House Inspections (Lannan Translations Selection Series)
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"These poems do much more than blur the line between illusion and reality: they evoke that vibrant contradiction of dreaming in which the real and unreal exist in perfect simultaneity."—The Georgia Review
A man performs whole days from his life as a drama, each day at home in his apartment. He goes to great lengths to be as realistic as possible, walking around the apartment and tending to day-to-day business. Only at night, when he sits by himself in the kitchen, does he peek now and then at the window to glimpse his audience. He won't completely abandon the notion that someone is out there. It's like when you stand on the landing, in front of a closed door, and you can't help thinking that someone is watching through the peephole.
With a dozen poems previously published in The Paris Review, Carsten René Nielsen is already a familiar name to US poetry readers. These dark prose poems—reminiscent of Charles Simic—map out a uniquely European territory with chilling, cinematic clarity.
Award-winning Danish poet Carsten René Nielsen is the author of nine books of poetry, including his US debut The World Cut Out with Crooked Scissors (2007). His poems appear in The Paris Review, Agni, Circumference, Mid-American Review, Mississippi Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Aarhus, Denmark.
David Keplinger's poetry awards include the Colorado Book Award, T.S. Eliot Prize, an NEA fellowship, and grants from the Danish Arts Council. He directs the MFA program at American University in Washington, DC.
to tjenere, der stod bagerst i lokalet og nyste på skift, fordi de havde fået peber i næsen. Consultation It all started when I woke with a wriggling cod on my cold belly skin. “It’s not serious,” explained the doctor standing with a pointer by the wall, where a diagram displayed the anatomical details of a fish skeleton, still with its head and tail. He had no way of knowing, of course, that that’s how it was when I lay on the white plate in the seafood restaurant. Filled and content, the fat
by culture, a tradition, but there are also city planners and politicians who make it possible. “Look, Mom, I can do a wheelie,” a child shouts happily, and in each window on the block smiling housewives appear. In the pockets on the fronts of their aprons sit birds, and they sing, the birds, so you have to plug your ears with your fingers and hum to yourself, meanwhile, to bear it. Even for a little while after, in the hutches and the kitchen cupboards, the glasses vibrate with a piercing,
communicate with her, but she doesn’t react. An ambulance is sent for, but when the paramedics carefully attempt to help her down onto the stretcher, the plaster cast rolls off her shoulders, and her coat falls to the ground. Left standing on the sidewalk are just two high, black boots. Fjernsyn I skorstensfejerskumringen: antenner og paraboler vendt mod himlen. Vi vil så gerne se noget andet, men her er det ikke helt umuligt, at de fleste en aften sidder og ser det samme program i fjernsynet.
ægte oversavede damer, og her lægger en sav på disken foran bankassistenten, vil hun straks tilkalde assistance. Nok ligger banken i en gade ikke langt fra din seng, men dette er en anden verden. Man vil spørge, om det er svensk, du taler, og det vil ikke nytte noget at forklare, at nej, du taler i søvne. Selv ikke, hvis du tæller til tyve på dét sprog, vil man forstå. Bank If you step into the bank, lured in by the poster that advertizes genuine ladies sawed in half, and place a saw on the
og gravstenene oppe på kirkegården. Selv skyerne på himlen og hvert træ på kirkegårdsbakken tapetserer de med hvidt savsmuldstapet. Til sidst tapetserer de hinanden, og så er den der: “Endelig!” hører jeg den ene af dem mumle inde bag tapetet, da jeg kommer hjem og finder dem stående sådan i stuen. Wallpaper You can never trust the workmen. Surely they know what to do, but still they hang white wallpaper in the entrance. Then they paper the rest of the apartment, floors, ceilings and furniture,