O! Und dann wieder dies Bei-sich-selbst-Sein! Diese Stummheiten! Dies Getriebenwerden! .................................................................................. O! And then to be with -our -very -selves! This muteness! This going adrift! Gottfried Benn When we take her too seriously, poetry begins to make fun of us:
Where is the paper, in what other sky this insect flies because I write it. What cadences the ripeness of its absence turns into what before I knew was a further disturbance, perhaps joyful, with an apparent lack of volume and weight, almost unsubstantial but already fairly certain, this one fluttering between the room and that sky, doubtlessly as entire as we are standing aside Otherwise, tell me certainty where the defying breath comes from or goes that you indicate as another's and is its own though faraway in the itinerary. Likewise there are those I don't see, where the insect goes and where it flies...
What do you want, insect, tell me, behind those borders? Nobody entreats anything that hasn't been evoked
And reading is seeking what is most feared, the other act so indivisible the horse or the man in the centaur, it isn't just going through a border but the very wakefulness another sudden shape, the hands turning every page open the weeds of an ambiguous jungle. The evening darkens, it's night in the marsh, you see how obedient the declining light has rested to sing on the nearby border, wings against body, innocent of all. Nothing can happen if this stone hits the mark.
I What other river is this one bearing a name but the same river that kills you, Heraclitus, in its waters? The salty and sweet waters are the identical course carrying them: one border is the Hudson, another one is the Ganges and there is another border, besides, for other names. Wide and narrow, long and short river of the world which we take by its meanders: even the one dripping in its deep cellars. Everything is the border: neither wheel nor fire nor language have ever departed to lands other than this blue Mesopotamia. Always behind, always ahead, you never knew, Admiral, how internal the waters were that you crossed. So is night and day in every middle of the river.
II How naïve, old Hudson, the one who believed that I was going to talk about you and the Rhine and the Danube, when this evening I have drunk your metaphors like there in front, is it New Jersey? someone drinks his vodka, his arak, his whisky, the Cyclads' usho, the black thick wine of a strong noon. The swallow of your intoxicating waters which guides to the very centre of your multiple current: the more I take from it, the more I give back.
What relation will there be, intimate Hudson, between you and this river that I see slipping among the bridges this indeed is of the stock of the only river about which the first chant speaks? How much would be clarified and darkened by just knowing, between a world's game and a pun. But I had to cheat you who read or you who listen (where will the river poem run now, after written?) so that with less distrust you accompanied me to those moving whirlpools, where, as in the disorder of a letter soup, many names appear and hide. I wonder also what would happen if at my side were a sturdy policeman, a good man, and I had to explain to him all this, step by step, the intoxication with non existing water which however also leaves a trace in breath and a quivering and distant pace,
this is indeed a rare experience in the world but likewise easy to mistake for other widened pupils, other alterated pulses, other perhaps cheaper? allucinations Let's not speak about the result. It creates an unrestrained habit. In other times there was surely someone who killed to provide it (Are you listening Gilles de Rais? Are you listening to me great Tiberius under the ground?) Or there was no one ever in that risk . Not even someone who died for this; old Hudson in the mind, you who are its object and watering should know and tell me.
Now nobody says "horse" and there is a new colt in the world. From now on, damn, bless, the bread that you take to your mouth will taste of contradiction.