poems by Rebecca Ciesielski, Tabea Xenia Magyar, Tristan Marquardt and Lea Schneider

Author: Rebecca Ciesielski, Tabea Xenia Magyar, Tristan Marquardt, Lea Schneider
Translator: Kurt Beals

with a bit of training i pull a mountain chain loose from its anchor
arrange it in a ring around a flock of south-bound crows

it’s trapped now enters attack formation
shows determination you can feel it too
the day breaks away all the animals tear at natural constants

the greater part of a topography
doesn’t make it to the other side
groups of flies burst through the cloud cover
a treeline builds up its artillery under rainfire

when atolls block access to the sea
horizon lines are safer than usual run aground
is the goal a war we can’t win

the eighth day is monday again
children’s hands grasp at meridians get caught in the coordinates
stuff their parents’ pockets with apples and steel

every morning that follows i admire my inventory numbers
then i wait with outstretched palms to see what comes

Original © Rebecca Ciesielski


roisterous wooden animal. rattling a wooden pyramid
that’s covered all over in little pointy things.
they’re wooden too. this beast, it’s only halfway tame. keeps shaking,
such that the things fall into its throat. to eat of the pyramid,
pieces at least, ’tis a good thing, it thinks to itself.
at least it’s thinking, you’d like to say, but right now it’s unclear
if that’s true. if that’s the right bridle, if it wouldn’t be better
to give the creature an audio guide. an igloo, too,
a couple of heat pumps – some sort of house, anyway.
meanwhile it’s still squatting at the supports in a victim pose, demanding
and demanding, you could make lists of them, it just wouldn’t be satisfied.

Original © Tabea Xenia Magyar


legs like a trellis, as if the trees had forgotten how to
walk. scrape at the bark, try to remember. as the
prisoner opened his mouth, natural science fell silent:
prepared foliage that spread across the facades, windows,
the finest air supplies for a zoology of plants. cells.
or clearings from above, the forest’s erogenous zones,
whose relocation entices you to stay: the tissues had
barely begun their sit-in when the outer layers started
sprouting leaves: the buildings’ skin, skinning, a tamed
green, pulled on its fur and kept on warming. protecting
the memory of pain. scarring over the opened sites.

Original © Tristan Marquardt


the roofs from up above resettled clouds
small animals that slowly creep into the sky
and freeze. light-shy. they share the right
of all things to remain silent. when night comes
the streetcar climbs into its burrow and sleeps.
protective posture. until monday, when a man
will come again collecting milk teeth, he pays well.
sometimes he sips at leftover fears
that no one wants to rent out and tells
of tracks eaten through the wood, high-pressure areas
beyond the highway, the recurring nightmare
that someone planted him upside-down
his branches felt the movement of birds
in the earth, breaking out bound for up above

Original © Lea Schneider

Translations © Kurt Beals