André Schinkel (Germany)
André Schinkel (born 1972) is a german writer and archaeologist. He writes poetry as well as prose and essays. André Schinkel studied german literature, art history and prehistoric archeology. He lives in Halle (Saale) and currently works as a writer and editor. Since 2005 he has headed the editorial department of the literary magazine oda – Ort der Augen, since 2017 he has been an editorial member of Marginalien, the magazine for book art and bibliophilia. He repeatedly worked as a scholarship holder in various artist houses, took part in author meetings and poetry festivals in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Armenia and Italy. His texts have been translated into sixteen languages and he is copying from Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Armenian, English and ancient Egyptian. His literary work has already received numerous awards. André Schinkel is a member of the German PEN Center and a founding member of the Academy of the Arts Saxony-Anhalt. In 2018 he was elected to the Saxon Academy of the Arts.
To the Midnight Blue Butterfly
For you, butterfly, I’ve spent the entire
Day waiting, for your ocean blue
Wings. I was on edge all night
And started drinking in the early morning
Because: I couldn’t handle the suspense. And now
It’s night again and my head’s full of wine,
Sleep won’t come until you don’t come.
Your flight is far, all the way from the Baltic
Sea, and always to me, fleeing
The crows that come from Norway.
Your gaze — south Scandinavian light,
Beneath the steady wings,
When you make your way back home,
Nectar pearls in the fur and the scent of pollen: for
You, I’ve spent the entire summer waiting.
I’m looking for you, I forgave you ages ago,
I smell you, you’re almost in my reach,
You don’t need to flee from me anymore —
I feel you: the blood in your heart is racing.
I spot you, I’m always able to find you
You’re easy to see, to find and to hear;
It’s me that you aren’t able to elude:
I’m on your trail, be wary, all ears.
I see you in every clearing,
You feign fallow in all the tree eyes,
I follow every one of your veerings:
You look ahead, it’s you I spy.
I’ll catch you, I’ll look at your cards,
You know, you can’t escape my pursuit;
Soon you won’t betray me with words—
I feel you, I smell you, I breathe you.
HANGING GARDENS, you say, that ten-
Dril over the edges of the imagination—
Throbbing sounds from withered foliage,
From which—silence springs and hits just
Where it hurts: in the listening glances of
Doubts about you. Semiramis, clamped
In Iommi’s guitars, on the way into the slow-
Ness of the earth star that’s turning away,
The one, you say as you lean towards me
Over the earthen railing, that’s only wan-
Dering, not shining, not burning. Yes, wan-
Dering, in front of the banks of absent sounds—
The ones you’ve known for ages … as if they
Were innate in you on the chaotic way, the
Rolling way, the way dancing in horseshoe
Ellipses, which leads you to your demise,
To the place I’ve been for a while—wrapped
In roots, hanging, torn to shreds by
Obtruding shoots and straightened into
The perfect fault, behind which the
Heartbeat’s basses sound—just as it
Drives me like smoke from the depths
Through the crumbling amphitheater: whether
It be in Pompei, Babylon, Xanten, Orange…
Where you, falling into the depths, disappear
Behind those streaks of northern light
Heading south and call to me, while I shoot
Upwards with the sticks of the roots—
Draped with wind and eels and the eternal
Premonition: this is the grail that rushes
Past us, they call it homestead, they call it
Earth. We won’t be the ones returning.
Yet we live on in the guitar riffs, dimmed
Into an infinite distance, dark and shrill,
Or in a man’s rat’s nest, a man who looks
At us while we scream, we fall. A breeze
Withers through the leaves. Before us
The infinite circling of silence.
Translated by Shane Anderson