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Michael Farrell
translation by Sissi Tax and Joel Scott

 

geschöpfe

schnee liegt noch immer auf dem boden         er hat
nicht viel beschädigt         der buffalo hüpfte von
einem ast zum anderen         der boden war
zu weich für einen lastwagen         die
krake stieß einen kurzen warnschrei aus         wale lagen
überall auf der braunen erde         mondlicht schien auf
das dorf

der boden war zu weich für einen lastwagen
der himmel zerbrach mehr &
mehr              ein motorrad kam aus der ausfahrt          eine krake
wühlte ihren weg durch den roggen                 die qualle
hatte einen besorgten ausdruck         der pelikan rannte
in die mitte der wiese

mondlicht schien auf das dorf                  es war
alles geheimnisvoll & unschuldig         die hügel
öffneten sich widerstrebend die
hügel öffneten sich widerstrebend

affen haben es schwerer als
die meisten         ziegen wühlten durch den roggen         die schnecke stolzierte
über das gras         der buffalo wackelte sehr schwach mit
seinem schwanz         es waren mehrere neue blumen da
es war alles geheimnisvoll und unschuldig         der pelikan rannte
in die mitte der wiese         es
waren mehrere neue blumen da

die insel war recht grün         der pfau
jubelte schon         sie warteten vor
meinem haus       sie warteten vor meinem haus

ziegen lagen überall auf der braunen erde         sie haben
nicht viel beschädigt         ein
motorrad kam aus der ausfahrt         der wal
jubelte schon         das chameleon stieß
einen kurzen warnschrei aus         ein mungo verschwand
im dickicht         schnee liegt auf dem boden                           die
qualle hüpfte von einem ast zum anderen
der see ruhig & teilweise gekräuselt         der
see ruhig und teilweise gekräuselt

der himmel zerbrach mehr & mehr           der
schwan verschwand im dickicht         der pfau hatte einen
besorgten ausdruck         die schnecke wackelte schwach
mit ihrem schwanz         das chameleon stolzierte über das gras die
insel war recht grün         der schwan flog
nicht mehr         der mungo flog nicht
mehr

 

creatures

snow still lies upon the ground         it didnt
do much damage         the buffalo hopped from
one perch to another         the ground was
too steep to bring up a lorry         the
octopus uttered a short cry of warning         whales lay everywhere
on the brown earth         moonlight shone upon the village

the ground was too steep to bring up a lorry
the sky broke more &
more         a motorbike rounded the drive         an octopus rummaged its way
through the rye         the jellyfish
had a worried expression         the pelican ran
to the middle of the meadow

moonlight shone upon the village         it was
all mysterious & innocent         the hills
opened up reluctantly         the
hills opened up reluctantly

monkeys have it harder than
most         goats rummaged through the rye         the snail strutted
across the grass         the buffalo twitched its tail
very feebly         there were several new flowers out
it was all mysterious & innocent         the pelican ran
to the middle of a meadow         there
were several new flowers out

the island was quite green         the peacock was
already rejoicing         they waited outside
my house         they waited outside my house

goats lay everywhere on the brown earth         they didnt
do much damage         a
motorbike rounded the drive         the whale was
already rejoicing         the chameleon uttered
a short cry of warning         a mongoose disappeared
in the thicket         snow still lies upon the ground         the jellyfish
hopped from one perch to another
the lake calm & partly ruffled         the
lake calm & partly ruffled

the sky broke more & more         the
swan disappeared in the thicket         the peacock had a
worried expression         the snail twitched its tail
feebly         the chameleon strutted across the grass         the
island was quite green         the swan was
no longer flying         the mongoose was no longer
flying

 

“creatures” by Michael Farrell, published in the volume open sesame (© giramondo, 2012). Translation © Sissi Tax and Joel Scott.

 

Michael Farrell is an Australian poet, and was born in Bombala, New South Wales. He presently lives in Melbourne where he is the Australian editor of Slope magazine. His publications include living at the z, 2000, ode ode (Salt Publishing 2002), a raiders guide, (giramondo 2008) and open sesame (giramondo 2012).

Sissi Tax was born in 1954 in the Steiermark region of Austria. She studied German and Pedagogy in Graz and Berlin. Until 1980 she was on the editorial team of the literary magazine manuskripte. In 1982, Tax completed her PhD in Philosophy at the University of Graz with a work on Marieluise Fleißer. Since 1982 she has lived in Berlin, where she works as a publisher, university lecturer and editor. From 1986 to 1988 she was Acting Director of the Berliner Literaturhaus and in 1996, she took part in the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition in Klagenfurt. Publications: Marieluise Fleißer: Schreiben, Überleben. Ein biographischer Versuch, 1984. 20 Jahre »manuskripte«. Ed. with Alfred Kolleritsch. Gertrude Stein: Ein Buch mit da hat der Topf ein Loch am Ende eine Liebesgeschichte (a translation together with Oskar Pastior) manchmal immer (Droschl 1995), je nachdem. (Droschl 2000).

Joel Scott is a Sydney-born poet now living in Berlin, completing a PhD which posits translation as a kind of radical contemporary writing practice. His poetry and critical work has been published in print and online, here and there. In 2012 he published a chapbook of process-based poems called CORNEARS. He blogs at hedgingyourbets.wordpress.com.

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MadHat, Issue 14, Spring 2013