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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.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
Length in days of the sentence Russian blogger Alexei Navalny served for leading an opposition rally last year:
Israeli researchers developed software that evaluates the depression of bloggers.
A teenager in Singapore was convicted of obscenity for posts critical of Lee Kuan Yew, the country’s founding father, that included an image of Lee having sex with Margaret Thatcher.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”