Tag : love

Green Bridges

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Rachel is native to this place that doesn’t exist.
Let’s explore, she yells and bikes off, onto a street named Illusion.
The sun has disappeared behind the horizon, a dim moonless night above us.
Neon-coloured lasers lighten up the sky.
Maybe it is her job, in which she finds formulae, which don’t have any practical use, whose name sounds like a mathematical holiday: tropical geometry. Maybe it is also the fact that she has been here seven times. It is so cold at night, you don’t get far without big boots and woollen socks.
I pull my fur hat over my head and run after her.

On the promenade I catch up.
Rachel with her red curls, a true ginger, I met three months ago in the thick of the dance floor, in striped leggings and a riveted bra. She showed me that Falafel can raise your blood pressure but also your mood, at three in the morning.
She leans on her bike and sucks water out of a tube, embedded in a desert scenery, better than the one in Lawrence from Arabia: flat land for miles, sparked by neon lights, moving from right to left, approaching, encircling, an aimless riot.
The centre piece of this madness of speed and sound is a huge wooden matchstick man. A silvery house, high over head and shoulders, behind us. A meandering magician swirls past us. We dip our fingers in a crystal bag and I ask myself if a body is able to produce serotonin when it hasn’t slept for 48 hours, especially if it is located in a universe without top nor bottom, a rotating flickering, a fluttering glimmering sparkling something.
I want to hold on to something.
The speakers next to me blast gabber, trance and techno directly into my eardrum.
My gaze is glued to a pair of brown eyes, cheeks shining brighter than anything I’ve ever witnessed. I taste dust in my mouth and feel lead in my legs, a hamster called Ted grabs my hand and screams into my ear: You’re awesome, I love you.
I scream back and finally find Rachel’s hand in the crowd. Touching her is like tasting salty caramel chocolate ice cream.

We keep going, green bridges above us in the dark.
I am geared to these stable shiny scaffoldings with their curved parts and cross beams, which lead away in uniform patterns. Their construction reminds me of New York City’s bridges. I feel safe underneath these bridges. Nothing can harm me, they are attached to the ground and hold up the strongest movements. They are to be found across the whole site, from one street to the next, reaching far out into the deep playa.
I just have to follow them, even though – I am only imagining them.

How I find my way back to our tent, a bastion for eight people, mattresses and sleeping bags, coolers and cases, remains a miracle. I pull a blanket and two sleeping bags over my face, shut out the noise and the clattering of the generator with my earplugs. Softly the air mattress gives way underneath my weight. Until I fall asleep, day has dawned.

Our camp’s name is Clutch Tomato.
Sun-ripened Californian tomatoes, swimming in olive oil, preserved months before with herbs and chilli, served on organic rosemary and thyme crackers. A huge sign hints at it, a red coloured dome, red armchairs, camping chairs, hammocks between metal poles. A clutch is something you need and receive in just the right moment.
Like freshly brewed espresso, when you crawl out of your tent, after only a few hours of sleep, your tent, which is at nine o’clock so hot that sweat is dripping from your face before you reached out of it: For a bottle of cold water, that your tent neighbour gives to you, a banana which you find under your costumes, a fresh peach, rolled out of the cooler.
Clutch Tomato, that is dozens of jars with golden oil, in layers, crimson fruit pieces, stacked on the wall of the mobile kitchen. What is missing is real shade. A place where you can reduce your body temperature, cool down. A hole in the ground, a vacuum of silence.
Rachel is sitting in the kitchen’s shade, nibbling a granola bar.
I didn’t sleep, she says, rubbing her eyes, at all.
I won’t sleep either, in the next six hours.
Flakes of black make-up on her cheeks, smudged by sweat. What is left of her costume is a bra and panties. She opens another pack of granola bars, there’s a rustling, crumbly taste of hazelnuts and cranberries, washed down with bitter espresso, a piece of banana squish, threads of peach flesh sucked from the pit. In vain, I try to put on underpants without dusting them.

What have you been doing last night, I ask her and comb through sandy hair with my fingers. My old friend Laser Steve and I wandered the Deep Playa, she says chattily, and scratches her boob. We were waiting for sunrise at the temple. Laser Steve is part of the Temple crew. It was magical. The Guardians were singing mantras, you know, all that hippy shit, but my head was down the rabbit hole the whole time.
She snickers and sneers and her eyes glow bright, only now it is that I notice how big they are.
Rachel says Molly and Acid people don’t get along.
It is indispensable, she says, to be on the same wavelength as your friends. For that reason she gives me an identical sugar cube, just like the one she is eating.
It won’t change much, she says, we’re just keeping the colours bright here.

In twilight we slip into our costumes, striped leggings, red velveteen blazers, plush squirrel hats, fur coats. At Center Camp we stop at a fire-spitting wheel, the heat of the flames glowing on my cheeks. Burning in my eyes. Hurting in my body: the cigarettes I smoked in my lungs, my knees from biking, the finger I jammed in the car door, the collarbone I broke as a kid. I am tired, all of a sudden, so tired, that I want to disappear into the sand.
You cannot be tired, Rachel says, and squeezes my shoulder. You will be awake for at least another twelve hours. Acid intensifies, what you focus on. So focus on good things.
Good things, that is: still air behind the Temple and the warmth of a duvet, which I find there. The taste of marshmallows, that someone hands us, passing by.
The Playa provides, Rachel says.

Rachel knows me, even though we only know each other for a few months. We met under Brandenburg’s July sun, sleeping on a camping blanket next to each other.
Rachel knows that I hold my breath when I am nervous, that I can’t eat when I don’t know what’s going on. She knows what is going on without me having to say anything. Then she invites me over, brews a cup of Tension Tamer, spreads her blue Mexican quilt and puts the tarot cards on the table. Also now she just says: Chill out, it’s all right, and links arms with me.

Later we dangle in a hammock of the size of a truck in the middle of the desert.
In a whirlwind of lights and shadows we sail through the night, back and forth, cannot leave this net and stop laughing, until I close my eyes and let it carry me. Dozing, in floating, until I hear a voice, wake up, and someone agitates me, and pulls me up.
Na, alles klar, Rachel says, her face above me, I nod and crawl back into the dust.

I don’t like beer.
I never liked beer, drinking it makes me hungry and tired.
But the beer they give out here is better than anything I ever ingested.
A tart, refreshing, cool liquid, I just have to queue and they give me another cup of fresh Belgium tap beer. Forty-five degrees Celsius in the shade plus a hundred half-naked bodies sum up deliriously. I find myself on a pink couch, next to a golden unicorn, a petite man with a Cockney accent and coal-black eyes. He rubs against me, I rub against him, and by my headache I notice how dehydrated I am.
He asks me if I want to go on an adventure, his voice moist and damp in my ear.
We splash about in the water, riding a rubber crocodile in a pool hidden in the camp labyrinth. Only a unicorn is able to find something that magical. We swim until I am cold and the sun is bearable, and I steal away, my clothes in hand, dressed only in sandals.

