The Austrian Riveter: From MY HAARSCHWUND by Franziska Füchsl, introduced by Anna Blasiak

I was recently trying to write a poem about the Holocaust and I decided to use hair as a way into the subject, as I felt quite inadequate in addressing it. Hair, all its good and bad aspects, the amazing and the terrifying. How indulgent then to find Franziska Füchsl, and specifically her entire book devoted to hair. But please don’t get out your combs or brushes. Let all the entanglement excite you. Just follow the trail of the hair…


		and ’ere. She, stiffening into her dice. She, prepared to appear in print. Her face, breast, hips knees and toes, her shoulders, arms, hands, fingers pasted and pressed: she, a cliché. Pressed to 
replicate. ’er black face-flecks, ’er black breast-flecks, ’er black hip-flecks, ’er black knee-flecks, ’er black toe-flecks, ’er black shoulder-flecks, ’er black arm-flecks, ’er black wrist-flecks, ’er black knuckle-flecks, ’er black nail-flecks to disseminate.

Press did not miss her barycenter - - dumper dumper. A mattress and 
a pullover to tuck her. 
es wead scho glei duhumper
es wead scho glei noght
drum kim I za diaha her 
the hei'hond af d'woght 
wü singa a liahadl 
the leapling the kloan
du me'hatst not schlohofm
I hear di nu woan
Somewhat is excelling exclamation, somewhat is exclaimed into   existence. with the force of a cloudburst, ’er ’air pastes ’er ’ead. Skeins, thrums cut, reddish, are felt for ropes tightening our       bemusement in sachets

’he pastes ’er ears with ’er ’air, sucked 


Wallowing in ooze - - - wallowing in mire - - - wallowing in stillness - - - wallowing in ifs - - - walloping in ooze - - - walloping in mire - - - walloping up silence - - - swallowing my ifs - - - lowering my hair - - - lowering my hair into ooze - - - lowering my hair into this mire’s ooze - - - lowering my hair into silence, absolute - - - covering that silence with ifs


If the rest were a story, the story’d go: to wraiths, were witnesses necessitate faith. I have seen this face
’he’s beautiful: ’ere

						and here

When did you accept to dissimilate? - - - To the rumpus

By Franziska Füchsl

Written in English


By Franziska Füchsl

Published by Sampson Low (2020)

Read The Austrian Riveter here or order your paper copy from here.

Buy books from The Austrian Riveter through the European Literature Network’s The Austrian Riveter page.

Franziska Füchsl lives in Vienna and Kiel. She studied German and English philology in Vienna and Sprache und Gestalt (Language and Form) at Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design in Kiel. She is a member of the Vienna-based translation group Versatorium.

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