Indian summer

The cold drives the spiders 
into our house.
I dust the loom,
tighten silver threads,
fill the shuttle
with earl grey, raisins, stove soot.
Future is lying before us
patterned, dun, and warm.
But don't come so close,
you tear
my web
            (Sept. 95)


for you


describe the tiny deaths
between two heartbeats,
the dandelions greening
asphalt clefts - in brief:
unnecessary information. 
instead of birthplace, age,
handwriting, colour of hair,
a neuter line
about the tiny death
separating two breaths, 
the comma on the pavement,
a yellow petal
between two sentences, the rustle
in the amplifier.
and for all that is
your reflection
behind my retina
looking like me


A poem is a cup of tea
- irish cream may be -
with milk and sugar
in a narrow house
with front garden. You're
looking through the window,
every falling leaf
by its name,
it is autumn perhaps,
in every case late.
Leaves are fair and dark,
torn, wet, and quiet.
How else could we already know
that the only thing that counts
is to know the name 
of every single leaf
- and a lot of sugar
in my tea


This is my first english poem.
It's not a poem.
It's a late souvenir of a man
I exchanged two words with.
The quiet American I called him
silently by me. 
Perhaps he was English.
We shared the most famous and most boring
theatre in the world:
giggling teenagers performing
a sentimental popsong, 
few ruins 
hidden in spare green.
Spring was late this year in Epidauros.
The quiet man was long, unshaven,
and reading "Tess of the D'Urbervilles".
I'll always think
if I had been alone that day
I would know now
where he was from.

when the rhymes fall

when the rhymes fall
naked branches remain, rooted
some steps from truth.
a bird will build
its nest there again, surely
but the tree will not
draw nearer to truth
not next spring, not
all its life

come, let us hide

come, let us hide
in the green brown yellow fern, come
we'll have the blades wither above us, sink 
layer by layer, let us breathe 
and caress the hedgehogs and hibernate
over the years let us awake
some day in a mushroom
still hand
in hand

sleep beloved

sleep beloved
our house is still standing
till tomorrow 
and there's just enough oxygen
for tonight
no more cars will run over me this day
sleep beloved
the child in our bellies
is healthy and beautiful
there is still bread on the table
your heart beats loudly, and nobody
will take you away from me
sleep beloved

I met the thin man and his wolf

I met the thin man and his wolf
in the middle of the wood. Death was clinging
to a bunch of rosehips, he cast a glance into my basket, 
smiling, and pressed one of the red fruits into the cake.
The wolf turned round, watching me for long.

When I arrived my granny was already sleeping
below the roots of a yellow birch. The wolf was hidden
in the fern, waiting. I picked a leaf, sat down in the meadow,
took a slice of the cake and crumbled the left-overs
into the grass. I used the wine to get the wolf drunk,
then dragged him back into the fern. It's time I have a daughter,
I said. Her name will be Charlotte. The wolf wasn't listening, 
only my granny, below the yellow birch-tree, smiled
in her sleep.

I sway

I sway
in your salty lips
and sometimes miss the shore
where I was dancing
on bleeding feet 
and writing in the sand 
with my fingernails, since I had 
no tongue any more. I had cut 
my green hair, the scales 
were fallen from my thighs
and nobody wanted to bear me, not even
the sea.

And you sway me
with your salty lips
having buried the knife 
that could once more divide my body
and my voice is singing
not of the pain - this is forgotten -
but of the lost words
of my fingers and feet
in the sand


My eyes love to pasture
on the faces of strange men whose hands 
will never touch me I know
I send my hungry eyes
to jump over electric fences
They thoroughly graze
spare smiles from strange lips
that will never touch my lips I know
Sweet are the strange grasses
bitter is their aftertaste
and with the vomiting
I will put up

So my stalk, too, is coming off

So my stalk, too, is coming off 
the twig, painless, the wind 
going upside down with me, soon 
I lose sight of the tree,
doubt, hovering,
all the branches,
as if I wasn't already aware
of another year: me,
unrolling again
out of new roots


Give me thy mould
sun demands of the land,
I will burn thy black skin, only then
will I love thee.

and she adorns her lover's ribs with white stone
laces his curves with rock terraces, braids 
tender names in his flaming red curls:
naranja querida mi piño... The land's breath 
is plain when the midday is laying beside him, 
and under the glow of her lips 
his skin is shaking and blistering 
where she's begotten the stony cities, 
her teeth tear his flesh that will scar into thorns, 
and no dust will be raising 
when she leaves