I made out with a unicorn, I report later.
Well done, says Rachel and gives me a pat on the back.

I find it even better that nobody chatted me up during my naked walk home, with the exception of a young and equally naked lad, who invited me politely to a tea and techno party. My comfort zone has shifted a bit outwards, is now hovering about one centimetre above my skin, refreshed and cooled and feeling splendid in the sun.

Come in, wraps and drinks, Superwoman shouts with a smoky voice, a golden diadem on her forehead, in limbo with Captain America on a wooden swing, tray with feta wraps and carrot sticks in her hand. Batgirl, Hulk and Magneto bring ice cold Mojitos. I am lounging on a couch between them, made fit into the furniture and the speakers, which emanate a soft deep bass, wearing a beautiful silken kimono that someone handed me when I walked in.
I sneaked into our neighbours’ camp, hours ago, chatting with passers-by, dozing every now and then, taking a casual look at Clutch Tomato’s bar every now and then, where Rachel is mixing cocktails, singing Space Oddity in full-throat.

Now the first fairy lights start appearing in the dusk, dipping the dome into a blue shimmer. The desert has cooled down, the temperature has sunk to a level that makes me freeze. All of a sudden I hear a familiar voice in the crowd.
You are the most beautiful woman on the Playa, bella, I’m serious.
A tall figure in a purple sequin tuxedo at the bar, fitting hat on the head, black and white dandy shoes on his feet. Facing the woman, who still dangles on the swing, schmoozing her solidly. It’s Sergio. Darling, I scream, forgetting about tiredness and heat, disappearing in his embrace. Where have you been?

Sergio from Bologna, more soul mate than lover, whom I met in other cities.
Sergio, who always brings what you need: Granola bars and bananas, cold coconut water, chewing gum and earplugs, a hug or a kiss.
Do you see how beautiful she is, he whispers and rolls his eyes.
In his hand a pack with brown round cookies, which you can buy as chocolate chip cookies in the supermarket. However, these cookies have never seen a supermarket, but were baked in someone’s kitchen with closed blinds. It’s chocolate nougat truffles. They have a long-term effect.

We are lying on a couch. Hand on hip, strands of hair stroked away like sentiments. We eat a cookie. It’s Sergio’s fault that I don’t ponder if I should eat this cookie. With him I can loose my senses, because I know he catches me.
When we met, I was lying in a tent with a heat stroke and couldn’t move.
Are you ok?, he asked and when I answered in the negative, he crawled in, fanning cool air into my face, feeding me with melons.
Now we are staring into the sky, watching golden dragons merging with each another, in circles and ellipsis. I cannot move, can only lie here, Sergio’s warmth underneath me. I try to get up, and immediately fall forward, losing my feet in the quicksand. We hear warped sitar sounds and the soft beat of a drum. I sense bridges in the dark.

Later this night we bike into the break of dawn, where we find individuals together in the sand, under fur blankets, and their lost bikes long forgotten, find pyramids of glass and a field of glowing circles. In the silence I can perceive the contours of far-away mountains, and the last stars on the firmament. We follow the streams in a trash fence direction, gliding like swarms of fish through the desert, towards the light, dusty, but the eyes are gleaming like our hearts. The night is disappearing, cold and creaky, underneath our tires.

The cream of the crop, Rachel says, is Robot Heart. A mirage in forlorn places, a riddle to be solved in early mornings.
A man in a predator’s fur standing sentinel over it, he listens to all the sounds with his silvery ears, an entourage of delicately limbed white furry, black leather cats gathered around him. This electronic heart glows in a metal cage, is anchored in the pulse of the terpsichorean. There, up front, on its ground, I find Rachel, an otter, my twin of tender-most creatures.

On the Playa you find, whom you are supposed to find, and others are lost.
Day is dawning on us, in its glaring, glittering, shattering glory.
White dust, no clear views, but a blaze.
Two massive wooden heads, united in kiss, are burning in black smoke.
Fine sand, dust raised, creating a wall, tearing at our clothing, sweeping over us, taking everything with it that isn’t stitched to something, or put into something, it creeps into sleeves and ears and noses. Somewhere in this dust we find flowers of life, growing on an art car, and honeycombs, and luminescent honey in our ears.
I’m so hungry, Rachel whispers exhaustedly.
On the Playa you find, whom you are supposed to find, and suddenly Sergio is lost, gone, including his bike and his sequins disappeared into the white. I don’t worry about him. Sergio is a lucky dragon, these sleep while they’re flying.

Rachel and I, we find slices of fresh bread, warm and soft out of the oven, buttered and brushed with honey, a slice of fried bacon, steaming coffee with milk froth, fresh orange juice and cold, clear water.
Until we reach camp, we are saturated from everything that we are given, and this light, impregnated with gold and abundance, as we sink onto a sky blue couch, protected by superheroes and villains, on the brink of Illusion.
Drenched in sweat we fall asleep on dusty drapery.
My comfort zone has shifted outwards a little further, now offering space for the tender-most creatures.

Virgins are first time burners: They don’t know what they are doing, and they don’t have a name. I have to choose between the red pill and the blue pill, before following Rachel into the open desert. Freshly showered and covered in fairy lights I am a virgin towards the profane rite of a cult of costume bearers. The priests, fire jugglers, are moving around the wooden god. It is a procession, Uroboros biting itself in its tail. The self-creating snake, a collective of burning whirling fire wands.
We sit in an art car, garnished with white rabbits, staring into space, while the colours get brighter and denser, the music gets better and all the light is zooming in on the matchstick man. We drink whiskey and nibble wasabi nuts. Rachel’s face is a vibrating pattern of blue strokes and golden dots.
You know what, she says, I hereby call you sparkle pony.
And the rabbits, with their hats and magic wands, clap enthusiastically and the striped Cheshire Cat on its pink plush sofa throws confetti on us.
And in exactly that moment, there’s a snapping and creaking, and the light explodes with an ear-battering bang. The matchstick man catches fire and a cheering erupts from thousands of mouths, and all the colors around us sing and hum in a tender glint.

Later I find little lasers in the dust, which I attach to my coat.
Panning out from my heart they form luminous connections to everything they touch. I find gates with streaming fabrics, meditating monks, hovering fire pits and flowers of life. The dance is a humming bass, a melody, which only us creatures can hear. I then dig a hole into my tummy, down to the core of the earth.
A cloud of smoke above us, drifting across the city.
The green bridges dissolve and become, what they are: lights illumining the night.

