alas our good kaspar is dead.
who will bury a burning flag in the wings of the clouds who will pull
black wool over our eyes day by day.
who will turn the coffee mills in the primal barrel.
who will lure the idyllic roe from his petrified paperbag.
who will sneeze oceanliners unbrellas windudders beekeepers spindles
of ozone who will pick clean the pyramids' bones.
alas alas alas our good kaspar is dead. holy saint bong kaspar is dead.
the clappers raise heart-rending echoes of sorrow in the barns of the bells
when we murmur his name. therefore i will only sigh out his surname
kaspar kaspar kaspar.
why hast thou forsaken us. in what shape has thy lovely great soul taken
flight. hast thou changed to a star or a chain made of water in a tropical
whirlwind or a teat of black light or a transparent brick in a drum that
howls for its craggy existence.
now the soles of our feet and the crowns of our heads have dried up and the fairies are lying half-charred on the funeral piles.
now the black bowling alleys thunder in back of the sun and no one is setting a compass or spinning the wheelbarrow's wheels.
who will eat with the phosphorized rat on the lonely barefooted table.
who will chase the siroccoco devil that's trying to lead off our horses.
who will decipher the monograms scratched on the stars.
his bust shall adorn the mantels of people ennobled by truth through it leaves but small comfort or snuff for his death's head.

- Hans Arp, translation from the German by Jerome Rothenberg.

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