Thursday, December 29, 2011


Two weeks before the End of the IWP happened a lot. I had several readings in Iowa City, at the German Department of Iowa University, a discussion at the Creative Writing Workshop of Iowa Univ. and a reading of my essay "Dog´s Freedom" of my essay on the radio KRUI in Iowa City.
You can listen to it here, podcast from New York, in the original version. In the public radio - here in Iowa City KRUI  - in the USA one cannot say any "rude" word  - and I did, I said my slogan: TWO TIMES! fuck! - without knowing the consequences:: 60 thousand dolars is the sentence, they told me after my life reading.:: Hui!Hui!... Goddness blessed me, all went well, a big relief! Good people, good purpose! There fore there isn´t it any other possibilty to hear my reading in Iowa City on the radio KRUI again... but I could read it again in New York, this was free:. Enjoy (a short version)!
I was also invited to read at the German - American Heritage Center in Davenport, in state Iowa.

 On the road to Davenport I had a great surprise: I saw the large river MISSISSIPPI. Wow, I love it, so big, large!! This river has really an attraction, a spirit, no wonder there are some songs about this monument.... This a visibel bridge ove the river Mississippi in Davenport. Walk & Talk.
  I was also invited for the reading to the private College in Grinnell, there is a famous German departement. I had a reading there in German and participated at a school- workshop. There I was speaking about my work at the German radio WDR3in Cologne. I was surprised there were only 6 students. Well, I was reminded this was a private college for a few students, not public, where are more than 15.
And had a reading in The Haunted Bookshop in Iowa City, accompanied by the wonderful piano player ("booggie, wooggie-style") Chase Garett. In IC is he well known piano player. Later in the week I visited his amazing concert at the Englers Theater in Iowa City. He was the first one I got to know in IC. I invited him to my reading to play on piano - exactly there where we met for the first time!! He accepted kindly my invitation and made my reading of my poetry lively. I was reading inside of the bookstore, but also outside - there is one piano standing in front of the Café "Tea Spoons". It was a wonderful reading with the Iowans! In Iowa City, in the bookstore The Haunted Bookstore you can buy my T-Shirts with my slogan "I am a writer not a fucking besteseller", some people bought it during my reading - so far in Iowa City I already have my fans, thank you! One reader also bought my novel n German: Nennen Sie mich Diener.

And the last but not at least to Iowa City was invited to a ceremony:
I was as other writers participated on the International Writing Program and therefore in the end AWARDED THE TITLE OF HONORARY FELLOW IN WRITING (see above the photo) by the University Iowa City. (see later the document I attach here).
Our final stay we enclosured with the reading of Wole Soyinka in the Englert Theater in Iowa City.
I packed and packed, books and papers, I had to send some packages to New York! How I deliver them to Europe? I think I must stay in the USA... I build here up my new library, even moving library in the luggage... They shipped our luggage to New York, and we could easily fly to Washington DC!
On November 8th I left (with all the writers) and said GOOD BYE to IOWA CITY and all people I got to know, there were a few I will miss! For example the German-American artist Hans Breder.  With the musician, fantastic bluess player Chase Garett we would like to continue on our common preformance...  Three students -  Alex, Jeniffer and Evelyn  - and their professor Jon -  from the Media Art Departement: New Media and Literary Research of Iowa Universiry chose me to focus on me as a writer and to collect all documents published about me and from me. What an honour! I say: thank you; this is a gift from you, Iowa City.
I was delighted to speak with them in their class about my way... as a young writer, living between two cultures: Czech and German. They write about me an absolut detailed bibliography and made with me a video, photo album... And there is also a student who likes to translate my play "Mehr als Meer" into English. We have already managed a part of it...
As the guide Lonely Planet comments: The US president´s way to the White House leads through Iowa, - I adjust it to my way, if you allow it to me - the writer´s way to Parnass of the Literature leads also through Iowa, exactly through Iowa City (International) Writings Program.

Helás! Good bye Iowa City!

I had a very enriching time there!
PS: See you soon, Iowa sure sure sure!
I know I have friends there!
Daily  coffee drink in Tea Spoons. Nice people in there.

Daily walk & jogging along the river Iowa, direct next to my hotel.

Daily walk along the Capitol.

The Haunted Bookshop in Iowa City.

At the "Foxhead" my favorite pub in IC:

This is my absolute favorite building, guess who is the architect??  - Frank Gehry.
Photos from Iowa City by Evelyn Aguilar.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


My novel in German language, translated by Steph Morris: 
NENNEN SIE MICH DIENER. Published by Schumachergebler, Dresden 2011.
Buchtrailer in Deutsch / Booktrailer in German:

Novel is about: Two disturbed men, obsessed by their own rules and systems: Leonard believes he is an obedient servant but serves only himself, according to a system of serving rules he himself has determined. Professor King can only relate to the world through arithmetic; he is a numbers collector who has developed a system for measuring every footstep. He employs Leonard believing he can manipulate him. Leonard believes he has finally found a master he can serve. Both men founder on the rocks of their demands and desires. Milena Oda has created two extraordinary figures, authentically masculine, and with them a dysfunctional fairy tale with a bizarre and a surprising ending.

