November 4, 2010

Marcus Speh

Hänsel und Gretel

The heart is a limekiln and it always burns. Gretel is stuck inside: sharp nosed, short sighted, she carries the corners of her mouth a little higher than you would expect in this land of the drooping moods and her glasses in the bag because she's vain and wants people to look at her eyes and not at her spectacles. Her sample sentence: are you joking? It's tight in this oven: Hänsel is here, too, a Russian-German but that doesn't matter now, he's got one of his large hands, the right one with the crooked cut nails, on Gretel's left boob and milks it gaily to the rhythm of the music that rises all the way from the shop full of African artifacts and up to the roof and into the kitchen where Hänsel and Gretel share a baking tray. Hänsel's sentence isn't really a sentence: ah nah. Gretel looks at Hänsel and pushes his hand aside: are you joking? Hänsel puts his hand back: ah nah. The music has no climax, instead it returns to itself just like Hänsel and Gretel. Where's Hänsel's other hand? What's covering Gretel's other boob? Why don't you leave symmetry alone. Ah nah? Are you joking? I wish I was, so that we could laugh instead of stew here slowly. Perestrojka is rad. Their joint sentence: the witch can stuff it.


Marcus Speh lives in Berlin near a large selection of fine coffee houses and an even larger selection of fine writers. He writes mostly in English. His short prose - sometimes published under the pseudonym Finnegan Flawnt - can be found or is forthcoming at >kill author, elimae, Emprise Review, Mad Hatters Review and elsewhere. More about him at

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