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Franziska von Puttkamer
B. Brecht (transl. Lee Baxendall, Tom Clark)
Whenever we seemed
To have found the answer to a question
One of us untied the string of the old rolled-up
Chinese canvas on the wall, so that it would unravel and
Reveal to us the man on the bench who
Doubted so much.
I, he said to us
Am the doubter. I am doubtful whether
The work was well done that devoured your days.
Whether what you said would still have value for anyone if it were less well said.
Whether you did say it well instead of just relying on its truthfulness.
Whether it is not ambiguous; each possible misunderstanding
Is your responsibility. Or it can be unambiguous
And take the contradictions out of things; is it too unambiguous?
If so, what you say is useless. Your thing has no life in it.
Are you truly in the stream of happening? Do you accept
All that becomes? Are YOU becoming? Who are you? To whom
Do you speak? Who finds what you say useful? And, by the way:
Is it sobering? Can it be read in the morning?
Is it also linked to what is already there? Are the sentences that were
Spoken before you made use of, or at least refuted? Is everything verifiable?
By experience? By which? But above all,
Always above all else: how does one act
If one believes what you say? Above all: how does one act?
Reflectively, curiously, we studied the doubting
Blue man on the canvas, looked at each other and
Started all over.