The dark woods
The dark woods lie outside
the car & I am made of glass
for you in this very moment
with this ray of sunshine going
through me absolutely nothing is
between us, please
don’t be afraid: I am empty, nothing
is in me now but
the light of your eyes splitting
into several colors that
everybody knows & everybody knows
these moments which,
however beautiful they are, do not
mean anything . . . The car
is running the way is right
the bladder is empty & we
have a clear view about
you and me, the dark woods
Autopilot (vol de nuit)
What connects us is as black as asphalt
as hard as asphalt, just as indestructible
as smooth as asphalt on a rainy night
in the light of gas stations, of silos in the docks . . .
What connects us is glittering in the night
wide like a second river here in the plain
a two-lane river flowing in two directions at the same time,
its course regulated by noise barriers,
safety lanes and wasteland,
flowing from me to you. From me to you—and back.
Sometimes in the night when I am lying sleepless
I drive the whole distance in my mind,
I drive the forty-six bends
from me to you—and then back again.
Sometimes I am driving in the wrong direction
changing, without signaling, the lane,
changing, with one blink, the direction,
suddenly, after a doze of two seconds,
I see myself coming towards me . . . Without braking
I race towards me, it shoots me towards me—
until I awake, hurled in your arms.
I killed the mouse with the hatchet
I normally use for chopping wood.
But it was not like chopping wood.
My first stroke was too timid.
The second caused one of its eyes to slip out of its socket.
And also the third stroke was not strong enough.
It was the cat’s fault. The cat likes to play.
It plays with every blade of grass, every dead leaf—
there’s no killer’s instinct in it.
That is why I fetched the hatchet,
the blunt, nicked, rusty hatchet
I normally use for chopping wood.
I didn’t want the mouse to suffer.
Who could have known that it would end with IT
like in horror movies where the evil always comes back once again
(that is: once too often—more than you would like).
Well, I should have expected it,
considering how BIG the beast was. Although—
maybe it wasn’t so much its size
that caused such dark premonitions,
but rather the somewhat perverse
number of its . . . well . . . tentacles? Because “legs”
can hardly be the right word for limbs
growing out of the back and rising upwards
(reaching out for me).—Whatever . . . It is not always
as the neurologists say:
the fear of things (or rather: of beasts) is
not always greatest when we do not see them . . . And thus
I was honestly relieved when—with a club formed
of Sunday tabloid supplements—I had beaten IT
into a dark, shapeless lump.—As I said: I could not know
what was still to come, I did not know
what kind of mission I was undertaking when I,
woefully under-armed with a dustpan and brush,
approached ITS cadaver, whistling—
just as though the shooting of the film
in which I’d been confronted with my greatest fear
were finished once and for all; just as though
an end of this kind, an end that was almost too good
(especially in a horror film like this)
were not always a kind of beginning, too . . .
I never met the snake, but the wife did.
The wife saw it, not me. I know
that there are no snakes. There are no snakes,
at least not here, not in our garden—
this is what I told the wife God knows how many times.
There are no snakes around here,
I told her, just as there are no angels.
But the wife is different. The wife sees snakes.
The wife sits for days in her dark room—
and sees snakes. And I, who stay outside
every day, down by the river, cutting the trees, I:
do not see anything. Nothing except some yellow leaves
and black twigs,
thin, smooth, black twigs
looking as though they had recently been cut and
ever meant as much to me
as a text message
Although these are
only very few lines
very few characters
that I type,
night after night,
on my mobile
Just 160 characters,
and a character is
is less than a word
often not even a letter
only a dash
or a full stop
or still less
could be a blank
A maximum of 160 blanks
to say nothing
that was not already known
what I mean)
In the early dawn
I finally send my text message
(not that I ever liked what I wrote, but)
Night after night
I have been waiting for an answer
for an eternity