Sven Heuchert

“I have woven a parachute out of everything broken.”

Die Dinge zusammenhalten

In einem Feld
bin ich die Abwesenheit
des Feldes
Das ist
immer der Fall
Wo immer ich auch bin
Ich bin es, der fehlt

Wenn ich gehe
Zerteile ich Luft
Und diese Luft füllt die Leerstellen
die mein Körper hinterlassen hat

Wir alle haben Gründe
uns zu bewegen
Ich bewege mich
um die Dinge zusammenzuhalten


Freie Übertragung des Gedichtes „Keeping things whole“ von Mark Strand

Wild werden

Während ich dir das schreibe, spüre ich die Wolfsklaue,
die sich einen Zentimeter über meinem Daumen durch die Haut drückt.
Ich werde diesen Brief mit einer schlammverkrusteten Pfote unterschreiben.

Seitdem du fortgegangen bist,
werde ich jeden Tag ein Stück wilder,
wie die Hunde der verlassenen Farmen
im Brachland zwischen den Flüssen.

Ich lebe nur noch in einem Raum des Hauses,
ich habe ihn in eine Höhle verwandelt,
in der ich neben den Knochen der letzten Mahlzeit aufwache.
Ich esse die Steaks roh, ich liebe den Geschmack von frischem Blut.
Gestern fing ich im Fluss sechs Karpfen mit den bloßen Händen
und fraß sie dann zum Abendessen.

Am späten Nachmittag setze ich mich auf die Veranda
und sehe dabei zu, wie der Wald immer näher kommt.
Kaninchen sitzen im Gras. Sie beobachten mich aufmerksam,
denn sie wissen, dass man mir nicht trauen kann.
Schon morgen oder übermorgen könnte ich mich auf eins von ihnen stürzen,
es verschlingen, während es schreit und das Herz noch schlägt,
ihre dünnen Knochen zerbrächen zwischen meinen Zähnen.

Nachts laufe ich durch den Wald, fremde Düfte
locken mich in alle Windrichtungen, aufgeregtes Winseln
dringt aus meiner Kehle.

Wenn du nicht bald nach Hause kommst,
werde ich mich weiter und weiter ins
Reich meiner wilden Träume entfernen.
Wenn du zurückkommst, wird das Gras kniehoch und
sämtliche Türen offen stehen, du wirst Gewölle und Federn
im Schlafzimmer finden, Knochenreste in deinen Hausschuhen.
Ich werde mit einer dürren, gelbäugigen Hündin davongelaufen sein.

Im Spätsommer werden Liebespaare, die draußen auf den Wiesen geparkt haben schwören, dass sie mich in einem Rudel wilder Hunde gesehen haben, das im Ödland zwischen den Flüssen Schafe und Rinder hetzte.


„Wild werden“ ist eine freie Übertragung des Gedichtes „Growing wild“ von Jim Wayne Miller.

Something close to truth

I recognized him waiting at the bus station
Grey face, long black coat
I had forgotten his name
He sat right behind the driver
I could see parts of his reddish scalp
Then I closed my eyes
It was a long drive.

The bus stopped right in front of the cemetery
We walked through the gates
He nodded slightly as he passed me.

That grave is too small, I thought
My father was a big man
Much bigger than that grave

The priest waited ten minutes
Nobody else showed up
It was just the two of us
The priest didn’t count.

There isn’t much to say about my father
We hadn’t seen each other in ten years
The priest spoke in a gentle voice
God owes us nothing, he said.

They buried my father in a cheap coffin
The government paid for it
I smelled the damp soil
Shovel after shovel
The priest was long gone.

We walked back through the gates
It started to rain
We stood at the bus stop, waiting.
Your father burrowed a grand from me, a week after he broke my nose.
He turned his head and looked at me
He was a good fighter, your father
The bus arrived
By now it was pouring rain.

