The Lunatics - The Inmates

I must be the prisoner, unless I'm crazy, for my clothes are prison clothes, and I am wearing prison clothes, am I not? - The brain is so unfree, and the system, into which the brain is born, is so free, the system so free and my brain so unfree, that system and brain are coming to an end. - The hunchback with the water pail, the one with her braids all wild, the nuntails¹ white, the birds black in the green scene, the one with the index finger on his bloody forehead, the one with the yellow rope who climbs the cherry tree, the one in her black frock, with the yellow pants, the one with the girl’s face, the one with the red rose, the one with her hazelnut stick, the one who is weeping, the one bleating like a goat, with the bowed legs, - In rags goes man, in stinking scraps of cloth. The meat grinder wind says—I'm not dumb! Siccing my trouser legs and the dog, it comes inside my head and cuts me down. I have this whore tap on my conscience, this bundle biting into my hunched back. These shoes, this frayed coat, are making me sick. My soupspoon sticks through the pocket of my pants. There in the courtyard, there stand the Pharisees, Nothing but creature from the belt on down! The club swingers, squealers, gunmen, spies in the greasy boot-black of the prefecture. The state's almighty, while you're bitter and weak. Power and the uniform are one in the same. You keep your mouth shut, your head in check, you walk through the wood no one cuts for us. What such a truncheon on the head ruins I know already, it breaks my eardrums. I'm outfitted by the most sub-moron and driven mad with sweat, ransacked, and shorn. These pants rub me raw and the backsides paint The heads of misery on the thick wall. Some get to drink and some have to pay. And the thing that you are drips in your hand. - The reason of the dream fears the reason of love, the reason of power, the reason of death, for the sake of pure reason, which influences no one. - Coming from the consequences for the addiction of thinking, we arrive at the question of meaning that regresses without leaving us behind. - the one with her red hair, with the long tongue, the one with the turnip knife, with the sick lungs, the one with her white veil in the black door, the one with the long neck, the one with her ear cut off, the one with her rosary, with apples, with pears, the ones with yellow, white empty faces, the one with the fear of doctors, the one in the cabbage leaf hat, the one letting her blood drip in the pool of water, - I don't stand on my own, only on floors. Pierced by the eyes in their wood planks, I walk into my darkness, right into these thoughts where nothing remains but stench and stone. Why the dick? What right does it have to me? What did it do early this morning at three? I am sick to my stomach. My throat is raw. Somewhere in my skull, my dull brain's crawled. This is the curse! This is the irony! And you, my moon, my yellow minister, you piss on the world, on philosophy, My last, greatest, and most sacred mentor! My payday's spent. So's my entire life. You are finished! You are long past due! I need no more buy into everything you spew for my red brain turns only more to mush. ". . . if one is less, if eight is only more," that's what my head says as my ankles collapse, "the one from the rooftop, who's made a mess in the night," the one you still hear gasp. My twisted mind, that tit milk of crackups! I am one gifted fellow, officer! Up my ass the world still has some fire as soon as I fetch my lard bread and schnapps! - Clarity exists where the greatest helplessness pretends to be the greatest lack of clarity; in every composition, even in the composition of events inside the human (godlike) mind. - Man, who has the right to have control over himself, who can have control over everything and has the right to this as well; but no one has the right to have control over themselves. - the one who walks on tiptoes through the garden, the one who cuts wheat with her stare, the one with her hair tied to the fence who wants to scream, who’s covered with scratches, the one who comes from the chapel, who looks from the window, the one with the rusty sickle who cuts off flower tops, the one with the black stocking, the one on the hay wagon, the one the ones with the red skirts beat outside the threshing floor, - You have no diamond, no spade, no leaf cards. The jacks of bells trump your fantasias. The morning’s red stinks like one big carcass. Women scream through their hysterias. In my wood shoe skates, snowblind by plaster, pieces of skull snap orders at me from their nightwatchman stupor . . . in the stair the tripes of my soul make me a vegetable. My silly crap lies waiting in the shadows. With head burning from the cold, rod ready, you scratch the dog on his blue balls sourly, and it snarls, dictating its dictation to you. Drinking killed my Easter, my Pentecost, that turtledove madness tickles my thigh. The long nights never cease in the least when it comes to my diabetic insanity. Am I just a bucket’s worth of torture? Am I dead? Are my suicide threats lies? My froth has spun around half the globe. I am stretched out in my prison clothes. My feet think and my mind wanders off. From head to toe the world’s nothing more than an age of depravity and rot. And the city itself is the murderer! - There exist irritating phenomena that are a means to irritate, as, for example, the phenomena between two phenomena and the phenomena that let such irritating phenomena be perceived. - The line is broken from all lines, which proves that there exists no line, and which also proves that one can regard everything as the line, presupposing a character that gets too involved in what inevitably drives it into ruin. - the one running from the kitchen with the soup pot, the one with the mourning veil over her red head, the one with the white coat, with the blue christening bow around the neck, the ones who look in the apple basket, who on green milk drift into the evening, who in the black woods sink into the cold night . . . Schermberg 1949 - To me every star is the police. That marching firmament, every ocean a sea of billyclubs, uniformed shit!, madness is the red on the flag of my prison. As my snow-white loins are whipped, my red head swells in the afternoon wind. I walk flailed where I walk against it, where I cannot find anything to eat. In my eyes flashes the hurricane of laws that bite, that have a sharpness. I'm my own dog and you're the companion I hound into the jailhouse of lewdness. What kind of wine are you, my Master Urine? I walk drunk through the shaven skulls of the under-underworld, through the ruin and out of my hunger braid him pigtails. - Garsten 1950

(Die Irren. Die Häftlinge - 1962)

Translation - James Reidel