© and translation Marianne Jungmaier
The German version of “Green Bridges” was published as “Grüne Brücken” in “Sommernomaden” (Stories) by Kremayr & Scheriau, Vienna, 2016.

Categories: Bücher / Books, Sommernomaden

you caught me (wings and owls)

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ne me quitte pas,
Pavlov’s daughter says
a saint
but only if she gets
her socks on right
some say
she’s a bitch
because she
takes you home
(but without the gas mask)
her breath
enchants you
you caught me,
you say
outright fallen
under her spell
a prince
in a fairy-tale castle
with fairy wings
all tied and gagged
(so stiff and stuck and prickly)
never loving
always retaining
this is how it worked
inside her catacomb
a bed without porch
a circus without canopy
her masks adjusted to tears
she’s dancing tango with you
on the trapeze cord
without the fishnet stockings
(but only until morning comes)
until the sun explodes
between twigs and branches
red socks on moss green
when you awake
she will go to sleep
and dream of orcas
and owls
she knows it
love will be the death of her
she says
aren’t we all
harlots in the heart

***
© Marianne Jungmaier, Berlin, 2015
lyrics by Regina Spektor

Categories: harlots im herzen, Poems

rather lovely thing

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since you, my dear
like and idea
lie next to me
in stardust sea
in 20.000 days on earth
hence everything’s collapsing here

since you, my heart
in time and space
and grey and blue
are being spread
all stars get lost
all day and night
painting my sleep
with colors bright
(scarlet for you and pink for me)
and then they die mysteriously

since your hands
are a compass free
light filled with rite and mystery
this gypsy blood
is craving more
in seas of sage
and seeds of storm
your gentleness
an obscure wight

my kiss will jumble you
tonight

***
harlots im herzen, © Marianne Jungmaier, Belgrade 2015
lyrics by Nick Cave

Categories: harlots im herzen, Poems

take this longing

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grasp me with
Hungarian lanterns
and photographs
and gloss
rest with me
in my rectangular
reasoning prerequisite
my mouth is a lock
on the dew of your thigh
you long me for you
on empty pages in a scrapbook
binding you
I have always touched
your perfect body
with my mind
you elude those
who find you seeking
saying
I’ll do anything you ask me to
and if you want another kind
you draw a novel scene
in vain thrown down
nightly moraine
you say
I tried to leave you
but found no reason for it

your beauty
and the moonlight
overthrew me

***
© Marianne Jungmaier, Belgrade 2015, lyrics by Leonard Cohen

Categories: harlots im herzen, Poems

liebesschrieb

dein liebesschrieb
verästeltes papier
in meiner herztasche
//
your writ of love
branching paper
in my heart pouch

***
auszug aus: harlots im herzen, © marianne jungmaier,2014

// footage: © paolo ceric, sans title, 2012 (no sound)
seen at solar do barao, curitiba, 2014

Categories: Bücher / Books, harlots im herzen, Poems

Plant Sensations

flower-pola

I carry my wrathroots
firm
in my stomach
anxietyflowers
sprout from my neck
tie the lovebeech
her leaves have
shrivelled long
this year
I am mis-sensed
dis-felt
ivy-despair has
obscured my sight
my pleasure-grass tastes short
and sallow
rose-sorrow thornes
in my heart
and the melancholia-marguerites
blossom early this year
they’re still in flower
between the desperation-ferns
their colour smells like
mourning-moss and green
I mis-grope about
consensuasly
have become unseizable
but in my elfin ears
jasmin-longing swishes (gently)
and maple-lust hints
and in the
depth of the earth
the bluish violet one
I sense
some lavender delight

***

Pflanzengefühle

ich trage meine Wutwurzeln
fest
in meinem Bauch
die Angstblumen
wachsen an meinem Hals
binden die Liebesbuche
ihre Blätter längst
vertrocknet
für dieses Jahr
ich bin verspürt
losgefühlt
weggetastet
die Efeuverzweiflung hat mir
die Sicht genommen
mein Freudengras schmeckt kurz
und fahl
der Rosenschmerz dornt
in meinem Herzen
und die Melancholiemargeriten
blühen früh dieses Jahr
blühen noch immer
zwischen dem Verzweiflungsfarn
ihre Farbe riecht nach
Trauermoos und grün
ich vertaste mich
fortfühlend
bin ungreifbar geworden
doch in meinen Elfenohren
rauscht das Jasminsehnen (leise)
und eine Ahornlust klingt an
und in der
Tiefe der Erde
der blauen
kann ich Lavendellust
hören

© Marianne Jungmaier, Linz 2013

Categories: Poems

Certified love transmitters

Miro can let my mouth spirit away.
His mouth is a creature of its own.
If somebody drew a caricature of Miro, it would be an enormous laughing mouth.
Miro is the heart of hearts, says Monica.
Monica, who sits in the garden at times, flirting with men twenty years younger than her. These men, in fact boys, sleep in the dormitory with him, play soccer on the beach with him, and say that he is their buddy.
I love Miro, too, I say.

Especially, when my glance follows him on one of his paths and he doesn’t know he is being observed. Or when I watch him playing badminton, and he hits the ball so hard that it echoes in my head. Or when he eats chocolate ice cream by Ben & Jerry’s and happiness sparkles from his ears. Or when he bows down deeply, grabbing hold of my head, and kisses me as if it was our last kiss.

Miro is a caretaker. Nobody can take care like he does. Not all the hostel owners and healers in this place, summoned. Maybe this is the reason for him working in my home-stay.
He makes me feel like I was his most intimate friend, although we know each other only for a week. He also takes care of all the other people. As if it was the easiest thing in the world to prepare a chocolate-almond-milkshake this very moment. Even though there is no almond syrup. He would find it. Maybe this is why we met. Because him and me, we can seek out the impossible.

Miro’s real name is Miroslav and he comes from Croatia.
Miró, like the Catalan painter, I say.

To know someone’s country of origin is indispensable if you are travelling. It is part of the Guidebook for Strangers, the unwritten atlas for all who, one day, we will call friends or lovers.

Next to the original country this guidebook also displays the mental and physical age of a person, the occupation or non-occupation, the belief in good or bad, the subsequent destinations of their trip and the zodiac sign. You can also learn about their rising or Maya-sign.
Using this guidebook assures you to discover the right country, to spend time with the right person. Harmony is important in India.
If someone isn’t shanti, I don’t read their guidebook.

