In Red Eggs
Speech and Silence in Pankow

Author: Gerhard Falkner
Translator: Andrew Duncan

In Red Eggs

I am back from the strange bridge
over these sleepless and sharp-sighted nights
only my rest is giving me headaches
as I have a corpse in my head
which from the iron grip of memory
is slowly escaping

we are consuming ourselves for the burning ennui
which penetrates this memory
breathing it in like a supernatural fire
but with time fade also
its outer contours

we cower in red eggs our eyes
are going like wheels they listen upwards
over the thin shell thumps a light beat
we destroy our implants and throw them from the bridge
the water of the Spree boils up briefly
then the picture is gone

Speech and Silence in Pankow

I was already awake with all my weight
just breathing through my eyes a final
bit of night
the town was rotating
as if on a gramophone
and over the chest tones of the basses
the trills of the morning birds were twinkling
like splashes of nail varnish
on tattered paper
like razorblades
new, unheard-of words
for body, life, and so on were
twirling through the high, woody air
but why bother them
when there’s no sense in speech
but no safety in silence.



anyone who sees me
throwing fishes
all around me
with what a powerful
clacking-tongue gesture
they lash the air
anyone who sees
how these fish
all of their suddenness
in flight
how their gills
seem to grope for
will think:
ha! yet another one
chucking fishes around
because he is small, alone,
lonely, cruel and lunatic!