Wednesday 29 June 2022

Klaus Høeck: 'Åndelig øvelse 8' (Heptameron)



mental exercise

number eight

or what stillness is

go out into the twilight

and look at the twenty

cubic metres of firewood

your neighbour has just

unloaded onto the road

right outside your

terrace don’t say anything

think you own thoughts

struck by the contrary

opposite of speechlessness





walk over to

the logs

give them a kick and

say: flaming

bloody hell –

shut your trap and

listen to how

the wood mass sucks up

the echo of your words

into itself – listen to

how language ebbs

away into the contra

dictory opposite 





after that place yourself

(note the

expression: place yourself)

place yourself then

directly opposite the

beech logs and stay

perfectly still – now

stillness reigns

in the space between

you and the wood

between your speechlessness

and the wood’s silence

reigns the stillness 





it could also

be said that

speechlessness and

silence are negative

definitions whereas

stillness is a

positive definition

or that speechlessness

is the unsaid

silence the


and stillness

the inexpressible 





that is why you

can break speechlessness

by saying

the word ‘beech log’

and you can
break silence by

striking the beech log

or kicking it

while conversely it

is stillness that

breaks you – breaks out

of or into or

out from the poem


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