this song is called nelson
this line is called nelson
this mourning is called nelson
this dish shall be called nelson
this melody is called nelson
this street we call nelson
this corner is nelson
this eye contact nelson
this moment nelson
this monument nelson
it is called nelson

this is a normal night nelson
in a normal country nelson
nothing to stay awake for
nothing to fall asleep to
peace nelson
piece by piece your dreams
will be brought to justice
this fall nelson
I will remember you nelson
and that this strange word
forgiveness now should be spelled nelson
n like negotiate
e like equality
l like legacy
s like serenity
o like oh what now and shall we?
n like nelson
this day is called nelson
every minute should be like asking what are we to do nelson?
politics should be named nelson
so no one can compromise nelson
please people do rise above
please do not brand nelson
do not incorporate nelson
leave nelson be
let him sleep for a while
while we call this particular light nelson
let’s call it a night
don’t say goodbye nelson not yet
let’s stay next to nelson

and tell him how you are
and who you are and why
you are sad and quiet
still mad and still quiet
tell nelson it will change

the next change shall be called nelson
and the next nelson hopefully change



the electric holy cross

christian power in haifa, israel. amen.

2011-08-13 17.42.27

Meiringen/Milagros – Eine Auswanderergeschichte ca. 1893


bei mir zu Hause aufgenommen. Viel Spaß!

some poems i wrote in english for an exibithion of drawings of michael günzburger:

