alas our good kaspar
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 mill
s in the primal barrel.
who will lure the idyllic roe
from his petrified paperbag.
who will sneeze oceanliners unbrellas windudder
who will pick clean the pyramids' bones
alas alas alas our good kaspar is dead. holy saint
bong kaspar is dead.
s 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
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 alley
s 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 monogram
s 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.