from Periodic Song

Sylvia Geist


hardly in
view the new fast cools. nothing connects us

too quickly
its pale blood decays beneath the frantic days.

we drink
sluggishly cheerful again the latest news drains colour

we suck
the tubes' garish marrow out of our bones.


at midday
half-empty metal bowls clattering hundred-fold sighing scratches across
plate-bottoms forking four-fingered

in clenched
fists a desperate density heavier chains steaming from
beakers then swinging

to cut
another blank pressing welding casting requiring particular care
time's in the

end a
foil memory's ripped from on the crust of
the earth outside 


from lightning
we can expect nothing nor more from talking
about lightning. with luck we'll be standing some
                         way off or at least

let's talk
about what happened before or something that happened
nearby. like the sunflowers in their stupid oil
                         how daft they always were

just pictures
copied from nature. not theirs. but of the
glowing sickness only moving at nightfall. they'd never
                         bloomed before. we're seeing their

translated from the German by Catherine Hales