Today's poem is by Chad Bennett

Gerhard Richter

            New York Times Magazine, January 27, 2002

Dresden was still in ruins, so we were
obliged to work twice a week clearing away
rubble around the city. We discovered
the cellars of churches and a system
of tunnels under the city. Fantastic.
It all seemed perfectly normal. We were
very happy. We made jokes. At school,
the training was quite severe, different
from schools in the West, and I enjoyed it
at first. To work around and under
the city seemed a different system
of training. We discovered it was
perfectly normal the cellars were churches;
the tunnels and rubble were schools; and the West
was away, in a fantastic clearing—
it was all perfectly normal. In ruins
we discovered work, and twice we discovered
in the work a system of jokes: so it
seemed. And the city, quite severe, seemed
perfectly happy. Still: obliged to
work in the cellars and tunnels under
the perfectly normal, we discovered
we were clearing away fantastic jokes,
and in, around and under the jokes
we discovered—we made—the city under
the city, so still it seemed (at first) the first.

Copyright © 2008 Chad Bennett All rights reserved
from Jubilat
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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