When we got out, he said nothing
He crossed the street
and vanished

Talking about something’s missing

We were talking about
Something that’s missing
We lay in bed the lights turned off
I could sense by the sound of her voice
That it was serious
That she meant it
Love?
Was it love that was missing?
I couldn’t remember the last time I thought:
I love her
I couldn’t even remember the last time I said the words:
I love you
I felt ashamed
We shared a life
And after all the years
Something was missing
We couldn’t find an answer
There were no answers
Sometimes the only thing left
Is the very moment before you fall asleep
When all the dreams you’ve ever had seem reachable
We lay there silently
Staring at the darkness
then I closed my eyes and vanished.

Das traurige Licht an Mietshausfassaden

Ich sehe dieses Licht jeden Morgen und jeden Abend. Ich sehe es aus dem Bus der Linie 501 oder 503 oder 508. Ein Versprechen von Wärme. Von Geborgenheit. Ich sehe Familien um einen Tisch sitzen. Sie erzählen sich kleine Geschichten. Was nimmt man schon mit? Eine Anekdote. Einen Witz. Die Busse fahren immer über die gleichen Straßen, halten an den gleichen Stationen. Jeden Morgen. Jeden Abend. Die gleichen Gesichter. Die gleichen Menschen. Wir sacken auf den Sitzen in uns zusammen. Atmen. Schweigen. Ich kenne jedes dieser Gesichter. Das Licht an den Fassaden. Eine Lüge im Morgengrauen. Eine Lüge in der Dämmerung.

Ich sitze im letzten Vierer. Ich sehe aus der großen Scheibe auf die regennasse Straße. Manchmal tut sich doch etwas auf: eine Frau, die hinter den Vorhängen steht und eine Zigarette raucht. Vielleicht wartet sie auf einen Geliebten. Vielleicht hat sie die Liebe schon lange aufgegeben. Ein alter Mann mit Hund. Das Tempo ihrer Schritte langsam. Sie bleiben an einer Ampel stehen, starren ins Nichts. Dunkle Hundeaugen. Leerer Blick. Was ist noch zu erwarten? Ich weiß es nicht. Ich habe keine Antworten. Ich wünsche mir ein Paar, das sich küsst, und das während dieses Kusses alles um sich herum vergisst. Was kann man für die Dauer eines Kusses vergessen? Vielleicht genug, um weiterzumachen. Einfach weitermachen.

Notfallplan

Er sieht in den Seitenspiegel. Die Geschäfte liegen verschlossen am Straßenrand. Mülltonnen stehen abholbereit auf dem Bürgersteig. Die Ampel springt auf Grün.
„Hast du ihm das Sedaplus gegeben?“
„Ja“, sagt sie leise und lehnt sich in den Beifahrersitz.
Zuckerrübenfelder. Auf dem Fluss hellgelbe Schaumflocken. Saatkrähen sitzen in der Krone einer Pappel. Zwei Lastwagen auf der rechten Spur. Er schaltet und überholt.
„‘s dauert nicht lang, ja? Hast du mir versprochen.“
Er schüttelt den Kopf. „Ist `ne Raststätte vor Köln.“
Sie sieht aus dem Fenster. Die Leitplanke ein langer weißer Strich. „Hab ihm noch `ne extra Decke eingepackt.“
Er legt beide Hände auf das Lenkrad. „Lass das mit der Decke. Finden se nachher raus, wo du die gekauft hast.“
„Aber ich will nicht, dass er friert.“
„Das reicht so.“
Sie senkt den Blick und öffnet das Seitenfenster einen Spalt. Kalte Luft strömt über ihr Gesicht. „Max“, sagt sie nach einer Weile und sieht in den Rückspiegel. Ihre Gesichtszüge entspannen sich. „Wie mein Opa.“
Er streicht mit dem Daumen über ihre Wange. Sie dreht den Kopf zur Seite. Der Motor läuft fast lautlos. Neonlichter flirren am grauen Horizont.