So you come from Croatia, I said to Miro, my grandfather, whom I never got to know, also comes from Croatia.
But unlike my grandfather Miro is a rangy man. He can wrap his arm around my shoulder without dislocating body parts. When we walk side by side, he towers over me for nearly half a metre. When we lie in bed, his feet protrude the wooden frame. In the hammock I can curl up on him like a cat. Miro’s guidebook says that he loves to touch me.
Except for their mother tongue Miro and my grandpa have no similarity whatsoever. He is honest in word and deed, has a depth in his gaze and a hole in his heart. He says that he has to give and receive love, all the time, because he doesn’t know how long he is going to live. I find this a bit disproportionate. At our age. But in a sense, loving is important for both of us, because my heart is fallible, too.

In the case of love and hearts, the grain of truth could also be found around our mothers. Miro has three and I have a distant one. An imbalance in every respect. Or it can be found around our fathers, who are similar: tight-lipped and inaccessible, ungraspable in their emotions. Our fathers, who even learned the same trade, as we read in our guidebooks. However, one could also search for reasons in other places than our relationship with our parents.
There is this saying: Home is, where your heart is. If your heart is broken, there is a possibility that your emotional home has a few cracks as well. Maybe that’s why it is important: him and me, in this place. Alone, but somehow belonging together. Even the Tuk-Tuk-drivers know that. They ask me where my boyfriend is, when I go to the beach on my own.

I chose Miro for this time in India. I noticed it only when I met him.
To be with him is like having a birthday party every day. And by that I don’t mean birthdays that pass like the feeling when everything goes black. I mean birthday parties with petits fours and sparkling wine, the ones you leave with a little present. Miro carries his around the world, a dingy woollen sheep called Marijuana. He calls it my daughter.
I would share my present, that’s what I told him.
It’s India’s fault that I would share a man I am sleeping with. The sense of wellbeing this Indian sun creates, connects us all. Here, we call it the effortless unfolding of bliss. It would be absurd not to share your bliss in India. It is as absurd as taking a woollen sheep with you, on a trip around the world.

I would like you to tell me when you are with someone else, Miro says. By that he means that he doesn’t want to share me.
That is why I dress my words in laughter.
That is why I pretend make a joke when I say, I would also sleep with his friend, if we were not so stable.
He is my laugher. I am responsible. I cannot let his mouth become silent alongside his heart.
The rhythm of his heart is as slow as an R&B song he heard in his youth. It proceeds the beat from cell to cell, setting his whole body in motion. His arms draw circles and fall down. His knees become wide and his fingers open up to form a V. He cannot hide his past.
Je bitno, mala. This is Croatian, meaning: it matters, little one.
Miro says it often, this chorus of a Hip-Hop-song. He calls me mala, I would translate that with baby. In return I call him mali. Even though that isn’t true.
I ask quoi? and he answers toi. Always. And all that Jazz.
We create our own language in this mini-universe which will exist as long as Whitney Houston’s I will always love you on top of the Austrian charts in 1993.
We create word-games, from films, TV and songs. These can only be created by the ones born in 1985, who grew up in the nineties. When we grew up, Bill Clinton was president of the USA, they cloned Dolly and the disc-man replaced the walk-man. We were too young to understand Kurt Cobain’s death, but found sadness in his music. Later we discovered Bob Dylan, him later than me, I give him some albums on a hard-disc-drive.
We are twins of a generation.
When the millennium came, we started travelling to foreign countries, enrolled in courses at university and completed our degrees. We left the mid-twenties behind, processed our first big love and became vigilant lovers.
We have a notion of what makes us happy.
What divides us is that Miro is a war-child.
I was searching for an equivalent for these bombs. I was searching for a cure. Something to help me comprehend the unspeakable. Bombs being dropped on cities and people. The thought alone leaves me naked.

Miro brings juice to my room. He carries a cup filled with liquid dark gold.
Black grapes look like Ribisel here, he says.
And I know I have found my cure.
The Ribisel, ribes in Latin or Italian, has also an origin in Lebanon, where ribâs meant a pieplant, form of rhubarb. This plant, which also existed in the Middle East, has stretched its twigs from Southern to Central Europe. It is the least common denominator of our story.
Small black, red or white berries, which we call the same.
If you look at this history, it seems strange that we don’t have a common language, although we grew up only two countries away from to each other. It bewilders me that we have to talk English. But we understand each other through music, too.
My love for him has been hiding in music, has flown through the open windows into my parched world of writing and sleeping. Music brought him to me and ever since he stays with me.
I like sleeping in your bed, Miro sings. I like knowing what is going on inside your head, I like taking time and I like your mind, and I like when your hand is in mine.

According to the guidebook Miro has a disposition to mind-expanding relaxing substances. I consider Miro’s big toe mind-expanding. It is as big as both my big toes together.
His body is a tent for three people, in which I can fall asleep immediately. He pitches his tent whenever he sees me. He says: You have to give me a hug whenever you see me.
When I am leaning against him, exactly under the top of his tent, enveloped in his arms, I can feel how fragile he is. On the surface a few strands of hair crinkle like thistles, blown through the desert by the wind. But his legs are strong, they could carry a castle, easily.

In India, a stranger’s body is assimilated by one’s own in a second, and that is ascribed to sweat. I take three showers a day: The sweat stays omnipresent. Therefore it blends perfectly with the sweat of others. Therefore everybody wears as little as needed.
In India, beauty is but skin-deep. Nobody brings sane clothes. A few shirts, trousers, skirts, along with sandals, and you have become a hippie. Criminals, fashion designers, chefs, DJs, waitresses. Everyone looks the same. A bit shabby, a bit run-down, literally and figuratively. You cannot behold one’s story from their looks. For that reason the guidebook is so important.
Miro wears relaxation as a garment, his style is transitional. Meaning his clothes change every few weeks. Right now he is wearing a lungi, the traditional Indian menswear. He doesn’t tie it Kerala-style, he ties it casually around his hip, white with golden seam, as he likes. Like a miniskirt. This makes the Indians laugh. Korakor is written on his shirts. Heart to heart, spread the love.

Miro is a man who sells love. He roams like a hitchhiker through the galaxy, transmitting love. Or in my mother’s words: He is flying as busy as a bee, from flower to flower. He is earning money by reminding people that love exists. And he is right. The one who loves is always right. There should be a new profession, a new name for his job: The Certified Love Transmitter, CLT.
CLT also means Cognitive Load Theory, the theory of cognitive demand when we learn something new. According to this theory, the working memory has a special function for knowledge acquisition. The working memory enables us to understand a sentence with regard to content, so we can remember the beginning of a sentence at its end. It gives my working memory a hard time when sentences end with the word sex.

I created a new profession for Miro’s work, but he doesn’t need it. Miro is a wily fox in love business. He is a globetrotter with the emblem of a credit card company on his back. Via the Internet he gathers a community of love-maniacs behind him. Once bitten, there is no turning back. There is no cure for the overall, unifying, all-embracing love between humans. It is deadly for the ego. At least this is my understanding of this concept we are all one.

