Antje Stehn

Crooked Time; Meme; Lucky e Zorba: Antje Stehn

Crooked Time

The body is consuming itself
in its different parts at different times
the teeth are ceramic
the heart a weak pump
and in the end, we wrinkle
like used tea bags
desires of eternal youth
sealed in porous paper

When weeks turn into months
the waiting becomes a bedsit flat
and the skin of the room is stretched
like a dress of thorns
worn upside down

and the stubborn spring
out there in front of the window
sucks so eagerly
like a milking machine
that pretends to be a calf

Verbogene Zeitchronik

Der Körper in seinen verschiedenen Teilen
verbraucht sich zu unterschiedlichen Zeiten
die Zähne aus Keramik
das Herz eine schwache Pumpe
am Ende verschrumpeln wir
wie verbrauchte Teebeutel
der Wunsch nach ewiger Jugend
im porösen Papier versiegelt

Wenn Wochen Monate dauern
wird das Warten eine Einzimmerwohnung
und die Haut des Raumes dehnt sich
wie ein Kleid aus Dornen
verdreht getragen

nur der hartnäckige Frühling
da drauβen vor dem Fenster
saugt so eifrig
wie eine Melkmaschine
die so tut als wäre sie
ein Kalb


Meme (at the Louvre)

They touch her
open her with curious fingers
tear her pixelated smile to pieces
in an endless carnival
her aura an exhausted battery
perishes in the unpredictable roads
of algorithms
for anyone to use
pinch open pinch close
the Gioconda is an I-Pad

la palpano
dita curiose
sbranano il suo sorriso di pixel
in un carnevale infinito

sua aura una batteria esausta
perisce nelle strade imprevedibili
degli algoritmi
ad uso di chiunque

pinch open pinch close
la Gioconda è un I-Pad


Lucky e Zorba

The pandemic is an open newspaper
little attention is paid to the space
between one word and another
until the voice is gone.

cats and poets
are lightening towers
in the black
their swollen bellies
full of red herrings

and they know how to sand
that rough strip
between fear and desire

who only has arms to fly
should open them!

La pandemia è un giornale aperto
poco si bada allo spazio
fra una parola e l’altra
finché la voce non c’è più.

i gatti e i poeti
come fari notturni
hanno pance piene
di arringhe crude

e sanno scartavetrare
quella striscia ruvida
fra paura e desiderio
chi per volare
ha solo le braccia
le apra!

This poem is dedicated to Luis Sepulveda, who got political asylum in Hamburg, the city of my childhood, where he spent 10 years of his life and wrote one of his most beautiful stories:” The Story of A Seagull and The Cat Who Taught Her To Fly” He died of Covid 19 on the 16th of April .

Antje Stehn (Germany) resides in Italy. Poet, visual artist, video producer, art curator. Since 1990 she has been showing her work in a number of international exhibitions around Europe and the U.S.A. Later she started integrating her poems into the art installations and organizing poetic-artistic performances. Her work is part of the Saatchi-Saatchi Collection of Milan (Italy) and of the Museum of Salò (Italy). She is part of the international Collective "Poetry is my Passion" which is operating in Milan and organizes transcultural events for the promotion of language and cultural diversity in the cosmopolitan community. She is editing the international poetry voice “Milano, una città mille lingue” (Milan one voice, thousands of languages) for the poetry magazine TamTamBumBum. She is member of the scientific committee of the Piccolo Museo della Poesia of Piacenza, Chiesa San Cristoforo, Italy. Her poems are translated into Italian, English, Polish and Spanish.