All the years

When I went through the thornwood
the branches remained 
bare, the rose blossomed 
in my heart only
so violently 
that the muscle tore

When I went through the bare wood
the path was covered
by the thorns of all the past times
and the blood of my feet
was again and more darkly
staining the snow

Beaten paths are going

Beaten paths are going
right through my head.
I'm lying at the crossing
of trails and thaws,
whimpering pulp of grass
and mud, hoping
for mercy

Visit in April

The summer has time and receives me 
with an embrace still in the doorway.
Nice to see you, we both say,
laughing. There's a fragrance of tea.
Later we have brimstones 
and spotted starlings, we look 
at photos, black-and-white with sharp 
shadows that should be blue says he,
and I cannot believe my ears 
- why hasn't he told me 

Sunday afternoon

Sunday afternoon
behind the house

Bird noise,
the chirping of cars,
and children
occur on the verge.
The cat is sunning between tulips.
The patchwork cover's growing
under my hands 
so sleepy so coloured
for this our patched life
or the next one,
but who cares 

I love transit rooms

I love transit rooms
Without luggage
My earth contact weakens
Long before taking off
Bananas fly 
Into my mouth
God cares for everybody
Who has paid in advance
For the third heaven
Where I float on top
Of the cream:
Business class
By a computer's grace
The world at my feet
Doesn't hide very long
Soon the disk
Comes to a standstill
But I've manipulated
The winning number I remember
And fall
From the clouds
Back to gravity again

Walking upon the water is simple

Walking upon the water is simple.
I came out of the depth,
have forgotten how to sink
with every movement.

We make light of each other.
Our steps have lost
their weight. 
I leer at far shores, 
and you throw flat stones 
across the mirror 
that it scratches.

I want to sink
and meet you again
in a calm evening
in the sea


for m.

Your microphone's threads
Stretched between the noses
Of the audience 
Are forming a cobweb 
In the middle of which
Your voice is rocking
Nearly bursting
With pleasure

Who's able to see
The meagre rat
Among the wires
Who can see
The loudspeaker cable winding
Round his neck
Who sees the scorn
On his lips

Friends, strangers

We meet
On a raft made of
Flutes and apple pips
After years of mainland
That didn't confuse our language

You bore airholes 
Through my skullpan
And love each other
Before my eyes
Hands cramp then
Behind my forehead
And from my armpits cries
The desire to embrace you
But I touch you
With the words I keep secret
And while you are leaving
While tears trickle 
Through my arteries
I set the raft
At three edges
On fire

Harvest moon

Too late for golden grain...
The maizemen that have grown up
before my eyes
are losing their public hair.
I can grind their hip-bones 
to powder.
Their seed's hanging,
drying up

We were wanderers


We were wanderers,
dipped our hands
into each others pockets.
We could stand being cold
body to body.

Now lessees
of four walls and four 
windmill sails,
harnessed and driven
stone on stone,
are we grinding between ourselves
our daily bread and
my edges, your corners,
and falling at night, sore,
on the huge bed
my half and your half...

In memory of a wet November

You're leaning against the front door, October,
rolling between your forefinger and thumb
yellowed leaves.

But the old autumn, you know...
Surely you won't grow as old.
Surely you won't have so many winds.
Surely you will be
awfully friendly.

But the old November, you know,
he looked over my shoulders when I painted my face,
together we waited in a nearly empty theatre
for Godot instead of whom a shy Australian art teacher
treated us to an apple juice around midnight. We danced,
I wore my heart at my girdle, and the autumn took care
that it wouldn't be caught by anybody. We ran 
with the demonstrators. We blocked a crossroads,
but a white Golf overran us, and the war, too,
went on.

Perhaps it happened there,
that he began to grow old.
For he died when the lookout yawned.
He died when I crammed my heart
into a totally strange ear, and when Godot arrived
died he, and when my lipstick converted
to realism and paleness.

Look, October, such an autumn
you'll never be.


you take my breath, sister
- your love in words, as naked
and white as a marble torso,
your pale face without nose
unpainted, the pupils colourless,
everything else missing
for ages. your heart only
is beating below the white breast
as if hands were stretching out,
tender hands: to comb your hair,
to paint your eyelids, your neck,
your naked skin. 
tender hands. but you
make them go down, using
tender words