Hans Lucht


Played in Reverse


The long journey ends where it once began
with an eel that writes the history of the world in Arabic
in the dewy grass, a boy takes a leather ball to the face and says that
doesn’t hurt, the girls’ glances, the moment’s atomic winter
All day long the theaters are empty, the play is staged
in the street, in the workplace, at night they fill up with party-goers
while the rest of us struggle with sleep’s difficult scripts
The hills of Jutland bend backwards, the highway bridges stand up
like hackles, like night’s magma, the smell of weapons
and tobacco, paperbacks with cheesy covers, Edgar Rice Burroughs
with a ruffled parrot on his shoulder, melancholy songs played in reverse
animal tracks disappear in the snow, rotten berries gather
fill up with juice and bounce back on the bushes in the kitchen garden



Hans Lucht is a Danish writer and anthropologist working in Danish and English. He is the author of two published novels and the ethnography Darkness before Daybreak: African Migrants Living on the Margins in Southern Italy Today that won the 2012 Elliott P. Skinner Book Award from the Association for Africanist Anthropology. Lucht has received grants from the Danish Arts Council and the Danish Arts Foundation. The poem belong to a larger work titled Shining Train.

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