And Miro knows everyone. He partied with them, met them on the beach or on a train, in his café in Zagreb or on a farm in the Indian mountains. The people he knows come from Spain, Israel, France, Iran, Brazil or Pakistan. He brings them along when we have a rendezvous, after we decided we should have one. People come to our home-stay to visit him. He pitches his tent, invites them in, prepares a juice for them and talks to them. About what, I don’t know. I stay in my own skin. This is important when you mingle your sweat with someone.

Why do you have to be alone in the morning, Miro asks me.
Because I want to meditate, I say and laugh, and caress his mouth.

It is seven AM, I get myself a glass of Chai from the kitchen and ask him to leave.
I think about him, while I take a shower and sip from my tea.
Soft pink dies the tiles in my bathroom and birdcalls carry my thoughts away. Despite that, he stays in my head like a background image.
I would love to talk to him, while I am having a shower. While he would still be lying in my bed. I would tell him how wonderful it is that I met him and that he is a brilliant lover.
But there was an India before him and there will be one when he has left, and I will not give up it up. It is my temporary heart space.
In this space, my skin is my only limitation.
If he was still lying in my bed, I would suggest that I could visit him on his love-journey throughout the world, and sleep in his tent, now and then. If he wanted me to. But it is not part of our deal, it is not listed in the guidebook and I know it.
The guidebook says that every person has to follow their own map, and only in extraordinary cases, mainly without the awareness of the travellers, routes are alike.

Miro disappears to his hammock when I ask him to leave. He covers himself with his sleeping bag, thinking about everything else.
About his ex-girlfriend, for instance, whom he left a week before we met. Or about other ex-girlfriends he will meet on this leg of his journey.
Sometimes he asks me if I want to join him in his hammock. But in every country there is a zone which must not be entered. A Death Valley. In this zone, you have no place for nothing. In this zone, you don’t even have a spare thing for yourself. Miro’s hammock is such a forbidden zone, as is his sleep.

I caressed him in his sleep.
I stroked his face, his mouth, his forehead, his dark hair, and his shoulder, where a bone sticks out so exquisitely. With the soft end of my scarf I fondled him.
The full moon’s light was refracted in the waves and near the fireplace someone was playing the Tabla. In this night, we could read in the stars how fast time would pass for us.

Do you want to join us skinny-dipping, I whispered.
Why do you wake me up, he whispered.

When I returned from the liquid dark iron, which didn’t feel like water, the most precious things were gone.
Money, cameras, I-Pods, even passports. When we walked home, I told him how bad I felt because the thieves had only left our things behind. He nudged my head and disappeared between the palm trees, into his hammock. I lay awake for a long time, this night, in my ivory skin, furious about my anger, and about feeling lonely without him next to me.

Our story took its origin in a hammock. To be precise, I found my way into this first, undefined hammock. Sometimes the wrong decisions take you to the right places.
We immediately lay down next to each other, nip and tuck. Then on top of each other, like young people do, when they are interested in each other. After a few days I exchanged this hammock for my bed. To be precise, I asked him to be my room service. Since then we share my bed, almost every night.
Prior to being with Miro I slept with men who were older than me. Literally and figuratively. It is new for me to be so young.
To sleep with Miro is like a journey in the Orient Express. At least that is how I imagine it to be. It is a meaningful journey, the tracks existing for centuries. We have a destination and we reach it together, in a body. Our destination is a city of dreams. Like Paris, Istanbul, Delhi, Shanghai. We visit only the most beautiful sights, always arriving together. Therein lies perfection, I think.

The path towards our goal consists of numerous small stations. A navel sticking out, a hip bone passing by. A scratching, rubbing.
We inhale the words of a foreign language and turn them into pillow talk in our heads. We look out of a window, get lost in a gaze, and catch ourselves, by catching an elbow. We hear a gasp from an unseen mouth. We move in this rhythm, hundreds of years old, which we cannot learn but are born with.
Knees and elbows appear in the landscape like hills. Shoulders grow from arms like the branches of banyan trees from the ground. We close our eyes, while the last jerk moves through the train, and it comes to a halt, in skin and hair.

Miro knows how to look into someone’s soul. I share this knowledge now. It is wisdom, hidden within, until someone comes and brings it to the light. It is the child, pointing at the emperor, saying: Don’t you see that he is naked?
We cross our legs and let the length of an arm between our heads. Soul gazing is a dangerous game. You lose your distance, your natural protection layer. You cannot lose yourself, but you cannot reject the energy, either.
We look into each other’s eyes, until the room starts to flicker. In his pupils images are being washed up, that I have no explanation for.
You were trapped inside a wall.
Your mouth was sewn.
You perceive too much.
It’s enough.

We are hyped up a little bit after gazing into each other’s soul. We have to have occupational therapy. I rummage around in my room, tow Miro’s things from one corner into another and the table close to the wall. I arrange my felt-pens anew. Miro leaves for the garden. To do some work. I see him running barefoot to and fro, from the kitchen to the tables, while I dust the windowsills. But there is no dust, there aren’t even windowsills, only narrow surfaces with railings attached. I put paper stars over the light bulbs, to see things in a different, in a warmer light.
I hear Miro’s music ascending from the garden. He always plays what I’m thinking. The soundtrack of the film Amélie. It is my favourite film, not only because I look like the main character. J’y suis jamais allée.

Are we going for a swim, I ask him later.
I have to work, he replies.

I remind Miro that I am entitled to mingle my leisure time with his, not only because we mingle our sweat. The benevolence of caretakers is utilized by those in need, especially if they have an agenda.
He clasps my hand when we walk to the beach. He holds on to my hip. He pinches my shoulder under his. He doesn’t leave me out.
I give him his head for his guidebook says that he loves to touch me.
At the beach we lie next to each other, our hands motionless on our stomachs. His big toe is a ship sailing the horizon. I watch his ear sparkle. Eagles turn circles above us and we throw words in between them. We talk about this moment of silence between the breaking of the waves. As if all the noises in this world were sucked into the universe, for a second or two.
I ask myself, if I could have known that I will sleep with him, when we were still strangers, when we didn’t know anything about each other. The second sentence which escaped his mouth, which I remember, was: I don’t feel comfortable in relationships.
I believe that I could have known everything, if I had listened to this silence.

In the weight of this silence Miro buys hash on the beach.
In the moment between inhaling and exhaling he vanishes into the annex of a shack. Miro gives in to his disposition for mind-expanding substances and I wait for him.
I look at plastic boxes filled with candy and chewing gum, soft and warm from being exposed to sunlight. The man selling them invites me in. He taps at a wooden shelf, which is his seat. I come to sit with this man, who wears a lie above his black shirt, in the shadow of sherbet-sachets and crisp packs and watch the ocean. I can feel his shoulder at mine. He murmurs something into my ear. He smells of clove and garlic. I shake my head and jump off his shelf. I buy my way out of this with a chewy candy and go for a walk on the wave-breakers, so the sun can cut this memory out of my brain, by flame. Until Miro’s return, two men want to be my friends and one wants to know whereabouts I live, so he can come for a visit. Once you open up for one person, you make yourself accessible for others, too.

