Sabine Techel, Three Poems

[My translations of three poems by German poet Sabine Techel: b. 1953; also prose, plays, translation of Sylvia Plath]

It’s announcing itself

Before everything falls you can
hear the crunch of teeth in the apple and the
rubbing of slipping porcelain the
dragging of clouds on the roof
the clap of wings before the attack

before someone starts gurgling you can
dream of him slipping under the wash basin
around the corner a bad peek through the fence

it is now time for cold hands
which isn’t bad when you always have them
and what is bad also needs learning.

The cold is getting even brighter
A smile reveals how someone leaves
For what is too late we’ll leave till later
There’s always still time for haste


What does the mother sing?

You my little waxberry
You my pale little stare-head
You my blue-templed doughnut worm

should I worship you?

And rocks her child and spins
But the child is not nicely still
The child cries

The spiders have spun sharp threads
Our child has cut itself
has cut its head off
It rocks it now so relaxed and
Rolling on mother’s lap

What does the mother sing?

Be still my little one
Be little my still one
Should I hear you
Should I feed you?

The child does not hear its crying
Does not feel the tears on its face
When mother lashes out and our child
Touches its head
It leaves off its crying and is still

felix coniunctio

Spring again the radio
plays the white lilac. Friends
we phone are mad, a little
stressed, they call it love.

They clamp apparatuses to their eyes
they look for images. Even in wet shoes
their eyes are their only feeling out-
wards. At least towards summer

they put their skin back on, then you can
grab them better, coupling is easier
that way too. On abandoned railway tracks
they take their sensuality for a drive

like a young thing and wonder what
is making that creaking and croaking noise. Later
in summer the archaeologists with sore eyes find
traces of red dust. That’s the rust.


~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on May 21, 2012.

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