulb in an attempt
a ridiculous attempt
to attain composure

me
sky
me
oho
me me me in an attempt
a ridiculous attempt
to climb a ladder

the light
sky
the light
oho
the light in an attempt
a ridiculous attempt
to illuminate something

the meaning
sky
the meaning
oho
the meaning in an attempt
a ridiculous attempt
to mean something

[betrunken im dunklen]

 

 

leaving the house

opening your eyes
leaving the house
and on leaving the house
getting out of bed

changing your clothes
leaving the house
and on leaving the house
closing the door behind you

getting on the train
leaving the house
and on leaving the house
coming out of the station

entering a skyscraper
leaving the house
and on leaving the house
going up in the lift

falling down at your desk
leaving the house
and on leaving the house
not shutting your eyes

[das haus verlassen]

 

 

daily dramas

morning

the plane
in blue
white its line

noon

cooling on
porcelain
an animal

afternoon

dr gachet’s
abiding slumber
before van gogh’s paintings

evening

leaps
from an open book
a flame

night

a ladybird
reveals
its machinegun

[tagesdramen]

 

 

excavating a writing desk

excavating a writing desk
finding worms lots of worms
(they writhe in the light)

excavating a writing desk
finding helmets lots of helmets
(some with holes and some intact)

excavating a writing desk
breechblocks gasmasks
(some with skulls and some without)

excavating a writing desk
finding bones lots of bones
(which even death can’t split)

excavating a writing desk
standing in the middle of it as oneself
(in the fog or granted sight)

[einen schreibtisch umgraben]

 

 

the shifting wind

the chances it’ll turn out right
increase the longer
it’s all going wrong

should one set
achievable goals?

the chances it’ll turn out wrong
decrease the longer
it’s all going right

should one set

unachievable goals?

 

From mundfauler staub (Horlemann, 2012) and seltene erde (Horlemann, 2014).