Sous Rature




One day on the road
NYC, Tuesday 15 January 2008
For Bettina

his fingers writhe in my eye’s corner · try not to see the anxiety as the plane lifts off from Burlington · a fingernail cleans out what has accumulated below · observe what rises · you are belted in · and still see when you close your eyes · so I tear off the white and stop chewing · calcium wearing down teeth · then you raise your eyes // can you understand how it works you say just wave your right hand · I get stuck on my side of the turnstile · You walk away · look · something is missing · me // gently dry the scar that keeps opening stitches gone · seems parenthesis are lips frozen · leaving open for interpretation my wish to be photographed with Gertrude Stein’s cubist face on a rotund body · my smile met her mask // each night the heals of her boots wear through pavement resounding off wood · first skirt she has worn in years clinging against legs · green sparks against sheets try to catch them · if you hear their echoes · mouthwash splattered against a curb as the hollow is cleaned · my nose is too big in the mirror // the guards looked away not caring how close the candle burned down into her body · hand fallen off one light extinguished and a pool of brown pink wax at her feet which she can no longer see because her head has melted so really it is hardened against the cement floor · pale nude there seems not to have been a brain · the large channel burned along the wick · did she have hair? · a hand lies on the ground with another votive candle where a pulse would have been · am I torn to watch because he is a Swiss artist – one of the first in the New Museum? // photographs will help me remember the poem of the bottles and the names · all the names we have called them · the bowery bums at the feet of these white walls where art is hung · and we read poetry · membranes touching where Prada warms bowels // i hum “A Train” as we pass below the river heading up · the express taking us past whale bones and (food) chains and the a/partments of people writing // writing we tape voices repeating three times bound spelling // we both think the cheetah moved most sensuously as if she has become hybrid · fools mind wanting to categorize the exquisite corpse // the scroll fills the aisle and i imagine him taping the pages together then typing on pot or amphetamines or not · listen to him sing jazz // and my tongue burns from mocha chocolate too hot and chocolate so sweet and a chair so big I am Alice in Wonderland until someone asks where I got my boots and the brew turns to diesel and find myself realizing someone had been watching intently as my boots moved unaware · now they need new soles and heels · they were new when we went on the road · until we got lost in Brooklyn and walked to dumbo · and found branches below the bridge · this city is about walking along the foot of walls that resound what happens below · that we slept at all


(inspired by the exhibit “unmonumental” at the New Museum, N.Y.C., January 2008)















Broken Flowers



in the movie
Bill Murray carries pink flowers to deflowered
doorsteps wondering if there is anything to collect


in my mailbox    
i receive a pink letter
          My most Adored
a light skip hop of my heart
          For quite some time
                    we’ve been apart...



with the acronym
of my phone provider



2., I wrote back





Verehrter Swisscom Fixnet AG,

mines ego into netherlands.
violet edged rotted etiquette humored riot tampered edelweiss.
Seasoned customers horrific offended needlessly.
sorry-story evident I thought.
epic invading narratives “iliadic gent executes roses.”
zeitgeist envelopes indignity thoughtlessly.
sowable interpenetrating nightmare desist.
watch! immaculate react-wrecks.
jasmin eternal thelion zig-zag ties.
go! elegize thorn-backed rose-letters.
electric nom-de-fleur non-flowery troubadour






Kathrin Schaeppi