In India you open up to people automatically, like pores to sweat. There is no reason to remain a past version of your self. The intensity of this country covers all layers of existence, the past as well as the future. The warmth and friendliness of strangers restore your faith in the good. You encounter each another with confidence and trust. This is what you learn in India. This is why I became a nomad. I feel connected to the world when travelling.
Not all those who wander are lost, Gandalf says and he is also talking about me.

The only danger is to commit yourself to someone who doesn’t belong to you. Or to do this before the right time has come. You mustn’t ignore this chapter in the guidebook, you have to watch out for it. There is a profile for every relationship.
The type of a relationship is determined beforehand, as are its development stages. These constellations are as versatile as humans. There are acquaintances, which become, seemingly without a reason, all of a sudden, even without physical closeness, intimate alliances. Soul mates, who vanish into a nirvana of speechlessness, whom you never see again. Strangers you meet again and again. Friends, which you know in an instant, of which you know they came to stay.
We were meant to meet each other, Miro says and I agree with him.

He feeds me with cake, leading the small fork slowly towards my mouth. I lick it and watch him from the corner of my eye. And for the first time I notice something unknown in his gaze. I can see it, because a friend said: I can see you when you look at her. There is a hunger in his gaze, and it cannot be appeased by a piece of cheesecake.

It is Saturday night. We meet the boys in a restaurant. We dance to an old rave-song from the nineties, jump around in blue and red light. I drink one mojito too much and hold on to the eyes of an Israeli. I see innocence in them and tell him, ata nifla’a, you are wonderful.
In this night, everything is without obligation, because we go out to party. In this night, everything is without obligation, until Miro stands in front of me on the dance-floor, and quietly says, I don’t like you dancing with someone else.
In this night I cannot hold his hand on our way home. I cannot ask him to sleep in my bed. In this night I sleep by myself.
I tell myself that I will die by myself, too, therefore I can sleep by myself.
I tell myself that I must care only about my own business, not someone else’s. I cannot put on Miro’s view of this world on like a new Sari. There is too little time. I don’t want to own him and I won’t keep many pictures of us. I don’t take pictures of Miro on purpose. He shall stay a small, living part of my temporary heart space.

On one photo you see my legs and those of two others. Like upside-down trees we grow into the sunset, arms and heads root in the sand. The tide bathes my roots and washes away flotsam, while someone beats a melody nearby. The feeling of this photo is saudade, melancholia, because my farewell of India is nigh.
Miro is not to be seen on this photo. That is why I will forget about him, someday in the future, when I look at it.

Miro and I leave my bed at three in the afternoon on a blue train. Fourteen hours from South to East. We oversleep our transit from A to B. Or, better said, from T to T. At four in the morning we jump from our plastic beds, through a sombre aisle, out of the sleeper onto a forlorn bare-faced platform in the middle of nowhere.
I buy cookies and bananas and squeeze into my bus seat, next to Miro, who falls asleep again immediately. Surrounded by natives, in the babble of the voices of a Bollywood film, we drive into an unknown future, head on head, hand in hand.

Dawn unveils a landscape like the next page in a book. As if someone drew it for us with watercolour and coal pencils. Roundly ground rocks like golden marbles. A flatland covered in bushes and trees and villages. Above us, in the dusty new sky, a fireball.
I look into the black eyes of an old woman.
I look at the child with a dirty mouth by her side.
I don’t wake Miro up.
I wrap my scarf closer around my body and watch TV with the others.
A policeman with aviator glasses is in love with a voluptuous woman. He struggles through the film, more or less successful, but very much singing and hip-swinging. The woman carries earthenware pots through a house, flashing him meaningful glances. Dramatic string music when a pot breaks. I seem to be able to understand every word in that film. I ask myself if the reason for that is my fatigue or the loudness.

Our destiny is a city from a BBC-documentary. Authentic India, as seen by. It is a place in which Shiva mutates as a fire-lingam. As a holy mountain, seen behind the roof of the street café.
We will leave this place on different paths.

I sit Miro down on a wooden panel and sip two or three Chai, while we try to find out our next station via telephone.
We move into our room.
We take a shower and sleep with each other immediately, to not lose each other’s sweat. We share coffee with chocolate-cake balls for breakfast and our curiosity for this place. The main street is bordered by cowpat and braided Sadhus. A procession passes by: Embedded in yellow and pink coloured flowers a dead man’s body is being carried through the city.
I will miss us, Miro says.
Let’s stay as long as we are, I say.

Later I will tell someone:
Miro and I climbed the mountain, which is one of the mightiest religious symbols in India, barefoot and had a picnic with European cheese and bread at its top. This picnic was interrupted by a palpable monkey.
I will tell them: Miro and I visited the Annamalaiyar temple, which is consecrated to the fire element. This temple has four towers, 66 metres high, called gopurams, and is one of the biggest temples in India. Inside a holy elephant blesses believers in exchange for some peanuts, by touching their heads with his trunk.
I bought two filigree rosewood-necklaces at the shack next to the elephant. Rosewood protects his bearer from unreal and real fears. We confirm an oath to wear these necklaces until they fall off by themselves.

In view of a volcanic god, in the twilight of our last morning, Miro slips from out of his sleep between my legs. I watch him biting his lower lip while he unwraps my sleepy body. I hear the tingling of the alarm, the clacking and clanging of dishes in the kitchen, and I see how the wind moves the transparent rosé coloured curtain at our window, while we make love for the last time.
I will tell them that I never slept as well beside anyone as beside him.
Miro, the certified love transmitter, who bears the name of a Catalan artist.

I keep my cool in the rikshaw to the bus station, as if we took a ride like any other day. I ask him casually if he wants to see me again. I expect him to say yes.

Miro doesn’t laugh when we embrace each other for the last time, in a smell of urine and deep-fry-oil. Neither do his ears glitter. That might be due to his breakfast, scrambled eggs with toast. I lean against him for the last time and let my mouth spirit away within his.
I start laughing, when we wave to each other, standing in the door of the rattly old bus.

I am laughing because I think of the Chocolate Fudge Brownie by Ben & Jerry’s, which we ate, and the reams of cheesecakes with which he fed me.
I am laughing because we danced to American Pie in my room and because he wanted to sleep with me, with a song by Alanis Morrissette as background music and I recall how uncomfortable that made me feel.
I am laughing because we held hands above the chasm between our beds, during our 14-hours-trainride. I am laughing because there was lightness between us. I don’t want to give this up.