ueli there is no future in this ueli

ueli the fountains will never dry out

and the air is full of sand

or at least it appears to be

the cobblestones are not old ueli

they are in fact younger than you

ueli be careful of the trams

because the trams are somehow silent

and sneak up on you while you

fall asleep sleepwalking ueli

the clock tower is hoarse and

coughs up a bird every hour

that’s about all the action you get


quiet rüedu

and change your t-shirt

people stare

they always do

they stare at nothing

or at each other rüedu

or they stare at you

when your t-shirt is dirty

or yellow or if it’s cold

and you are not wearing enough

rüedu i know it’s hard

to be appropriate

but just try a little harder


rosmarie you mustn’t put

the garbage bag outside on tuesday

tuesday is not a garbage day

they will fine you again

rosmarie tuesday is paper

twice a month rosmarie

it is not very complicated

so do you want to get fined

every wednesday or not


pesche one day i will discover my city

one day i will pesche i tell you i will

count the fountains take pictures of

bridges and put them in a catalogue

pesche i will pay every forest around it

a visit and i will bury in each of them

something that is dear to me listen pesche

i will climb every stutz and sit on

every bench in all the seasons pesche

you will be amazed how informed i

will be about the city i live in before

being too old to explore can you please

bring me another beer pesche thanks


housi turn the music down

housi think about the neighbours

housi shut the windows now

housi please tell them to leave

housi honestly your friends

housi are sorry but really

housi they are assholes

housi not knowing how to behave

housi we all run out of patience

housi you talk to the cops alone



söne when i walk the streets

the streets seem to walk over me

söne sometimes i feel so heavy

that i don’t remember i was once

any younger any smaller

any lighter anything else

söne the years are going down

the drain like the aare flows

down into the rhine and i

still scratch my head wondering

scratch my head wondering

about what it was that i forgot

söne the sky is made from lead

and i feel so tall sometimes

that i have to hold it up it is

heavy to walk these streets söne


any tool can be tired schänggu

any tool is allowed to break

to not function to die schänggu

any tool like a mobile phone

or let’s say my computer


we allow our tools to get tired

to be worn out schänggu

you know what i mean

we allow them to malfunction

and to die after some time


let’s say four years schänggu

five years tops and then every

tool dies on us schänggu there is

no real attachment to things

we want to outlive them


even real estate schänggu

is a mere tool designed

to outlive us schänggu

to be repairable to be still

there when we are not anymore


tools get tired schänggu

and we grow tired of them

they help us not to get tired

of people schänggu or

the real estate we live in



schämpu écoute-moi

schämpu mon ami

cette porte s’ouvre

dans cette direction

schämpu est-ce que

tu es soûl ou quoi

la porte n’a pas changé

mais il semble que tu ne

te souviens plus schämpu

je me fais du souci

schämpu si tu te frappes

la tête tu pourrais la

perdre ou peut-être

tu l’as déjà perdu puisque

tu ne te souviens plus

dans quelle direction

cette porte s’ouvre

mais mais schämpu

Strange Places I’ve never been to

Afder Ethiopia » Somalia Regional State

Arsh Yemen » Muḩāfaz̧at Ta‘izz » Al Misrakh

Bişi Turkey » Van

Brust Park United States » New York » Bronx County

Caca Angola » Cuanza Norte

Sidi Cheib ca. 458 m Tunisia

Dudel Germany » Brandenburg

Dumm-Berg ca. 67 m, Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia

Eier Norway » Hedmark » Nord-Odal

Ei Berg ca. 1038 m, Germany » Bavaria

Fudi China » Shanxi Sheng

Fötz Austria » Styria

De Gagel ca. 12 m Netherlands » North Brabant » Mill en Sint Hubert

Geilo Norway » Buskerud » Hol

Rio Hode Mozambique » Zambézia

Ḩurrah Sudan » White Nile

Idio River Philippines » Western Visayas » Antique

Onggagu Igit ca. 165 m Indonesia » North Sulawesi, stream

Jesses Knob 1164 m United States » West Virginia » Mercer County mountain

Jupi Bolivia » La Paz

Kąck ca. 134 m, Poland » Masovian Voivodeship

Kool Indonesia » East Java

Lalala Gabon » Estuaire

Lustig Park, United States » Wisconsin » Rock County

Mamma ca. 823 m Indonesia » South Sulawesi

Möse, Germany » North Rhine-Westphal

Nein Israel » Northern District

Nutae, French Polynesia

Óhalász Hungary » Heves

Oho South Korea » South Jeolla

Pipi Bolivia » Santa Cruz

Prost’, Russia » Smolensk

Quersack ca. 1 m, Germany » Lower Saxony

Queule Chile » Los Lagos

Ridaküla Estonia » Ida-Virumaa » Vaivara vald

Rötz, Austria » Styria

Seich, France » Midi-Pyrénées » Hautes-Pyrénées » Arrondissement de Bagnères-de-Bigorre

Tite ca. 26 m, Mauritania, Quelle

Tubel Philippines » Cagayan Valley » Cagayan

Übl, Germany » Bavaria

Un-do North Korea » P’yŏngan-bukto

Vögeli, Switzerland » Zürich » Bezirk Horgen » Adliswil

Vuorz Switzerland » Graubünden » Bezirk Surselva » Waltensburg/Vuorz

Wau Wau Sudan » Warab State

Wix ca. 1 m, United Kingdom » England » Essex » Tendring District

X-Ray Cemetery United States » Texas » Erath County

The X United States » Florida » Santa Rosa County

Žiže Bosnia and Herzegovina » Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovin

Zzyzx United States » California » San Bernardino County

Zoe Skouldings and Bill Herberts translations of some of my Poems

Poems translated by Raphael Urweider and Zoë Skoulding:

from: self experiments

vodka you transparent defeat you ice-cooled
mirror-smooth vertical illusion of sea potato rye
grain of life food-funnel my man will have one more
a drill through my upstairs mercy of bread and sugar
my gangway sway never rocked so bright sun-
headed my balance left at the table while pissing
standing hurts the chest funny actually such
seasick defeat bottomless stupidity a condition
that in short can only be called unclouded

from: eight seasons


post autumn

i did not invent the
trees but learnt their
names gave yours
to some they did not
object and repeated it
in the wind the wind
also carries it well
from tree to tree to you

from: a round dance

beatrice i sing when no one’s listening
i dream your names as softly sung
i am well beatrice thank you i hum
and you’re not only on my lips but with
full lungs i force you out from me and
love you in my memory as a high tone
in the head in the ear beatrice i hear you

cecilia the lilies are pale and failing fast
they cry out scent in despair i think

you don’t cry out cecilia you only close your eyes
you don’t smell of lilies no you only smell of me

i cecilia smell absolutely nothing i only watch
your eyelids imitate the skin of lilies I’m amazed

norma and i that is a rhyme
a mesh a thicket in which there’s
room only for norma and me
norma and i slash our way through
the poem pitch a tent on our patch
norma and i sleep tight and our
tent’s made of words that mean us

if it’s quinta or quarta
i can’t decide
on monday comes quinta
on tuesday there’s quarta
on wednesday however i
rack my brains and later
in the week i hesitate
quinta i like and quarta
a lot and fridays with
quinta are instructive and good
and saturdays with quarta
i’m away from it all but
sundays on the phone
with quinta and quarta
no decision made

zoe you have lost an earring
i stroke the grass like a sleeping beast
zoe you have lost an earring
i comb the grass like you comb your hair
zoe i can’t find your earring
i grope in the grass that’s grey in the night
zoe your earring must be somewhere else
i have knelt for so long in the darkness before you
zoe the air smells of earth
i search in vain the soil is soft
zoe your earring may be lost forever
i can only find twigs and stones in the grass
zoe just have a little more patience
i stay on my knees and i search for your sake
zoe you have lost an earring
i will not give up till you have it again
zoe you bend down to help with the search
i find the earring in your hair

Translated by Bill Herbert:

whisky with your brown belly and your
mahogany-resin-miscellany you speak from barrel to
beer to me your clear amber-thrumming stabs
into the middle of migraine’s quarters crawl whisky crawl
you can’t catch me you’re good at burials
piss-poor at betrothals dear whisky
yet again I take another slug give you
my shakes that’s how your brow-clamps warm me
you show the cornfield the charcoal-makers the woods’ gloaming
acrid tyre fire glow slowly going out inside
you in the heart of beige where the sugar lies buried

(bill herbert)

without doubt francesca we belong to you
we are your lips your arms
and eyes, this smile for you
reminds me of me when I
am full of joy joy francesca
is a warm hand that effortlessly
lifts the heart I hardly
care whether your smile is meant for me
I am taken by it francesca I trust
your hands they know
my heart’s true weight

(bill herbert)

magdalena you may not know
how to work the washing machine
but you do know what’s what
I for instance mean something to you

and that makes about as much sense for you
as it makes me into some thing so
the fact of the matter is magdalena
if I may now think of myself as a thing

I can then say that there are things
you don’t know how to work
and I take that to mean that you also
wouldn’t know how to work me

all things being washing machines
but magdalena we are not we say
happily we other things we
are ready to help please help yourself

(bill herbert)

Bill Herbert’s Corbandie in Bernese Dialect

Bill Herbert’s Corbandie in Bernese Dialect.