Todesgedanken / Dead Thoughts

JOHANN WILHELM LUDWIG GLEIM 

TRANSLATED BY JACE BRITTAIN

Ich bin noch nicht gestorben,

Und wenn ich einmal sterbe,

Dann will man mich begraben,

Und dann soll ich vermodern,

Und nicht noch einmal tanzen.

Jetzt, da ich noch nicht modre,

Muß ich noch Rosen pflükken,

Weil ich den Duft noch rieche;

Jetzt, da ich noch nicht modre,

Muß ich noch Mädchen küssen,

Weil ich den Kuß noch fühle;

Jetzt, da ich noch nicht modre,

Muß ich den Wein verbrauchen.

Werd ich im Grab auch dursten?

not too long

too fatal,

for you, a task,

a tempting;

my engraving,

under in deep soil i’ll molder

a sinked sunk

a bad a bath

a no-more-dancing.

Smell, not yet not now moldy

a mush of rose petals plucked

wiles: a duff which reeks

just a bit still

not molting

yes, mussy and

maddened

by kissing

a kiss a curse

i feel still

yet not yet too molty to

finish off

the wine so,

in the grave

will i be thirsty?

fatal fink*

JACE BRITTAIN

not too long dead......

succumbin not too long

...............................a task

..................my engraving

..................which under

...........i ,ll molder

a sinked sunk a......

no-more-dancing.........

caught ,somefin....

called ,somefin like....

fossilfuelnostalgiec........

ennuiford dissemblyline....

how every frame of film ever

is stock material; rendered-animal-parts

sing wind in a skull emptied

of ev ,r ,y idea ever;...........

............................................

..............used to say..............

..........if an ocean boiled......

........it ,d cook a lot of fish.....

............some jokes...............

..............age deep...........

....................................

.............................

Smell:...............

not yet not now

moldy...............

Whiff:.................

a mush floor of rose

petals plucked.....

of this duff......

Wiles which....

reek just a bit...........

................capsiz

,d bolles held fire....

an acrid all-tings-xchange......

.....................................total poultry

...............................................biomass

..................................a chickenlivers pail

...............................is calamity

......................anacrone buzz to

one thirstingstumbling fly........

not molting...............

....yes mussy &

maddened

by kissing......

a kiss a curse........

a feeling i still.....................

,sa comin not too long....

..............................absence

...........................v ,reciprocate

.............................v ,virtual

............................v ,many

.............................versions

................................futures

......................a paltry liverspail

........................let ,sprocreateawayinnit

........................just donttouch

...............face or hair

..................oxblood XL

....................badly X bathed

..................dont all fluids turn you

........................r fire bowlles

.......................sos

...................xox

....odonttouchme

....odontnotouching

........turn you

in yr grave?.........

............................

............................................

yet not yet too molty to..........

help me polish off the wine so.....

I ,ll be not thirsty ................

in the grave......................

....haveyoufinished

....yourbucketof

......louseeggs

....okissme

....imstarving

*contains in parts & fits & starts the translation of johann wilhelm ludwig gleim’s 1744 poem “Todesgedanken”

jace brittain is a writer, translator, and poet whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Sleepingfish, Destroyer, Deluge, Entropy, Crag, Dream Pop Journal, and the Babel Tower Notice Board. They received their MFA at the University of Notre Dame. As a PhD student at the University of Utah, they study fiction, illegibility, and the intersections between digital, animal, and ecological writing. They are an editor for the Halophyte Collective zine in Salt Lake City and founding coeditor of the independent press Carrion Bloom Books. 

Hominum png (4).png

©2020 by Hominum Journal