Andreas Neeser
translation by Marc Vincenz


New Year’s Eve

                         —for A.

That wintery eye
glances downward,
burns lights in the snow.

A new year
pushes frost beneath your shirt.
You carry it home
like your own child.

On Orion’s belt
with your rod and staff
tonight, Jacob stands guard.



                         —for H.

Cawing descent toward the sleeping tree.
The seeds have been reaped, the sun
goes down at six.

Gallows birds
announce messages from the sky,
they call and cut up the spirits
in the half-light.

They sharpen their glances.

This bright vision grasps stony pastures.

And, if they should squawk words,
we wouldn’t hear them.



You talk of degrees of life
as if caution and hindsight might be

Show me the angle
and place me in the picture, because
is also a word
between your calves.

But where?—
when there’s so much light.


From: Grass wächst nach innen (© Wolfbach Verlag: 2004) by Andreas Neeser
Translation © Marc Vincenz


Andreas Neeser is a Swiss poet and author who currently lives in Suhr near Aarau. From 2003 to 2011, he ran the Aargauer Literaturhaus in Lenzburg, Switzerland. He has won the Feldkircher Lyrikpreis (2008) and the Lyrikpreis Meran (2006). He has published numerous novels, short story and poetry collections. His latest novel is, Fliegen, bis es schneit (Haymon Verlag, 2012), his most recent poetry collection is, Die Sonne ist ein nasser Hund (Wolfbach Verlag, 2006).

Marc Vincenz was born in Hong Kong to Swiss-British parents during the height of the Cultural Revolution. He divides his time between Iceland, Switzerland and NYC. His work has appeared in many journals, including Washington Square Review, The Bitter Oleander, Canary, Guernica, Fourteen Hills, Tears in the Fence, Exquisite Corpse, The Potomac, Spillway Review and Poetry Salzburg Review.

Recent books include: The Propaganda Factory, or Speaking of Trees (2011), Gods of a Ransacked Century (2013) and forthcoming with Neopoiesis Press, Mao's Mole (2013). His translations include Werner Lutz’ Kissing Nests (2012) and Ernst Halter’s Human Country (2013). An English-German bi-lingual collection of his poems Additional Breathing Exercises / Zusätzliche Atemübungen is soon to be released by Wolfbach, Zurich (2014).

to top

MadHat, Issue 14, Spring 2013