Ulf Stolterfoht
Rosmarie Waldrop, trans.

 

 

 

From: Fachsprachen I-IX

LINGOS II

Looking languidly at a pair of tin snips, and then deciding to call them tin snips — what a burst of glory! —Donald Barthelme

 

 

(1) talent in rut

(2) abruptly herder appeared

(3) i feel as in a zipper's

(4) that it's precisely not OK

(5) proposition: only what's pickled

(6) all ears especially

(7) knowing such disdoings

(8) beautiful like: latent snap decayward

(9) came a man talked improbability

 

 


 

(1)

 

talent in rut the artier foreign pseudo-

prop gali or matias like cognates like

consorts not honey to dialect ears: they

mangle phonemes chaste and german

 

pondering this yet WANT in spite of

and/or signs of break-down IT: shall

then for agit's sake the anti (i.e. now)

though quasi's barely born flounder

 

in meaning-mania scarcely veiled as

long as glyph stands among runes? the

author's last osmosis unmuzzles hiero/

ditto pidgin manuscripts: so torted dis

 

like ball's "goramen" as well as latent

INDO-WANT: go roll yourself a syllable

play horse to foreign carts to intro-

ducing mix-o-lydian (where disparate

 

particles demonstrate non-success:

the innermost mongolia/the uttermost-

ly prickly beard) the hermeneuts of art

however construe IT as rather diffident

 

and dank what actually (what actually

"exists but at the moment of its

simulation") should after all be called

methinks — and so still pondering all this...

 

 

 


(2)

 

abruptly herder appeared together with job

to diaper the oceans as babies one does.

speaking as from the times of sirach that

some remains of essence forced the hybrid

 

toward hameln like a ram in a storm.

("arsenals of snow and hail/sky water-

ways — who would like that?") confuses

you of course: where's the salvation! that's

 

why about a hundred years of bauhaus

were leaning at the bar to cuss it dis. of

which we got to hear a rare: discourse

gone long in the extreme. so even they!

 

dream of the orient. sings and answers

questions. was there war in the street?

flamingoes in fruitfight always futuristic-

perfect. thereafter years on the job stooped —

 

"crossing gate"— on the rail embankment:

he on the contrary noticed lack of such.

here was the point to end stillborn creation

so-called. says herder and describes it

 

further: who could and would compose

like these? says herder maybe after all: i

hardly can imagine such a thing. yet crimi-

nal the attempt at same is nevertheless not.

 

 

 

 

(3)

 

i feel as in a zipper's teeth: to die. and

in quotation to be burning vie. and say.

but he maintains to: the bitter end. we'll

just go live in pomerania. we'll just go

 

light the pumpkin. urns to us upon my

word autistic. however nightly the owl's

flight the threat is scarcely less for it.

quite on the contrary. taught goethe

 

years ago that if the fox is dead what

matters is his hide. and that the thumb

is means to grasp not just part of the

hand. and "please in your bond of wound"

 

let not him buried be in his skin. for

first let this be to his credit: to omit the

rarara of bonding as also stated by third

parties: for once we're saddled in for it.

 

viz. secondly. so. arises the question if it

helps to nail the badger his pelt on the

wall. of his burrow the hunters by the way

not. rather the urgent wish to have it all

 

promptly settled. so. i feel as palliative:

my appointment. for life on foot. high-

strung bow-string. or more sassily: it all

fits in one jar. seen from sufficiently afar.



 

(4)

 

that it's precisely not OK: not to

see the murky. when it's right there.

means milk maybe but suddenly

brings up opaque. this by hear-say

 

at the time westphalia (bochum). still

hardly like much else alas alas. the

point of fact remained a dirty river

(emscher). and what I took for such.

 

a beer-jaunt. burned-out torches above

the ruhr. always thirsty in the dark. alone

in the cellar the finisters. (they alone

luminous. kept hidden from the eye.)

 

that sweet is murkiness to human

sight. a sign of grace. and yes in this

way much like beer: today shalt be

with me in paradise. thou art my kindl.

 

to shelter the murk from greedy eyes.

cellar. certain infringements taking place.

"and yet were once..." and not divorced

as long as content promised cover.

 

but look: all inner effervescence gone!

unhandsome dead that's what we'll

be. naturally conceivable to wallow

in the murk. natural conceivably.



 

(5)

 

proposition: only what's pickled in like

brine will be as nine-eyes is to blind

(i.e. as if the eucharist) — test: palate

on dried cod for who has eyes to see

 

as an example how maybe "ass" was said

in gettysburg and meant the landlord/

even as a child he knew 'twas rats

they ate on board and he'd not be the

 

first to eat the salt to lick the antlers

certainly scratch udders for the milk-

idea: a whirring wire pulled through

low-fat cheese idea of being conscripted

 

to: yes hunger when stockpails run dry

and burst with vinegar and just as now

it seems back then everything got

rated by how suited for the stockpot

 

(verdict — the skinnier ones might

remember — almost always positive)

notice too the gnashing of teeth in the

process: he sucked on rotting wetness

 

(the most tender-hearted may well empa-

thize: the first mate's belly was the last

to disappear cost-lost on the upper edge

of the frame.) proposition: for he had.

