Skip to content

Dragonfly Thirds. Collected Poems.

From: Dragonfly Thirds. Collected Poems.

Before the cup


As I woke the water in the tap

there were only used coffee filters in front of me

news from a plantation in the next world

prayer grounds the harvest not worth

beans  The morning was of a light

roast and I thought you don’t need

to look like a priest to

slaughter a sheep  First came the

rustling of the trees then the one who whispers

first the hamster then its wheel

like visions at altitude that

suck the breath from your lungs and

you wonder: How persistent the snow must be

to reach so high on the

mountaintops?  Caffeine melt  So much

nonsense shining like a ray of sun

through the small window

Why am I thinking of religion

so early in the morning?

Maybe because I

can hear God breathe

as He dims the light in the evening

Translation Tess Lewis


Driving (American Memories)


the light dipped sonnets into the

morning pool a quick

chlorine rinse as birds fluttered

in my bones and the gas pedal

down below lay the city

like a cut-out foal yes

snowman yes there were songs

before there was radio someone was singing the

sounds of grilles raised

flour faces dark flour that

rippled down from the roofs and

framed the reflections: beauty contest on the

sidewalk here death is tattooed

and goes to church I thought

I ran over the light in rags

bottle-holsters on its hips you could hear

the clinking all the way to the next hotel floor

where night was already waiting

Translation: Tess Lewis


On this Afternoon in Cologne


the wind was on the ropes in front of the

supermarket the fruit pulp on the

panes as light was loaded


The poets sometimes also called

white wagtails stand on such sunny

days at desks near the river

in closed compound fringe events

and flirt with death


A gong landscape

trembling reeds the souls on T-shirts while

language dries out on the curb sprained

potholes on the Boulevard of Verse

where each word begs for its reader


The one in the cloudless shorts for example

had lavender tattooed on his shoulders

smelled of iron the rust of old

screws before the downpour


Friends say you carry the city in your

voice and I don’t know what they mean


When I get up in the morning poems

are lying on my sofa raise an arm and

show the shaved pit


Rheinland tile canna lily traffic on

the North-South stretch tides of my blood


The city is acidulous from the grass the

snack stands’ shadows damp around

the edges heels with a nickel finish and a face

like a coarse curry blend


I buy the noodle mist of your

bones the language chips of the nation

bars brooks stucco grapes and then it is



An airplane lifts me up out of

the day


Translation: Tess Lewis





roomatic lines glued

one to the others

on the side of the road near

West Lake Hanoi with fat light

sensors and a note

that I handed over the language barrier

but already the

foaming broth

but already rain-damp fur

in my noseroom

and through the restaurant there came

on a plate and in pieces

came the little dog

also the family’s nodding

the next table’s joys

with the strangeness in my mouth strewn

in all winds

and sinuses

like a cut

my breath my language

Yes friends I gave up!

with an apologetic gesture

beneath the family’s smile

I stepped out of the line

in my first evening phrase

later in the night still

followed by smell

and an agitated




Translation: Tess Lewis




It is wet here indeed

the barstools

with one leg in the

loamy ground and Paddy in

the pints cause he has been

one of us says old

Ecki and drinks

to the urn

on the




translated by the author

Experience Europe

Wechat Account

Weibo Account

Douban Account

Get the 2nd EU-China Literary Festival Programme DOWNLOAD PDF