translated from the German by Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright
Here I am again in the Love Parade,
and at my age, but no one
minds, no Southerners grumble, no Midwesterners
whine, once again studying the young, and me
in this suit, what do I care about the young,
the dogs howl on the balcony, solidarity!
Join in! Come march! I yell back, I love
Berlin, West Berlin mind you, the rest I know
only from visits with relatives, canned pineapples inclusive,
it’s most beautiful when Lake Lietzensee steams,
when the asphalt on the Kudamm is as soft
as chewing gum, when the U-Bahn to Kreuzberg
rises into the night and, right before going east
over the Oberbaum Bridge, smolders and goes out.
Hans-Ulrich Treichel’s (b. 1952) books of poetry include Seit Tagen kein Wunder (For Days No Wonder, Suhrkamp, 1990) and Der einzige Gast (The Only Guest, Suhrkamp, 1994). He is also well known for his novels, the most recent of which, The Lost One, will be published this year by Knopf. He lives in Berlin and Leipzig.
Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright is a literary translator who lives in Waltham, Mass. She spent a year in Berlin translating work by non-native German authors, and her translations of the German-Turkish poets Zafer Senocak and Zehra Çirak have appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, Delos, and Dimension2. She recently translated Ernst Peter Fischer’s Beauty and the Beast: The Aesthetic Moment in Science. She works as a German-language financial typesetter. (2000)