After our separation I will go to Death Valley, to lament our being no more. Or at least that I will never meet my Miro, again.
Because we never stay the same. Because the person, whose guidebook we are reading, will be different, will have changed, in the next moment. As soon as they are on the other side of the road, reaching the next town, their next destiny. Even when you sought out the impossible with someone. It was but a part of the greater whole.

When we separated I was laughing because we had a tacit consent to be laughers.
And because Miro has a weak heart.
And so do I.

***
© Marianne Jungmaier, Berlin 2012.

Categories: Journal

Forest Noises

Three joints for him, three for me.
For both of us, for him and me, he filled long white papers this morning.
Rolled them and put them in a slender metal box.
We go to the mountains, have spare time, spend it together.
I spare myself of cutting vegetables, cooking spaetzle, bottling sorbet, sweeping the kitchen floor.
He spares himself of saying vas-y, vas-y, disembowelling quails, preparing sauerkraut with sausages as Choucroute Alsacienne.

The paper between my fingers smells sweet. Tatters of fog are tied between the wet fir trees, hanging across the street. We can’t see more than the next fifty meters. He is watching me from the corner of his eye.
Do you notice anything?
His mother’s tongue, Alsatian German, sounds rough and harsh. Between him and me this is a secret language. Nobody can understand him except for me. The cooks and waiters in the hotel do not know whereat we talk. At times I don’t understand him either.
Je ne sais pas, I don’t know, I say.
We halt at a stony monument.
Every single fir tree here is sixty years old. Before the war this has been a healthy forest. After it, only rocks and soil remained. They planted trees and made them a living memorial.
I don’t say a thing.
Do you want to get off?
No, merci.

I light the first joint. After some draughts I pass it on, hand it over the little Peugeot’s gear. I feel the smoke burning down my lungs.
Très bien, mon petit soldat, he says.
Wads of smoke coming out of his mouth.
Why do you call me little soldier?
Because you work like that. You are like a soldier.

His eyes are blue, the white pervaded by red vessels. I only noticed that when we started to sit and smoke, in the evening.

On the first day I introduced myself, bonjour, je suis la nouvelle stagiaire et je viens d’Autriche. I am the apprentice from Austria. Lined up in a row they stood, in the dark kitchen, and shook my hand. The only thing I noticed about him was a grin, hiding underneath his nose, when he took a bow.

We cross a dam. To either side concrete walls are dropping down. At the bottom there are two dark blue circles.
We smoke the second joint up there, on a parking lot, listening to pop music.
Most of the time I hold the cones between thumb and index, like foreign objects.
We drive on. We meet only two cars. The rain blurs everything. Bernard has to go slow, the wiper hunts raindrops on the front shield. I recognize passers-by faces.
Daring, I say, smoking a spliff while driving a car. Cool.
My hands shake in excitement, or is it intoxication.
Well, he says, I wouldn’t show them as up-front as you do.
His grin now seems to be hiding behind his ear.
A very long moment passes. I let my hand drop.
Heat crawls from my neck to my cheeks. I look out of the window.
When the next car passes by, I hold my breath. I try not to show it.
When did you smoke your first joint, I ask him.
When I was seventeen. I was working on the, what is the name, you work with poisson, on the fish market. I worked on the fish market. Every night I went to this bar. The waitress liked me. She was older than me.
He laughs.
Once she took me to the graveyard. We smoked a joint there. Afterwards she seduced me. Between the tombstones. In the grass.
My image of him shifts. Sinks down, runs cold in the smoke, which fills up the interior of the car.
Who is that.
He carries on talking. I only hear a noise in my ear and realize, the rain has stopped. Up front on the hill I can see a clear blue sky. Soon we will reach it.
I look at him. Slowly the image shifts back into its previous place.

Three more days and nights before I go back to Austria. It is late, will soon be midnight. I am waiting for him in my room. It is located behind the lettering “Hôtel du Bosquet”. When I rise on my tiptoes and open the rooftop window, I can see his house through the “o” of “Bosquet”.

As soon as the lights in his stairway are lit, I’ll grab my jacket, leave the hotel through the backdoor and meet him at the little bridge. It will be the second time this week.
Before that, it must have been seven days, we have been to the mountains. The aftermath made me stay in my chamber, in the attic. Again and again I had to wash my face with cold water. My stomach seemed to hover above me. My head in a tunnel lined with wadding. The light of the day was still bright when I put my blanket on the six square metre linoleum floor of my room. To lie down.
The beat of the rain consistent on the roof. I opened the window to feel the fresh drops on my burning cheeks. He, too, stayed at home. Told them he had contracted a virus.

There is a noise. As I turn around, I see him in his dark jacket. All of a sudden I comprehend. The bearing of these jackets, with checked pattern on the inside, in Austria is subject to Neo-Nazis. I don’t want the image to shift again. Not three days before we say goodbye. There is not only one side.
Salut, I say. Quietly, hoping that he sees my smile.

A winding path leads into the forest. We walk slowly. Only our breath, a wheeze, the rustle of the trousers’ legs is audible. No moon to be seen tonight. In the second turn we leave the concrete path. Bernard is leading. The sounds of our steps die away as they meet soil instead of concrete.

Where do you take me, I ask.
Are you scared?
He does not turn round. He is making fun of me.
No, I simply want to know, I say and slow down.
He stops. Do you see the bank?
I exhale, relieved.
We sit down to overlook the village. Only a few lights are on. The cinema’s neon lamps shine bright.
I search the sky for constellations.
Do you know the Big Dipper? I ask.
What’s that?
It has four dots, looks like a quad.
Sure. It’s called Le Grand Ours. The Plough.
Ploughing a lonely furrow.

He takes a deep breath. Talks fast, in French.
Sylvie told me it’s not ok for her when you and me spend time, just the two of us.
He pauses.
But she suggested we go out, the three of us.

I sensed it.
I wait if he adds something to that. But only the trees whisper and creak.
Doesn’t matter, I think to myself. In three days I will be gone.

Are you sad now? he asks.
I understand her worries, I say.

Maybe it was too much for her, the time we spent. Maybe it was too much for her, our encounter earlier this week. When he undressed me in her kitchen, after we had a bottle of red wine and a bag of weed. Maybe it was too much that he opened my bra in her kitchen, I was sitting in the light of her candles, half naked. I remember.
But tomorrow night I will be sleeping in my parents house, who no nothing about Bernard and Sylvie. I will be eighteen, going to school. And nobody will ask about this particular night or any other.

