Max Sessner


I want to be someone else a
yellow midday spreads itself out
all the way into my pocket
where coins clink and my
fist lives with which today I
would like to hit someone
in the face but that will subside
in the evening the hand of a
strange poet opens by itself
then lies in front of me and
I lay the television
remote in it which it
clearly likes because suddenly
we are friends have already lived
on the same bank of the river
a very long time


Rain falls on the wedding
a hole in the church is suspected
and the blessing jumps crazily
from umbrella to umbrella the
witnesses have fled into
a blue station wagon and
stare helplessly at the courtyard
wedding couple in distress He: It’s a pity
She: Shit but near to
his ear her face reddened
happiness unfurls despite
wetness and no longer so
beautiful hairdo I’m looking for
matches absolutely want to
smoke now on this
not-so-tender afternoon from
which a cold will
remain an ugly broach
in my chest but beautifully
engraved on the back do you
see a little monkey and under it
the greetings of the bride

MAX SESSNER’s poems appear widely in German-language magazines, and he is the author of eight books of poetry including, most recently, Das Wasser von Gestern (The Water of Yesterday) published by edition Azur in 2019, and Küchen und Züge (Kitchens and Trains) and Warum Gerade Heute (Why Especially Today), both from Literaturverlag Droschl. He won the Rotahorn Literature Prize in 2020, and Red Hen Press will publish Francesca Bell’s translation of his first collection, Kitchens and Trains, in 2023. He lives with his wife in Augsburg, Germany where he works at the public library.

About the Translator:

FRANCESCA BELL is a poet and translator and the author of Bright Stain (Red Hen Press, 2019). Her work appears widely in journals such as B O D Y, New Ohio Review, North American Review, Massachusetts Review, Mid-American Review, and Prairie Schooner. She lives with her family in Novato, California.

Read more by Max Sessner:

Three poems in B O D Y
Two more poems in B O D Y
Poem in Rattle
Another poem in Rattle
Poem in Waxwing
Another poem in Waxwing
Yet another poem in Waxwing
Ten poems at lyrikline
Interview with Max Sessner in B O D Y