Manche Dinge

Noch eine Handbreit Sonne über dem First
Das Innere der Scheune hell wie ein träge glosendes Feuer
Geier in den Kronen der Bankskiefern
Still und voller Würde warten sie auf Aas
Auf ein Tier, das von der großen Müdigkeit endgültig verzehrt wird
Auf Fleisch
Warm und voller Blut

Die Äpfel sind klein dieses Jahr
So reif, dass sie vom Ast in meine Hand fallen
Der Eimer ist schon halbvoll
Die Hunde liegen dösend unterm Kanu
Jemand verbrennt Laub
Der Geruch von Asche und Harz in der Luft
All die vergangenen Sommer;
Blüten auf dem schwarzen Teich, so schwebend leicht
Kinderlachen unten am Ufer
Ein Windrad, das sich mühsam dreht
Unsere nackten Füße auf dem glatten Holz der Verandatreppen
Eisgekühltes Bier
Manche Dinge brauchen Jahre, um sie zu verstehen.

geschrieben im Tom Thomson Park, South River, Ontario.

Pretty Women from Hangelar

He caught me out in the yard. I had my backpack in one hand and was checking the mail when he pulled open the gate. I could hear him coming before I saw him.
He stood there and said, “Hello.”
He was wearing a black leather jacket I’d never seen on him before. He looked good. Was getting sleep, no more rings under his eyes. Maybe five or six pounds lighter.
“Hello,” I said and shut the mailbox. There wasn’t any mail.
He glanced at my backpack and said, “Not a good time?”
“Not really,” I said. “Just heading out the door.”
“Where to now?”
“Belgium,” I said, and then, “Charleroi.”
He nodded approvingly. “You really get around, huh?”
“Writing about an exhibit Niels has there.”
“That Niels,” he replied. “He doing all right?”
I nodded.
“Was just in the neighborhood,” he then said. “Thought I’d drop by.”
“Now’s not great.”
Then we finally took a good look at each other.
It’s one of those situations where you can tell that a person’s changed, but it’s not clear at first how. It’s not just their weight, or a few gray hairs.
Neither of us wanted to speak, which brought a strange silence, each waiting it out.
“You lost some weight,” I said, and he smiled and said, “I did.”
We used to be better at overcoming the silence—we’d just drink another pint, which made it less of an issue. There were always other people around, in the old stadium, or in some pub, never leaving us completely on our own. So now I noticed just how little we had to say to each other.
“So what kind of car you drivin’ there?”
I stood there staring at my father.
“I’m taking the train,” I said. “Car’s not worth it, gotta watch the dough.”
He nodded. “Know what you mean.”
I was holding that backpack—ready to go—yet he just kept standing there like he was, and it was making me feel uncomfortable.
“Train doesn’t leave for another hour,” I said, and he got what I meant.
We walked side by side. I knew he had something to tell me, maybe even something important, but I also knew how tough this was for him. Just talking was; reality was.
“Fortuna won the big game,” he said.
“What I hear,” I said, “and in the ninety-fourth minute too—man, did they get lucky.”
“Yep, finally moving up a league, after all those years,” my father said. He stopped a moment and tugged on his beard. “Still going to the old stadium?”
“Not so much anymore.”
“Last time I went was with Worm.”
“That Worm,” I said. “Still alive, I take it?”
My father laughed, a good honest laugh. “Doing well too.”
Worm. The name brought back lots of memories. I’d tried to forget all the names. Worm. Sly Fox. Bakesy. It wasn’t that long ago, but it had just been long enough—for me anyway.
“You ever hear from Lilly?” he said.
“I haven’t, but then again it’s going on two years.”
“Thought you two might still be in touch.”
I shook my head. “Haven’t heard from her for a long time. Must have a new guy. It’s better that way, keeps me from thinking about it too much.”
My father stopped talking, and so we kept walking side by side, in silence again. Lilly. That was another one of those names. You don’t think about it to the point of believing you’ve forgotten it. But that’s not how it actually works. It’s still lying there under the surface, remaining all calm, and it doesn’t take much to bring it all back—all above the surface.
I can’t go blaming myself. That’s not fully true of course, but it makes me feel better thinking about it that way. For us it was wrong place, wrong time. Or better said: I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Still half a child, and sucking on a bottle. It never could’ve worked out.

