Statement of Record


by Verena Stauffer



by Verena Stauffer


Such a fan on your back, how that feels, sublime
Is it cold when you flap your wings, how cold it gets
Just not into the sun, just don’t melt, freezing folding

lifting, sinking, trying it, it’s still a blue morning
an ice-blue morning, no such seen for so long
To walk in it, and slowly flutter, up and down

You see, you see, it’s working, ice is already forming
There goes another over there, how sublimely he glitters, like a ling
She also glitters like a ling, she almost cools a field

This is a heat-based cleaning process for the blue balloon
for the condensed floating dust, for this drying grape
That’s how to chase the heat, chase it away, it’s always a chase

To the foot of the little apple tree, get close to cool the tree
the little tree is too hot, its leaves rustle rashly
It’s already getting cooler, soon it’ll freeze, now it breaks



What happens now arises from the unutterability of wide prevision
The vision of survival under the sign of a newly created existence
As a confluent multiple of now. The now as a fan leaf? 

The written silently moves into this fresh unfolding as a sole support 
Forms an echo in and beyond language, as if vibrating, fanning
No rain, no swelling stream, no calving iceberg erases the sentences

Hope springs from the time of shared promises in every laid bow
Folds that pleat another security, also, with a pinch, folding in your remaining
Now-fans, open sea tides, spurting springs, an undertow upon your arrival!

I picture hope as an invisible bubble, it reflects the unknown region 
But from which side? Seen from above, the bubbles burst quickly
New ones are constantly formed, filled with maps of another country, full of performance

I picture hope as a huge fan, carried on shoulders
Fans with which women bring winter, winds, deer, and snowdrifts
Spreading blades, ice power plants run by bodies, frosty wings


Sky Fossil

The burning sky twitches behind the curtain of the room
A Mediterranean plastic sediment, red, blue, and yellow melted
with particles of anthropogenic emission, a bright neon lava

I picture the firmament as a fluorescent sky fossil
Last clouds in stone, radioactive flakes like drops of oil, they glow
The vastness on Earth: Oxygen basins, pods full of mountain air 

Every is small. Smaller than the dust of heat, smaller than the eternal ice
The glowing, contorting sky is larger. A snow creature alone
Can’t touch the heat. A and O form a specific attitude

Species solidarity, a shared, incessant chirping
Iridescent wings would arise, slowing cresting, ascending
As each I grows into a lava stream, brighter than your dream of yourself

Frozen heat shields melt with new and old seeds
Yuán yuán běn běn. A and O mean a nocturnal departure
At night women run from their rooms chasing water



Lanterns flicker on. The Great Barrier Reef glows
Where is the Peak Plateau? Peep, peep, peak

Oil production shrinks, corporations only secure 
cash flows in downstream oil. A downward spiral
The fat red balloon has burst
The pink scoop of strawberry ice cream has fallen 
out of the cone and melted on boiling hot asphalt

These days, the hunt for sunlight 
begins between the plates, the folded shapes

A tandem cell of gallium-indium-phosphorus 
and gallium-indium-arsenic splits drops of water 
into oxygen and hydrogen
Scattered moons of earthbound storage

In oil varnishes I saw rainbows bathe. The colors of the earth 
emerge from the oldest deposits. Transparent in the opaque
the outermost is reflected in the depths. Without form, endless 
oil colors the street like a frill on a dress
a tender gift

The abandoned graves of the lonely possess more eternity 
than any heavy marble tomb. In great sites, great urns stand 
for small lives. And the rest? The human race? You and I?

We will shine when the earth boils us to oil



From the collection “Ousia,” published 2020 by kookbooks, Berlin
Translated by Bradley Schmidt
For a taste of the original, click here.

About the author

Born 1978 in Kirchdorf an der Krems, grew up in Molln, Upper Austria. Studies in philosophy at Vienna University; graduate of the Leondinger Akademie für Literatur and the Akademie für Lyrikkritik, Haus für Poesie, Berlin. Member of the Association of Manuskripte, the gallery MAERZ, and Netzwerk Lyrik, Germany. Lives in Vienna. A Max Kade fellow, Stauffer was awarded a guest professorship in 2021 for creative writing at Allegheny College, USA. Her poetry collection Ousia, Kookbooks 2020, was nominated for the Austrian Book Prize in 2020. Recent publication: Geschlossene Gesellschaft, Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt, 2021

Statement of Record

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