 


 

 

(6)

 

all ears especially as they of course

never came from outside but still were

definitely heard as can be checked: "we

here need to appease a yellow" he hears

 

and later they say does it. for heaven's

sake then to encourage (with image-

blind compulsion) a bright red you may

in matters of black on white be sure of

 

inspiration: he'll lure the gray OK. to

listen to obey the urge (in words:

wait for commands to surge) to loop

the rope around the lantern and be

 

granted to unmope. does he already

feel the fine thread's tender tie/the

strong rope's goodly shade from one

ear to it will be asked: the other?

 

all neck in these affinities elective

hardly. triple to ever more gordian the

knot of almost theft of a crust of bread

and never touch. in plain speech: properly

 

secular equals "can be got by ruse."

poaching in foreign fields incriminated

as NULL-ART/the diagnosis hurts:

case of attempted infiltration-fraud.

 


 

(7)

 

knowing such disdoings whimpering "-turbance"

that in malchow where although in bed we

dreamed: of sitting on a chair. so that (some

people's dreams are grand!) "inwardly

 

stirred but outwardly tied like gulliver"

(yet to be proven: turbance means storm

of stimuli) some rain came down WHICH

— mecklenburger mercy shower/we

 

guess the point — WAS VERY DRY. and yet

fell under rain. and in reverse the reverse

is just as likely: thought of chair beats

condition of bed. and sleeping under such.

 

knowing of clenched "muscles did not

make an undue bulge in the suit" so that

strangely — coming from güstrow now—

we felt: we were inside one skin/we

 

threatened: to succumb to influence. how

it all then slipped away. (intrudes the

memory of the tin snip. remains to say of

what.) glass-hard presentiment takes root:

 

every thing must bear a name. its appelation.

therefore muscles chair and bed. if we how-

ever is uncertain. last period punched in

tin. something to chew on for some time.

 

 

 

 

(8)

 

beautiful like: latent snap decayward —

because abstract. horrible like the death

screams of hedgehogs as they fade into

the night. that's what the new poetry

 

is like. there was a time when man

rather at one with fear grew pale in

all the colors of the garden. and birds

with grief dropped from the trees.

 

dreadful like: headlong into cod —

because concrete. ("do you consider

my methods morbid?" "sir, i can't discern

no method anywhere!") refrain:

 

beautiful's not the beautiful phrase.

beautiful's not the beauti... ad libitum.

beautiful is the chopping of chickens.

but not religion for all that. whereas:

 

"made to beat like a fake heart in a real

animal's real body"— because this

sounds german. the cleaning of fish. the

reaping of robins. the sagging of hose

 

(says r.) — concrete it's not but possible

if only because the song moves us

to tears? beautiful is only the abstract.

because construct. now all together:

(refrain)

 

 



(9)

 

came a man talked improbability and state of

the art. organized himself and the matter to

nearly ninety out of a hundred. which was high

considering how fragile these "constructions

 

of wire wood and linen IN WHICH THEY FLEW

WITHOUT A PARACHUTE." almost coarse in

comparison says böhme the vessels of the

spirit that mirror the essence of things.

 

said adam before the fall were laughing mad-

ly and flying through our teeth the blue off

the sky — as against — "'the few who under-

stood something'— of what?" is about how

 

it will end. (in search of the uncouth word:

alfa. bravo. charlie. delta. echo. echo: they

would so have liked to see the zoo of oulu.

more obscure: let form unmorph i into u —

 

sometime it works sometime it doesn't.)

came a man talked improbability and state of

the art. carried the germ of it already at this

time. veins aflow with bromine. so he

 

engendered without offspring. taking

possible for proven. came spoke and stood:

WASPWAISTED WASPLIGHT STILL TRIM

VICIOUS SMALL AND IMMOBILE. contaminated.

 

 

____________________________

Notes:

In poem (6) "all ears especially as they of course," the poet Otto Nebel speaks several times, particularly in the case of the versuchten einschleich-trugs [attempted infiltration-fraud]. (Author's note)

 

(1) "goramen:" made-up word in Hugo Ball's Dada poem "caravan."

 

(2) Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803): German poet, theologian and philosopher. He proposed what is now called the Sapir-Whorf thesis, that language determines thought. He also collected folk songs (Stimmen der Völker in ihren Liedern) and stressed the role of language and folk traditions in creating a nation.

Sirach: The aprocryphal book Ecclesiasticus is attributed to Jesus the son of Sirach.

 

(6) The poet, painter and actor Otto Nebel (1892-1973), who is quoted in this poem, was part of Dada and the Expressionist circle around the journal Sturm. His books Zuginsfeld (1918) and Unfeig (1923) show him to be a precursor of Concrete and combinatorial poetry. After 1933 he lived in Switzerland.

 

(9) "Waspwaisted...": description of an airplane in Faulkner's Pylon.