Author Archives: zahnfleisch

About zahnfleisch

Currently living in Leipzig.


My boyfriend has two cats that he loves.  Josephine Foster and Klaus Kinski, better known as Josie and Kinski.  They’re housecats, stuck in a small fifth-floor apartment.  Naturally, they’re happy, bored, scaredy cats.  And naturally, they love to run between our five little rooms, sit on the balcony, and look out the window.  He and I argue sometimes about them, because I don’t like that they can’t go out, and he thinks that it’s dangerous, that they would get hit by cars, and that anyway they’re two years old and it’s too late now.

Kinski likes particularly to sit on the windowsill and look down.  She isn’t afraid.  I’m not afraid either; she’s a grown cat, she needs air and she can make her own decisions.  And she’s agile, of course; she’s a cat and they’re agile.

Konstantin allows it, doesn’t like it, and closes the window when he leaves the house.  I leave it open when I leave the house.

He says that cats fall all the time.  I say No no, ridiculous, sure maybe but what are you going to do, never let them out in any way at all?  I think it’s worse that way than the dangerous way.  If they were my cats they would go in and out, up and down the stairs and into the street if they wanted.  They’re spayed.  Cats need adventure, and if they die young, they were still happy cats.

Last night at a dinner, a friend passed me a small tupperware of bones.  They belonged to her little black Muerte, the freest of Haus cats, who had had ample opportunity to roam and learn the ropes of survival.  She fell out the window, and broke her chin in two.  My friend had told me the story before, and when she did, I said, Oh, so they do fall out the window.

Now she passed the bones, which she had unearthed three months after the fall.  Some were missing.  The flesh hadn’t completely come away, so she buried those again, would take them back out the next time she could.  She wants to rebuild Meurte with her bones and wire, as an act of love and remembrance.

I held the small skull, saw the chin, split like a wishbone, with one little canine on each side.  One friend there was a vet; he said it was the most common injury for cats who fall far.

I held a femur, and it seemed cold to me, colder than a little bone should be.  I mentioned it and people said it wasn’t any colder than anything else in the room, but it felt so to me, and I thought, this is why people talk about cold bones.

I came home at 2:00, thought I saw the sleeping form of Konstantin in the bundled comforter in the dark.  I went to brush my teeth and heard the door click.  He had just come home with red plastic carrier.  It was dusty; he was using it for the first time in a long time.

He said, One of the cats somehow fell out the window.  I said, no.. he was joking.  No, he wasn’t, she fell; Kinski.  She fell to the street and broke — no, not her little chin, but her hip, her paw.  She fell while he was out because the window was open.  He came home and saw her hunched on the street before the door.

I had a thought, that maybe when I took the tiny skull in my fingers, maybe at that exact second, Kinski slid from the sill.  Maybe the skull still had some vertigo about it, residual, a moment so dizzying that Meurte’s bones can still remember it.  Maybe as I touched them, it flew from me to my closest cat on the sill, to Kinski, who was just at the right spot for it to take hold.  Or maybe Meurte felt me there, a stranger petting her, found Kinski, and threw her.

Maybe she just fell.  Shouldn’t she have been sitting there?


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There is a dis – connect—

A dis —







Between the landowners                       and                                the have-nots.

Between the big farmers and the small farmers.

Twixt the fruit and the vine.  so to speak–

‘Tween the field and the Fresse.

And fuck!

It’s making us sick!

It’s making us DIE.

Not die, but DIE.


Like fucking lies.

Not you, nor I.

Not you?


If so –  you know.

If not : You’ve got.

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A few of my favorite jokes..

..that I haven’t been able to tell lately because they don’t work in German.

1.) Q: What do you call a pig who lost his oink?

A: Disgruntled.

2.) A string walks into a bar and asks for a drink.  The bartender tells him to scram, saying “We don’t take kindly to strings round here.”  The string leaves without a fuss.  Once outside, he gets an idea: He messes up his hair, twists himself all around to disguise his original shape, and reenters the bar.  The bartender is suspicious, and asks, “Hey, aren’t you that string I just threw out of here?”  The string smiles innocently and answers, “I’m afraid not!”

3.) A blind man walks into a bar with his seeing-eye dog.  Suddenly, he starts swinging the dog in circles by his leash, crashing into tables and upsetting drinks.  The bartender is shocked, and yells, “Hey, what do you think you’re doing?!”  The man responds, “Oh, just looking around.”

4.) A mushroom walks into a bar and asks for a sandwich.  The bartender refuses, saying, “We don’t serve food here.”  The mushroom protests, “Why won’t you serve me?  I’m a fun guy!”

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It’s a day for gedeihen;

The gardens in me grow.

Behind my eyes

Sunflowers spit fat corns and drop them.

Lolling Angel’s Trumpets in sedated jubilation

And tender tendrils of Morning Glory curlicue

Through my pupils.

The wet snails of my cochleae

Slimingly uncurl themselves on fresh dew leaves

Whose edges caterbrows crunch and mumble.

Close my eyes

And they roll themselves in shrouds,

Blink and they emerge again from crusty hulls


They are blue.

It is blue-butterfly day here in Spring.

There were pumpkins in my neck.

In fall they swoll, popped, and scattered seeds–

Orange sommersprossen.  Schrumpfedremains.

The teeth are clicking beetles

Ecru scarabs, old and measurable totems

Past whom creased mauve worms grub

Smirking and mocking at stoicism.

Swarms of Maybugs populate my brainstalk.

Small green grazers there

Give ant milk

Unmixed with the meat

That the Maybugs take.

Slugs lie heaped and grey in a hollow.

They sleep.  From time to time they twitch.

Outside, the wild wind waves the hay.


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