Born 1980, owns a Swiss and a German passport. Her writing life has travelled between page-bound-poetry and spoken word performances. She was awarded several renown prizes for her work, is a member of the PEN and has spent many moons in residencies all over the world (New York City, Novosibirsk, Beijing a.o.). In the fall of 2016 she will be living in Kyoto as a guest of the Goethe Institut. Her poetry is centered around the theme of orality and memory, her performances are lively and humor is a key element in her work. Beyond the page her words are well received in musical and theatrical performances together with percussive Jazz legend Baby Sommer, Philipp Scholz and others. Her poetry films were shown in festivals world wide. Since 2010 she is proving her organizational talents as head director of the International Artist Residency Künstlerhaus Villa Concordia at Bamberg, Germany.
She, the Debutant /
50 feet above town
loud in bed
cold at hand
wolf in a mink fur coat
created creature, gentle creature
always with skirts just a bit too short,
aging past her twentieth year
soon to be touched up
her clitoris around the neck
of a witch doctor
She shouldn’t go
from all of that
from all of those, for whom
I am too clamorous here.Translated from German into AE by Paul-Henri Campbell; taken from the collection MONSTER POEMS (Nora Gomringer and Publishing house Voland & Quist 2013)
Cabbage Patch Kid /
In its first year
it's supposed to sleep as much, develop as much
What is put into it,
is supposed to leave its mark:
strengthen, broaden, make it greater.
Syringes are loaded
against the greatest calamities
– »Look over there, a birdy!« –
the needle is rammed into its arm by the doctor.
The first massive disappointment,
as its mother
At the end of the first year,
steps are due, as well as words.
It shouldn’t shy away from being compared
to other miniatures.
The first negotiations regarding possessions
and rejections, the power of gestures
and the magic of facial features
lead to the second year.
The baby is given its name,
after it has become unambiguously blue or pink.
Only after that point, it's worth cursing and damming
the stork; is it worth feeling beneath the cabbage leaf,
full nine months of uncertainty:
fish or bird. It is always
rather impossible, this endeavor.Translated from German into AE by Paul-Henri Campbell; taken from the collection MONSTER POEMS (Nora Gomringer and Publishing house Voland & Quist 2013)
The Hunter /
You bring along cake and wine, happen upon the wolf.
He opens his pants and says:
And he's standing close to your car window while he speaks
and you pray that he may not realize
that a button pressed in your red Ford
doesn’t automatically mean —
that the wolf may not lead you astray.
Finally, the key slips into the ignition,
you twist it and start the engine.
Now the wolf is mumbling and growling that you must stay,
because of grandmother.
His jaws, he says, are enormous, he will devour her,
should he not get any—cake, any wine.
This is how this marriage begins, as you stay.
And he never eats your cake, drinks your wine entirely. He always saves
a bit for bad times, for dog days.
Years pass by, until somebody comes
who shows grandmother and you the bare necessities,
secretly, of course, after work, at the rifle range in the forest
outside of town.
When once again then cake and wine are to be put out on the table,
and you absolutely refuse to dish up and fill the glass,
refuse to lift your skirt and spread your legs,
gunshots are heard.
And if he wouldn’t have died, he'd still live happily ever after.
(Years elapse, until a well is found, deep enough,
to let things vanish and fade.)Translated from German into AE by Paul-Henri Campbell; taken from the collection MONSTER POEMS (Nora Gomringer and Publishing house Voland & Quist 2013)
How To Love Dog /
Good dog, she says
Good dog, that is
Good dog needs love
Show love to good dog
Dog when out in rain
Dirty dog needs to shower
You dirty dog, dirty doggy need shower
Dog will stand at comand and wait
Shower dirty doggy
Stop dog from shaking
No shaking, good dog
Good dog loves food
Dog food is loved
She says dog will not correspond to no
No is not in dog’s vocabulary
Dog knows stop
Use stop when good dog bad
Bad dog stop barking
Then good dog again
You will love dog
Dog very lovable
When dog good
Just call if you have questionsOriginally English by Nora Gomringer, published in “Mein Gedicht fragt nicht lange – reloaded” (Publishing house Voland & Quist 2015)
Nothing romantic about China /
rabbits in trees
dragons on boxes
red underwear when your year is called
phoenix marries and must not receive pears
and if you are with child: wear socks
cook those blossoms of trees and bushes
and comb your hair with a hint of jade
grind the tiger, boil the turtle out of its shell
obey the 8 and fear the half of it
and never turn a fish on your plate
tattoo the koi and spoil your child before it turns six
and know that parks are lovers’ terrain
when the sun goes down
on your Western ideas and you steal through them
too embarassed to lookOriginally English by Nora Gomringer, published in “Mein Gedicht fragt nicht lange – reloaded” (Publishing house Voland & Quist 2015)