Monday, December 30, 2013

Cosmopolite by Durs Grünbein


Cosmopolite

The day after getting back from my longest journey,

I realize I had this traveling business badly wrong.

Penned in an airplane, immobilized for hours on end,

Over clouds that bear the appearance of deserts,

Deserts that bear the appearance of seas, and seas

That are like the blizzards you struggle through,

On your way out of your Halcion-induced stupor,

I see what it means to stumble over the dateline.

The body is robbed of time, and the eyes of rest.

The carefully chosen word loses its locus.
G
iddily you juggle the here and the hereinafter,

Keeping several languages and religions up in the air.

But runways are the same gray everywhere, and hospital rooms

The same bright. There in the transit lounge,

Where downtime remains conscious to no end.

The proverb from the bars of Atlantis swims into ken:

Travel is a foretaste of Hell.



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