The gushing rain wants to wipe out everything.
But you are wandering through the waste lands.
Your dress hangs heavy. Your shoes are soaked.
Your eye is mad with greed and screaming.
And this urges you on—and you have no peace:
Perhaps in the midst of dark fire
The devil himself appears in the form of a pig.
Perhaps something completely horrible,
Foolish, brutal, nasty is happening.
The deserted streets flow in gleaming light
Through my dull head. And hurt me.
I clearly feel that I shall soon slip away—
Thorny roses of my skin, don’t prick like that.
The night grows moldy. The poison light of the lampposts
Has smeared it with green muck.
My heart is like a bag. My blood freezes.
The world is dying. My eyes collapse.
Without horror you devour dead flesh every day.
And dead blood is a sweet syrup for you.
Aren’t you afraid?—
Indeed your earliest fathers also had,
And before you awoke,
Crammed thousands of the dead into your body.
However, how deeply frightened must the first person
An animal have been—
Because, when he saw that what roamed about,
What could jump and cry out and in the moment of death
Still could watch the beseeching world,
In a moment
Was not there.
Many sick people are walking in the garden
Back and forth and lying in the porches.
Those who are the sickest burn with fever
Every wretched day in the hot
Grave of their beds.
Ah, Catholic sisters float
Around wearily in black clothes.
Yesterday someone died. Today another can die.
In the city Fasching is begin celebrated.
I would like to be able to play the difference
On the piano.
The hour moves forward.
The mole moves out.
The moon emerges furiously.
The ocean heaves.
The child becomes an old man.
Animals pray and flee.
It’s getting too hot for the trees.
The mind boggles.
The street dies.
The stinking sun stabs.
The air becomes scarce.
The heart breaks.
The frightened dog keeps its mouth shut.
The sky lies on its wrong side.
The tumult is too much for the stars.
The carriages take off.
Like a white fungus, a lump of wind covers
The green corpse of the lost world.
Frozen rivers form an iron dam
Which holds together the rotten remains.
In a small rainy corner stands
The last city in stony patience.
A dead skull lies—like a prayer—
Slanted on the body, the black penitential bench.