Weltende Variation #I

By Bill Knott 1940–2014 Bill Knott

(homage Jacob van Hoddis)

The CIA and the KGB exchange Christmas cards
A blade snaps in two during an autopsy
The bouquet Bluebeard gave his first date reblooms
Many protest the public stoning of a guitar pick

Railroad trains drop off the bourgeois’ pointy head
A martyr sticks a coffeecup out under a firehose
Moviestars make hyenas lick their spaceship
God’s hand descends into a glove held steady by the police

At their reunion The New Faces recognize each other
A spoiled child sleeps inside a thermometer
A single misprint in a survival manual kills everyone
The peace night makes according to the world comes

van Hoddis: author of “the first Expressionist poem,” Weltende, published in 1910. His poem has been aped innumerable times, hence the questionmark in my title.

Bill Knott, "Weltende Variation # 1," from Outremer, published by University of Iowa Press.  Copyright 1989 by Bill Knott.  Reprinted by permission of the author.

Source: Outremer (1989)

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Poet Bill Knott 1940–2014

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

 Bill  Knott


Bill Knott’s poetry collections include The Naomi Poems, Book One: Corpse and Beans (1968), Becos (1983), Outremer, winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize (1988), Laugh at the End of the World: Collected Comic Poems 1969–1999 (2000), The Unsubscriber (2004), and Stigmata Errata Etcetera (2007), a collaboration with collages by the artist Star Black. Knott published The Naomi Poems, Book One: Corpse and Beans under the pseudonym . . .

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POET’S REGION U.S., New England

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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