Renatus Deckert, Two Poems

[My translations of German contemporary poet Renatus Deckert: b. 1977; childhood in GDR; co-editor of Lose Blätter – Zeitschrift für Literatur und Photographie. The shot of the good question was taken in Melbourne two years ago.]

Odysseus

He ripped up the cobblestones: at dawn on a
crossing in the east
of the city.
He had nails
like claws, hands as big as shovels.
The cars grazed him
in their mad speeding.
Sweat shot into his eyes
so that he was blind as
the Cyclops
when he awoke.
He threw the stones he ripped from the ground
aimlessly about.
Windows shattered:
their splinters twitched threateningly through the smoke.
His nails black and bloody,
he cried out and kneeled sobbing in the sand now
emerging from under stone
and tar.
When the blue sirens flew into the crossing
his lips quivered and
touched
the beach.

By the water

Night time at the beach the black dogs: their tendons
taut as straps
on a catapult shooting them
into the dunes.
Night for night they speed through the dust,
sea spray
at their heels,
foam at their flews.
Their hoarse barking breaks up the sea’s rattle.
Even in sleep
you can hear their howl
while a storm tugs at
the rusty windlass.
In the morning their bloody fur.
The wounds of the night dissolving on the tongue.
The bite
into the throat:
the burning sign of Cerberus.

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~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on October 14, 2012.

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