the earth is a spherical spaceship by Carl-Christian Elze, translated by Caroline Wilcox Reul

the earth is a spherical spaceship orbiting, at a hundred
and seven thousand kilometers per hour, a burning ball
of gas like a mosquito circling a tea light in a
wind-calm black wood. all the while our hair-dos,
the hair-dos of ectoparasites, remain wonderfully still
on our spherical heads.
our eyes are also spherical: they peer out
without windshields. if it weren’t for those interstellar
cops – who pull us over and cash in
because we’re out cruising at 65 instead of 50 kilometers
per hour when we were actually doing a hundred seven
thousand – we’d have less to laugh about,
and our laughter races around the sun like crazy
happy dust.
Carl-Christian Elze was born in 1974 in Berlin and currently lives in Leipzig. He studied biology and German studies at the University of Leipzig, and later creative writing at the Deutsche Literaturinstitut Leipzig. He writes poems, short stories and libretti and currently runs a series of readings in Leipzig called niemerlang. From 2002 until 2009 was an editor for the literary journal plumbum. He has won many prizes, grants and residencies for his work including the Lyrikpreis München in 2010, Joachim-Ringelnatz-Förderpreis in 2015 and most recently a residency at the Deutsche Studienzentrum in Venedig. His fifth book, diese kleinen, in der luft hängenden, bergpredigenden gebilde, was published in 2016.

Caroline Wilcox Reul is a freelance lexicographer and translator. She has a MA in computational linguistics and German language and literature from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. Her translation of Wer lebt/Who Lives by Elisabeth Borchers was published by Tavern Books in May of 2017. The Broadsided Press published a bilingual broadside of Borchers’ Der Schweigsame/The Silent One in 2016, and her translation of a poem by Carl-Christian Elze is forthcoming in the 2018 issue of Poetry International.