The train station came within view. They had this little coffee joint. We automatically headed inside. Instead of standing we found a seat in a corner and looked out the window, at the busses passing, mothers with buggies smoking, broken cobblestones, a little sunshine. I got us two coffees in paper cups. We took a drink. I looked at the newspaper rack. There it was, in the headlines of the Express: “Fortuna Snatches Victory in Final Seconds.” It left me strangely unmoved.
“I’ve met someone,” my father then said.
“How do you mean?”
He gazed at the rim of his cup. “Just like I said.”
I nodded, said nothing.
“She’s from Hangelar,” he said and smiled. He’d said this like it was some crucial detail. Hangelar: home of some federal archives, a GSG-9 anti-terror unit, and that crappy airport. I had no idea what he was trying to say.
“All the women from there are pretty,” he said and took a drink.
“I didn’t know that,” I said.
“It’s true,” he said. “I’ve still yet to see a single ugly woman from there.”
He paused and stared at me. “More women used to be ugly, which you just don’t see as much anymore, meaning, well, that women are cuter now in general. But the ones from Hangelar? Man, I tell you what.”
This sounded weird coming from him, I wasn’t sure why. He then folded his hands, and his body slumped—only slightly, yet plain to see.
“So what’s she like?” I asked.
He smiled again. “What do you want me to say?”
“How should I know?”
“The main thing is, she’s young,” he said. “Well, younger than me.”
That seemed important to him. I didn’t respond.
“Does me good, that woman,” he said, turning his cup one way then the other. “We do a lot of things together.”
A bus honked, and we both looked out the window. It was just an elderly man who’d started to cross the street without looking. He’d stopped and was hitting the bus with his cane. We both laughed and, for that one moment, all was well.
I didn’t care about the pretty woman from Hangelar—she was only this vague image in my head. Yet there were those other, crystal clear images that would not be going away so easily. He exhaled noisily, and I knew what he was going to ask, and he knew that I knew.
“So,” he said and made a rotating gesture with his hand—and the rest was clear.
“If I find the time,” I said. For a split second I imagined the scene, me sitting at a table with him and his pretty woman from Hangelar. That way we’re talking, so cautious and beating around the bush the whole time, and how we’re overly nice to one another. But I only imagined it a split second, like I said.
“My train’s about to leave,” I then said, and he nodded and asked, “But you’re doing good otherwise?”
The part about the train wasn’t true. I only wanted to get rid of him. This didn’t make me feel bad or guilty—I simply wanted to be alone.
“Yeah, doing good.”
“You could’ve shown your face once in a while,” he said, “or called even.”
I nodded. “That’s true,” I said, “but I really have had lots to do and not much time.”
“Everyone’s got lots to do.” He looked past me, and lowered his head.
This had stopped being about that pretty woman from Hangelar a while ago. It was about those other things, and it was our silence about them that lent these things such weight. Many of them are still open wounds. Many of them still look nasty, but then you adjust. You live with it.
“When you back from Belgium?”
I drank the last gulp of my coffee, which had gone cold, and everything pathetic about the situation was there in that last gulp. We always get back at one another, for everything. I still believe that today.
“In a few days,” I said. “I’ll get in touch after that.”
My father smiled, just for a second, and then he leaned back and said, “’Course you won’t.”

He was right: it was years before I saw him again—it just happened to be in a bar, and there he asked me if I could loan him two hundred euros. He was about to get married and was a little low on funds. He wasn’t with the pretty woman from Hangelar anymore, of course. He was already boozed up and telling me about some sweet Pole who was going to treat him so well, but I wasn’t listening very carefully.

Back before that, though, I had stepped onto my train, stared out the window and read the names of the stations passing: Troisdorf, Porz-Rhein, Gremberghoven, and it all seemed so shabby, and I too seemed so shabby. Then I thought of my mother, and about what it once meant to have things belong together, and that now the only thing left was silence. And I remembered that one day when I, still in school then, was taking the 66 train to Bonn and these two women got on at Hangelar, more like girls really, only a little older than I, and I was in one of those strangely sentimental moods where everything got so intense, which was why I could have sworn I’d never seen such pretty girls before.

I hadn’t thought about that for a long time, about my father and the pretty women from Hangelar, not until now.