Lustful Things – Geile Sachen!, Folge 13: Ilma Rakusa, »Picture in the bedroom«

German Poetry Now: A bilingual online-anthology, featured by DAS GEDICHT chapbook


Ilma Rakusa

Picture in the bedroom

No movie poster, no Madonna,
no landscape, but her: she,
the sleeping Japanese woman. Standing
and sleeping, with pitch-black hair
and a barrette in that ink-blue
turtleneck sweater, her lips
painted red as if for a fancy ball.
But so much adrift, removed. Now
I look at her behind the glass; she
doesn’t see me. The snapshot of
sleep lasts forever. One perennially
extending moment full of innocence.
And blissful, that too. Come,
the picture is whispering – what are
you waiting for. Close your eyelids,
relax, unfurrow your face, enter
the peaceful calm. Now. I follow
the bidding. In the night, when
blackness blossoms. I lay, breathing
shallowly. Read the wafer-thin light
that seeps through the shades. Still.
And think of nothing. One, five,
every number negates itself. Each
fear fades away into thin air. Behind
me it is sleeping. Is already there.
Disengaged and lost. Good
night. Then I remember that
I do not know her name.
Never knew. She guards me
namelessly. A young Japanese woman
from Kobe. Above the headboard
of my bed. If only the ground
does not shake. For the picture is
heavy. It could strike me dead
without effort. O eternal slumber!

translated by Paul-Henri Campbell

+ German Original / Das Original


+ About the author / Zum Autor


Lustful Things - Geile Sachen!»Lustful Things – Geile Sachen!« im Archiv

»Lustful Things – Geile Sachen!« is an online collection of contemporary German-language poetry in English translation. All poems were taken from issue no. 22 of the German poetry magazine DAS GEDICHT, focused on the Poetry of Things. New English translations by Paul-Henri Campbell as well as the German originals are published here every Wednesday. All poems of this online-collection will also be published in a special print-edition. In order to read previous poems in this series, click here.

»Lustful Things – Geile Sachen!« ist eine Online-Sammlung zeitgenössischer deutschsprachiger Dinggedichte in englischer Übersetzung. Alle Texte sind Band 22 der Zeitschrift DAS GEDICHT entnommen. Jeden Mittwoch erscheint ein neues Gedicht, das von Paul-Henri Campbell ins Englische übertragen wurde, zusammen mit dem deutschen Original. Die Beiträge dieser Online-Anthologie gibt es auch als Sonderausgabe in Buchform. Alle bereits erschienenen Folgen von »Lustful Things – Geile Sachen!« finden Sie hier.

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