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A drowned driver of a beer truck was dumped onto the table
Someone had stuck a dark-pale lilac-colored aster
Between his teeth
I cut out the tongue and gums
With a long knife
Working from the chest outwards
Under the skin,
I must have touched it, because it slid
Into the brain right next to it.
I packed it into the chest cavity,
Between the wood shavings,
As it was being stitched up.
Drink up in your vase!
–Gottfried Benn, Kleine Aster in: Morgue und andere Gedichte (1912) (S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Number of people who attended the World Grits Festival, held in St. George, South Carolina, last spring:
The brown bears of Greece continued chewing through telephone poles.
In Peru, a 51-year-old activist became the first former sex worker to run for the national legislature. “I’m going to put order,” she said, “in that big brothel which is Congress.”
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“Civilization masks us with a screen, from ourselves and from one another, with thin depth of unreality. We habitually live — do we not? — in a world self-created, half established, of false values arbitrarily upheld, largely inspired by misconception, misapprehension, wrong perspective, and defective proportion, misapplication.”