We look at the stars. An orange dot gleams next to me.
I knew a girl like you was bad medicine, he says.
I raise my eyebrows.
There’s a cracking in the forest, as if a tall and heavy animal roamed the thicket.
Why bad medicine, I say. I think we’re rather soul mates than anything else. What’s that in French?
He passes the cigarette on.
Âme soeur.
Soul sister. I like that. I think that hits the mark.

We pause.
Will you write me a letter, when you arrive at home, he asks.
I inhale.
Sure, it will be a pleasure.
We finish our smoke.
I listen to the trees and the wind, silently.

Monsieur Sautier, the patron, puts my bags in the trunk. They gather at the backdoor.
Salut, Catherine, à plus, they shout. See you later. Bernard raises his hand.
The car sets off. While we drive down to the city, I realize how straight-lined the grapevine grows. How accurate the rows are arranged. It feels as if this sight untangles a knot inside.

C’est affreusement vide depuis ton depart, he writes.
It is terribly empty since you left.
Spidery his handwriting, small circular letters drawn with blue ink.
I find spelling mistakes in some of the sentences. It upsets me.
As if he wasn’t allowed to make mistakes because it is his mother tongue.
In his letter he says I am someone special. He writes that he misses me.
Hours after I read it, I cannot sit still.
One page he has filled completely.
The second one is blank, except for three lines.

***

“Forest Noises” has been published as “Waldrauschen” in my book “Autumn Wood’s Colour” (“Die Farbe des Herbstholzes”) in May 2012.
Translation and Text © Marianne Jungmaier. Linz, 2012.

Categories: Autumn Wood's Colour, Bücher / Books

Winter’s Child

I’m passing the hill, changing up. Third gear. Dark plain ahead of me, no back-lights to be seen. Edith sings the Milord, as I speed up. My hand resting on the gear stick. The long, drawn-out road feels like driving on dark shortpastry. Like the one sprawled on my mother’s table, when I was six years old.

Je vous connais, Milord.**

A light vibration under my hand. The sound of the engine is getting louder. I reach for the switch and turn on the long distance light. Silver cross dangling from the rear-view mirror. I hear my mother’s voice, as she asked me where I was going tonight. I am carefree in my diagram of lies.
I steer the car into the first bend, take my foot off the pedal and let the vehicle glide. Just as I let myself drift into the arms of a man who could be my father.

Je ne suis qu’une fille du port, qu’une ombre de la rue.

An old tree in the emptiness of the landscape. A reflection in the corner of my eye.
A rabbit running across the field, onto the street. A big animal as I can see, in the cone of light.
I wish to avoid it. It was a game of childhood. Green light, red light.
I turn the steering wheel to the left, a little. Green light, red light. Like I did countless times before.

J’en ai froid dans le coeur.

I hear a rumbling, sense a minor rocking. The steering wheel is turning to the right. I am counter-steering. I steer against it, this movement, which I feel underneath my hands. Green light, red light.
I freeze in my seat. Time seems to be standing still. I feel my right foot applying to the brake. Hushed I am inside. All has gone quiet.
I understand this vehicle has one thousand five hundred kilograms. I understand it is moving at an approximate speed of fifty kilometres per hour. I close my eyes.

Vous ne m’avez jamais vu.

A deep crack in an old tree. My hands rest on my head as if the sudden silence was too loud. I open my eyes, wish to ask myself what happened. But I am voiceless, deaf, insensible. And darkness is.
All of a sudden, Edith begins to sing again and with a numbing sound level, the light returns.
There is a dull pain on my hip, on my forehead. I reach out for the seatbelt-fastener, and touch my face. I want to get out. The door is locked. I hammer against the plastic. A click. Something breaks. I crawl outside. Cold and hard the chunks of soil under my knees. I turn around and see my mother’s car. The motor compartment is compressed up to half. The trunk of a tree growing out in the middle. As if it had been standing there always.
I look down, see my hands shaking.

Qui n’a pas su comprendre, qu’elle brisait votre vie.

Now I hear the engine’s sound. The lights illuminate a field, like a scene. I rise, ignoring the pain in my knees, on my hip. Reach behind the steering wheel and turn off the engine. The music is over. My thoughts race.
Where’s my mobile, where’s my mobile. Where is it. Where is it. Mother, a rabbit was crossing the field. It was green light, red light. A sobbing. This is not a joke.
I am waiting. On dark shortpastry which is sprawled on my mother’s plain.
I cover my face with my hands. A moaning escapes my throat. I am humiliated by this sound. But nobody is hearing it.
Stillness makes me gasp. I feel like a patient after the electric shock. Can hear, can feel, but not utter a word. The night is dark and shapeless. No wind, no sound, only the silent resplendence of the stars.
Steps on the asphalt, my own. I situate the breakdown triangle. Search for my bag, find it underneath the dashboard. Search for my innocence, find nothing but lighters, cigarettes, a spectacle case. My devised life has been expecting me. I have to refuse.

Rien ne vas plus, a voice is saying and it is not Edith.
Who will clear this debt, it is asking. I owe my mother a daughter.
L’amour, ca fait pleurer, comme quoi l’existence.

Father. Mother. At their sight I force words to come out, which seem to have been lingering between lips and throat forever. I am surprised to hear myself speak.
Such was not my intention, I say.
I wish to clean up the mess. But they take me home with them. They command me to stay.

***

Translation:
Je vous connais, Milord.
I know you, Milord.

Je ne suis qu’une fille du port, qu’une ombre de la rue.
I’m just a girl from the docks, just a shadow of the street.

J’en ai froid dans le coeur.
It makes my blood run cold.

Vous ne m’avez jamais vu.
You’ve never seen me.

Qui n’a pas su comprendre, qu’elle brisait votre vie.
Who didn’t understand she was ruining your life.

L’amour, ca fait pleurer, comme quoi l’existence.
Love makes one cry, as follows life.

***

“Winter’s Child” has been published in my book “Autumn Wood’s Colour” in May 2012.
Translation and text © Marianne Jungmaier. Rome, 2012.

Categories: Autumn Wood's Colour, Bücher / Books

Poésie I

long gone

long gone
is a feeling on skin
hand and thigh
when you lay
with me on me between us
a sigh
when your hair stuck
from sweat
stuck from heat stuck from force
when it stuck to me stayed and
kept leaving me hoarse
when a drop from your skin
was falling on my waist
a burn mark that was
so we kept making haste
with touch and with tongue
but I could not endure
that by this we allowed each other to mure
there was a touch of a hand
and a feeling on skin
when you lay with me on me
were making me sing
and that is
long gone

***

no more me

who are you
have you been
with me
were you
with me?
who were we
have we been
with me
have we been
me?
who am I
have I been
with you
was I
with you?
be it
I am
no more

© Marianne Jungmaier, Salzburg 2011

Categories: Poems