Die Bärliner - The Bard College Berlin Student Blog
Tag "Poetry"
on the Bard College Berlin Student Blog

“Convergence” by Jackson Pollock, 1952 (credit: WikiArt.)

Just an Expression


I wish I could draw:

Give form to my thoughts

Relinquish all the chaos of my imagination

onto a page

for another’s to make sense of


I wish I could tap that




The fount of liquid fireworks inside my head

Let drip their colours into

paintings or sketches

Order the obstinate mercury into expression

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Laura Kuhn 1

Fall scene. Credit: Valerii Tkachenko

A poem to the boy who owes my heart some heavy-duty patches, and soon, before it heals all crooked

For awhile you were happiness

A type I had never tasted before

Somehow familiar –

like nutmeg and cinnamon,

fragrant and warm –

But somehow,

with laughter


a body and soul

Your taste was new

This happiness was …


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Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon, ‘Self Portrait’, 1972.

In little rooms stacked like blocks, lining the pristine streets, they wait. Eyes big as street lights shine from their heads, heavy with anticipation, swaying side to side under the weight of waiting. Small bursts of excitement leave their lips like barks. Nervous bones lead to pacing and strange habits.

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To do list

Credit: Adam Diaz (Wikipedia)

To know more about this project, please check out the first collaborative list, 20 Reasons to Run Away and Never Come Back, found here.

20 Reasons to Tell Them

  1. Because I need to practice my speaking skills
  2. Because my distress has made me feel less like a human and more like a slug
  3. Because I want her to know
  4. Because his voice is filled with silver, his body filled with anniversaries
  5. Because I never want to forget
  6. Because I need to stop pretending that I will live forever
  7. Because they might not know that you’re totally into building model trains and become your friend
  8. Because I’ve always had enough reasons and that’s reason enough
  9. Because we were so unfounded in the dark
  10. Because why waste the money if I don’t really want to be here?
  11. Because I need to maintain my own idea of me among so many ideas of me
  12. Because my roommates might stop stealing my milk
  13. Because hurting your friend’s feelings for a short amount of time is better than letting her out of the house looking like that
  14. Because one day you might not have the words
  15. Because they might try to understand your depression better so they can know how to help you
  16. Because it makes me tear up, which feels good
  17. Because they might be into BDSM as well
  18. Because this could remind me that my voice is worthy of being heard
  19. Because they might agree and everyone likes agreeing on things
  20. I’ve got no reason at all. I’m completely unreasonable
The cover of Aurelia's recently published book of poems

The cover of Aurelia’s recently published book of poems in Romanian

Subtly overwhelmed by the realization of my graduation, I, like my graduating class fellows, have embarked upon the journey of exploring the world of “what if.” Amidst the swirl of mixed emotions signalling the end of another fruitful academic year at Bard College Berlin, I found myself caught within an entanglement which marks a fixed and certain end, and at the same time announces an exciting, but yet unknown beginning. Potential anchors in this unrelenting “self-search” vary from one graduate to another, but beyond these differences, I harbor a wish to discover the promising land of “what if” by finding the trajectory of those who have already been in my situation, but have followed their own inspiring path. I found out about the “road taken” by an alumna of our university, Aurelia Cojocaru, currently a PhD student in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and author, publishing under the pen name Aura Maru. The following interview is an interesting glimpse into the marked stations that Aurelia passed on her path.      

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Photo by Howard Hall.

Photo by Howard Hall.

I have been thinking a lot about lists. And I have been thinking a lot about reasons. What inspires us to make the choices we make? Many weeks ago I started compiling lists of lines of poetry, not full poems themselves, but simply lists of one line each that one-day could belong to a poem. And I started to think: all my lists of lines had themes, had reasons behind them, reflected how I was feeling. It was impossible to separate the list from myself, and thus the lists became reflections of myself in the moment of their creation. With this realization I found I could experiment in making a multi-dimensional self. One that wasn’t me, and actually wasn’t anyone, but was made out of the lists of as many people as I could convince to give me their words, and by combining them I could create some sort of universal, shared, yet nonexistent person. 

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The Pacific Ocean

The Pacific Ocean

How can a gesture erase

                                                           a thousand others

are less than the one                         person

insufficient                                          one


The hand’s caress

                                                           caressing un-draws

figures in the sand                              the cathedrals,

                                                           erected to capture

children playing

distant sounds                                    the awe for God,

now                                                    are now gossamer structures

                                                           floating on the frothy water

The hand holds grains                        towards the indeterminate

It constructs                                        horizon’s alter.

The hand holds onto a grain

like a drowning man out of luck.

                                                           And as he pulls on that speck,

                                                              he unravels his own fabric,

                                                                 for he is made of sand,

                                                                 as much as his castles.


That hand’s caress                             unforgettable, unforgiving

Nothing more persists                        nothing more exists

than the downing man’s living:           excess

                                                              of sorrow

of another tomorrow,

                                                           in-between being.

Like a comb
                                                  found when unsearched for
missing some teeth…

Like forced smiles                      in a nursing home

Like a hurt animal                      trying to save some last moments

                                                  demarcated by some random feet of space

                                                  in the deep of an engulfing forest

                                                  (before the attack comes again).

This shelf

whose order was broken,

                                                  this shelf––

little holes of space––

belonging                                   no more together

than separate.

Dusty remnants…

                                                  Does the dusty plane

                                                  maintain a solid?

Array of sordid

                                                  two and three dimensions.

This shelf bares its items

like a gypsy traveler abandons his circus.

He glares as the lion there

and is no less pathetic.

                                                    He growls at command,

                                                  snaring with hate and hurt


                                                    prosthetic and decayed,

                                                        chipped off fangs.

Every roar betrays

                                                  a throng of pangs.

The shelf                                   laughs

and bares its soul––

                                                  some one took away

                                                         his things.

Some one took away,

from the shelf,

some things

contained                                   some one


                                                 some things


The shelf snickers and hisses



its maimed mouth.

And somewhere

                                                     a gypsy,

                                                     or a lion,

                                                  or an owner

                 mirrors and mimics

                 its shriveling sound.