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Essays, Manifestos, Statements, Speeches, Maxims, Epistles, Diaristic Jottings, Narratives, Natural histories, Poems, Plays, Performances, Ramblings, Revelations, and all such ephemera as may appear necessary to bring society into a slight tremolo of confusion and fright at least.

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Green Integer Review

No. 7 (Feb 2007)
Poetry & Fiction, Interviews, Essays & Reviews, Bios, Links
Douglas Messerli, Editor

Dieter M. Gräf [Germany]

Break of the Upper Palatinate-
-Dom. Semi-
Group Photo with Unknowns
Hotel Light

Poems translated by Andrew Shields

Break of the Upper Palatinate-



half-moon-shaped tips of broad,

four-sided iron nails, the Orient, the Mount


of Olives, which means: breaking of her

Upper Palatinate voice into Old Aramaic,


an extra miracle. Mooing of cows.


Water for rinsing her mouth, monitored.

Excrement, checked and measured.


Television, nourishment with light;

Friday passion while she broadcasts


the Crucifixion: drops of blood in corners

of eyes, stigmata on hands and feet,


spear and nail wounds. Her

headband, now bleeding, while


the Savior, her Galilean master,


crown of thorns in scalp skin,

martial eavesdropping of hammer


blows in front of fainting:

listeners to his shattering bones;


outside, those drawn by blows

revoke her ration card.


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-Dom. Semi-


your music: semi

truck to the kingdom


of heaven, elegant

limousine driving

up, a man


gets out of

the Fieseler


Stork, in

uniform; people


are naked,



broken from

every face;


strictest silence.


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Group Photo with Unknowns


wolf who wolfs

down the sun;


the table set

for men.


The white

still goes to

the dog, then


further: heavily

closed cur

tain, striking


white of collar,

of horizontal


cigarettes. Black

bottle in middle

of the table;


dark half

circle round


the one at its head:

wolf-dog, spot on


his face blackening

everything. To obey


him until

obeying stops.


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the dawns dried

hard, spot


on the ground:

nightly cleaning


lady of equalized

days; behind advent


doors: rooms,

the light, to be turned


off, of childhood


diseases, were

the best, were all —


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cathedral of light. Pillars of smoke,


orchards in

the outskirts;


bitter struggle

for a slight rise.


Banners of dust; advent


wreaths woven from brown

yellow steppe grass:


blond Christ, mess


iah, periodically

bleeding chalice, the


chosen people dripping

in, then the choosers.


Dog whip, wolf's escutcheon.


Starving horses, how they

chewed wood; beneath


a great peach tree

the hidden command

post, machine


gun nests.


They can form a hedge

hog and then blow their.


Violet feet, stump stench


of comrades, black

lips, eye's white


turning pink;



of the heart. Urine


yellow ice, licked-up

condensation. Ratten


huber, Todt, Uncle Wolf,


here are your Fritzes,

in millennia: oil.


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Copyright ©2007 by Dieter M. Gräf, English language copyright ©2007 by Andrew Shields


Gräf was born in Ludwigshafen in 1960 and now lives in Berlin. His three volumes of poetry with Suhrkamp are Rauschstudie: Vater + Sohn (1994), Treibender Kopf (1997), and Westrand (2002). He recently edited th anthology Das leuchtende Buch: Die Welt als Wunder im Gedicht (Insel, 2004) and published the CD Taifun (with the composer Volker Staub; Accademia Tedesca Roma Villa Massimo; 2005). He received the Leonce and Lena Prize from the City of Darmstadt (1997) and held several fellowships, including one at Villa Aurora in Los Angeles (1999) and one at Villa Massimo in Rome (2004). He was appointed writer-in-residence at the German Festival in India in 2001 and at the Deutsches Haus at New York University in 2005.

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