3 Mistranslations of Georg Trakl by Umair Kazi, David Lee, and Beca Alderete Baca

Jar
by David Lee

Dunk all stilly, the kind heat. Underground etching,
wide debt dies and mutt, blue lichen licks golden rue
and dunks and zips the duffle, the vile chin; shuck and end a rent.
I’m a bend, salmon and the golden sharpen, the sure mutt.
Bulk and be hot, the zipper-man; I’m hammering ground,
malt and mule; I’m a sellable-watt, cinch, on purpose, no mound.
My lichen rots others, so why gun the walls. Gun it.
Less eats the herb, is the guise. This wall does; golden walker,
forget them and sign them. The swirls shot ten, this ankle.
Not in the spine or the zipper; under all ten, the pressing
sign, the trodden, not taken blinder, quell versus melt;
golden age, this and begging, dunk, kettle, the ends.

 

__

 

What He Stole
by Beca Alderete Baca

The key
The plum
The thorn
The paving stone
The little house
The cradled head
The taken pulse
The rolling yellow word for cranes
The side of the painting where he will be

 

__

 

 

Trakl on 125th
by Umair Kazi

The last train is gone; cars stop
at red lights

the buildings and the esplanade
lapsed from their rectitude

slough into an iris-white bowl
a stray saxophone moans

siblings eye each other as they pass
by each other

red knives curving
in the pockets of their black coats.

__

 

 

Beca Alderete Baca is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Now, she lives in New York where she is working toward an MFA at Columbia University.

Umair Kazi grew up in Karachi, Pakistan and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He has a BA from the University of Iowa, a JD from the University of Iowa College Law, and has worked as a ship-chandler’s water-clerk (like Conrad’s hero, without the heroism). He now lives in New York with a roommate and his feelings of estrangement. You can follow him on Twitter @NightColander.

David Lee is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana but is currently studying poetry at Columbia University in New York. His work has appeared in Bluestem.

Georg Trakl was an Austrian poet who lived from 1887 to 1914. During his lifetime, he worked as a pharmacist, fought in the First World War, and wrote poems from an early age. His rich, dark verse is known for its heady image and oneiric landscapes. He is considered one of the foremost German Expressionists.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *