from Invasion in Reverse

Lea Schneider

sleeping beauty principle: strategic snoozing. we’re sitting in the waiting room (failed state) and remembering normality, hearing noises, the juice in the walls. suddenly someone awakes, missing the best part of their dream, enclosing the return postage and hoping (dilettante buddhist). we accuse them of unsolidary happiness. they act as if every day there were a new way to get up from the table; as if our interior lives were straight outta ikea, with white finish and reindeer pattern. cuteness is no option now, we have to be careful. every room contains at least one danger for utopia, besides coffee spoons, pencils, flower pots, and elevator effects: things where you first have to discover they’re dangerous.

i repeat myself. somewhere further on, where the archetype mode has switched on: weaving, unraveling, one thousand and one corrections. winning time in which i can untangle the threads, pulled out the lego pieces, prefab buildings, piece for piece, whet the castle, scrape it down to the hard-plastic foundations it’s built upon, and establish a sanctuary there, pre-heating included. to the extent necessary for my safety: heat supply. a means of attaching things, like with pritt sticks or redundancy. stacking the nesting stories at shoulder height, then immediately reversing course, unsatisfiability as expanded criteria of their success. what’s most important: finding no end, but instead a mistake in the plot that i can embellish. a hiding place in the cliffhanger, in continual references, back and forth.

end of december, film of grease on the sentences and wormholes in the year. breath crouches in the lungs, and doesn’t want to come out, a fearful raven, covered in three days of wrapping paper. an hd moment, everything in caps, and fingers crossed, like the beams in the ceiling, hands intertwined, holding the breath, hold tight. a paradox intervention in the hollow space between them, where breathing is a skeptical noise, a fresh scab of paint: they say if it itches, then it’s healing underneath.

maybe there’s no door, but surely an entrance—you just have to decide. in other words, walk in here, at this spot, and finding no end for the garden, but subgrass, a container for stones already cast, and yourself, in original dimensions. the angle in which they hit the water. carp ponds, holes in thinking, over which a swarm of habits fly, not yet practiced to the end. close up, they appear harmless, like hatchy dragonfly. seep up, wingless and myriad, reach the hill where a taboo nestles, eats cake, and plays tetris with the roots. (sycamores, they can take it. like most trees, they look like their insides were coated with frosting.) airtight boxes, crusty sugar. you bite and crack the code, accidentally, center in on the ponds, focusing them.

in the skate park at dusk, a vending machine in the middle, druids in jogging suits on the margins. floodlights that they draw out in strings, like casserole cheese. their relationship to each other is the distance that separates from each other: it always remains the same, even if one of them changes its position. all this becomes visible through the lengths of the strings that follow—like every decision—gravity: invasion in reverse, the square slowly empties, everything flows away and fills the lagoon, a setteling tank under the asphalt. what remains of the light (the transmitted part) gets to work as gloriole over the off—which turns out to be a bush behind the halfpipe— and the machine knows: it should look good now. its shadow is the only thing that doesn’t fit through the hair sieve; from that, you can recognize the rest is gone.

on the photo you’re walking through a field. checking blind spots: you never know what’s coming up behind you, only in hindsight is everything causal. on the photo there are jerry cans, and a foreign body that doesn’t move. like a window display, which is obviously wondering. superficially developed land, already deconstructed in places, like the inner life of sheep in the ruhr valley. renatured silent spots, a short-cut in between, along which you walk over chestnuts: dark-brown indentations in the field.

translated from the German by Bradley Schmidt