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This poem is taken from PN Review 133, Volume 26 Number 5, May - June 2000.

Two Poems (translated by Andrew Shields) Durs Grünbein

The Empty Signs their blows every name and every word...
                                                  Leonardo da Vinci / A. 102v.

How does a head that's cleanly severed think?
What does an error seek upon the open hand,
A red arrow along the spinal column?
Whom does the past, a slang of anecdotes,
Interiors, deceive ... the bodies?
No ear remains exempt from hearsay.
The best protection is to shut your mouth.
In the neck, an eel beheaded, the tongue.

Stupid asking how it came to this.
It was the wrong place and the wrong time
For a silent film entitled Volk.
The air was right for such futility,
The land far past its expiration date.

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