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This poem is taken from PN Review 223, Volume 41 Number 5, May - June 2015.

‘Capable’ and Other Poems, translated by Ken Cockburn

Translated from the German by Ken Cockburn
Christine Marendon
Capable (Können)

An art: clarity of water in a deep basin right
to the gravel at the bottom. The rustling
in the basket’s gloom: scorpion or beetle? Reach
in your hand, don’t you know? I taste
coolness, the oily kernel, a childish kiss,
laconic evenings: notched into the map of
Macedonia, where warriors spit tobacco and
chew days. This minor art, of righting a 
frazzled hair, broken fences, crushed grass.

Organic (Organisch)

Can you hear, the holy oracle is blowing airs from
ochre into the ear: consoling me, as you do, bird,
who lost an omen from your beak.
Word, fast in the floor, sham. A
sailor, towed by pilots, wearing crape.
Amazonas, not a place, but just a

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