Five sonnets

Author: Konstantin Arnold
Translator: Catherine Hales

Evening of blue city dwellers in Berlin. Underground train

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for Almut, Janka, Luise, Mara and Norbert

Windows Benn, untouched and unregarded.
The soft showers. Early blossom. Dying
like far-off happiness. Shadows and Great Flood
as though dumb in sealed caves, the bi-

nary. In duning, coming, going, slide
our walls, are as thin as Loerke’s hide,
blended, unravelled after blue tunes.
Through all the Spring comes the stranger, womaning,

hooked. A redness swarms up. Blood rises. House-walls
greyly swollen like strangled people gaze on
bland blooming, let in the moistness of others!

Who, if I wept, Wolfenstein, would it bother.
The stocking on the stretcher is there. But where it ends
people stand where eyes are narrowed, stonewalling.



People! Where eyes are narrowed, stonewalling,
a sentence takes a dump like beaver shit:
the I takes an early shower in political-hist-
orical terms, the rustic must go! If he called

fraud, hand the villagers an epic cure
and leave the townies whining and all a-quiver
and pull the sticky stuff off your eyelid
thus putting the books of the orphans of Chur

into good shape no cooking of books or weaving of box
tree for you. Commit yourself to nothing!
we’d think communicators had botched something there.

Sticking your finger in the socket these days
could be a decorative act. Skimming reactions I quickly praise
the monkey orchid. The grass is crassly frazzled.



The grass is crassly frazzled. Swan! Playboy!
Every sponge wipes swanning ahead of her across
the board even in Parliament the mindless chatter stops
even the editor cleanses beforehand her toyboy

the aforesaid playboy meanwhile playing Gameboy
board wipers m+f devouring falafel with everything
the parliamentarians (m) writing a ghazal in their minds
the parliamentarians (f) murmuring Senna Hoy!

The interval has completely corralled them all
even laying hens, according to legend
she has, none other than Mr. Rockstroh

the long interval, got rid of all the destitute people
he chews around on a giraffe like a flea
would do, were it grown greatly and tenderly lonely.


Pianofourte Sonnet

Who’s coralled greatly and tenderly? The rhyming couplet.
I much prefer the world lost to me full of giraffes: a lot
of embellishment, bee slime by the bucketload.
Thus spake Zeck in lubricious greed monkeys.

A Steigenberger, a hotel, even making a chain
Of them. The per se opposite of turning to good use: the sim-
ilarity of a lamed seed bucket to a limping skeleton.
For a stuttering sonnet: make weaponless sonnets!

Hidden in every Berlin Window: bestiaries
Sir! No, Sir! Munich is no beast! I demand fixed prices
For hamburgers and our favourite frankfurters

On this Zeil. Can you feel the desire for the best arias
For 1000 euros 1000 Belgians are freed from rivers
And streams in your mind’s banger-desert. Are all ice-creams E-flats?


Pipsqueak Sonnet

Freed from rivers and streams. Are all ice creams E-flats?
Well, that’s really nice. If you procure something for me
Does that mean I’m on the game? Chocolate ice cream yeah (Elise)
Is worth procuring: while oil … Not that

I’ve got anything against oil as such, it’s just that a lot
Of people are made orphans by the squabbling over blackpastored wetness
over oils. On that subject an announcement by the generals: put your foot on the gas!
Pastors change channels as quietly as mouse-snouts on the remote.

I’d dig around for dino-bones outside the small house in Buckow.
I’d fly like the wind and rhyme like a child in summer.
I’d get into the sack with all available sonnet muses.

I’d set to with the most terrible creatures in the rock wall at Duino:
Without cream or pincers; Battle of the Somme
(at the cold buffet). I’m afraid they only exist now in sonnet museums.

From Konstantin Ames, sTiL.e(ins) Art und Weltwaisen © rougbooks, 2012