In English:




Part I: My Name Is Servant

My name is servant.
And I request you to address me as such; I am Servant and am called Servant. An individual does not, as people imagine, require a first and second name. My name is Servant. When people persist in asking ‘what are your first and second names?’ I turn away and refuse to listen. The gentlefolk claim not to comprehend me? How else should servants indicate their servitude? They are astonished, shake their heads, stare at me and still will not understand. ‘I cannot assist you with an answer sir.’ They ask me again, trying to unnerve me. ‘Your name is Steven Servant?’ No, my name is Servant. I have no answer to questions such as ‘Why do you call yourself Servant?’ It pains me that I must hear words such as ‘unfortunate’ and ‘pitiable’, must continually point out my vocation. You do not see a Servant? You have not noticed my resplendent livery? People rely on patterns, and if they are missing, the world dims around them. Servant is neither a Christian nor a surname; my name might have been Footman, Valet or Right Hand Man. I could also be called Aide, Adjunct, Attendant or Lackey, but no word better describes my character, always ready to serve, than Servant. I have always been the quiet accompaniment to the loud melody: chestnut seller, newspaper deliverer, keeper at the military museum, porter, doorman. I began as a lackey and I wish to finish as one.
I am enthralled by subordinance, its self-effacing constraints. My sense of self is insufficient (a servant’s sense of self) and I cannot and will not live in liberty. Independence is unbearable to me.
I am always dressed in my livery (except during my morning and evening ablutions) so I believe there is no reason (any more) to call me Leonard. I require a lengthy pause for breath when I hear the word ‘Leonard’ or must speak it. If I deliberately call myself Leonard, it means I wish to leave a long, deep scar in my body. I have to leave something there, someone indeed, who I wish to be... so I am disparaging about myself. There really is no-one left to whom I am Leonard. And certainly not when I face people in my livery. I stand before him in my livery and call him, ‘my master’! He knows full well what it means – to me – to wait patiently by someone with the obedient composure of a servant. And I do not answer the question, ‘why do you wear your livery outside of your working hours?’ I remain silent in line with Rule 8. I, the Servant, wear livery day and night, and this livery is my skin, my ego. The livery allows me to call myself I, raises my status. It is the highest honor to wear the livery constantly, and to be clothed in it in the presence of a master. This is dictated by the most important rule, Rule 1.
I advocate traditional serving values - I have created 47 servant's (my) Rules. I am the embodiment of a court attendant’s courtesy.
The searching gaze of my wide-spaced eyes betrays my innate servility. ‘Alongside your utter obsequiousness there’s also a certain honesty to your plucky little cross-eyed face,’ the mother used to tease me. My eyes are wet and bulbous, and I have ‘water on the brain’ with a broad forehead and protruding ears. She called me ‘my baboon’. I have large ears – an unmistakable sign of a congenital developmental disorder. My colorless hair points to a serious degeneracy. Nature made me ugly. When I open my mouth I reveal a cleft between my two front teeth. I think of this repugnant gap every time I have to speak; I would rather use sign language. I stutter over the simplest greetings. Uttering even a brisk ‘Good morning’ is difficult. I have no desire to wish anyone except my master a good day or a good evening. It is required of the Servant that he exchange words only with his master. Forcing me to speak has a crushing effect. My stutter consciously restrains me from contact. I maintain distance from anyone not interested in me as a Servant. I like to serve in company where I can genuinely be of service. I deploy every resource of my soul to uphold my servant psyche.
In the morning I look in the tiny mirror with one eye closed, in order not to see more than my chin and jaw while shaving. Leonard never looks in the large mirror when he is naked. Only the naked man is called Leonard. How inept this Leonard is. I abhor Leonard’s degenerate masculinity. A hideous individual. I am overcome by a ghastly angst if forced to see myself without my livery. I detest the asymmetry of my body. It is ten years since I last saw my deformed frame exposed in a mirror. This grotesque sight causes me pain and embarrassment. When I see myself naked, I beat and tear and hate myself. Leonard’s ugly physicality is a mixture of the ridiculous and the merciless; nature made a joke at his expense when she begat him. How damned similar he is to a poor cripple in every detail of his own wounded, malformed appearance! How disgusting to be like such people! I am precisely like them. A vile hound. Naked and debased, Leonard barks helpless on his lead.
If I put on my finest livery and pull on the exquisite white silken gloves, the bland individual Leonard becomes a snappy, dapper Servant. Then I stand in front of the tall mirror and admire the allure of the attractive Servant before me. What release: an unleashed dog’s euphoric cry! The moment each morning when I see myself in the delightful livery is a vision of style, a feeling of joy. I begin my service with renewed courage and resolve.


Part III: At the King's Court

Not yet an English palace, but a master requiring ‘assistance for scientific purposes’. I repeat the requirement, the precise nature of which remains unclear. How strange it is to travel across the city. For the last fifteen years I have barely left my street. My environment has consisted of the four roads surrounding the house I live in, the daily walk in my sortie-livery sufficing. The journey through the city makes me alert. I stand taut in the bus; I neither talk to anybody, nor gaze inquiringly at anyone. I do not have the strength for strangers’ gazes. My legs give way, my long body buckles, out of my control. Along the streets, my pace breathless. The people are loud. Following the pavements, lost in the traffic, saved by a friendly gentleman – he could easily be my master. I walk fast down a narrow alley. Fear of the unknown. I see myself as a fearful person, although I have long waited for this unique moment. I must be free of any doubt. Dazed by the journey, I hear the noise of the streets in my gut. There is the house. At last! I stand at my new master’s front door. How long I have waited for this moment! I hear myself ring the bell. I am not told his name. I address him for now as ‘sir’. He will soon reveal the title the humble one is to use when speaking to him.
Half past four on the dot, you’ve managed it. Pull yourself together Servant. Were I not now here at the door, I would be arranging the four-thirty tea-time ceremony, would be taking delight in serving my good master Earl Grey in green china cups with fruit scones. I long for these strong, static, aristocratic traditions; to be one of the finest servants around.
‘Enter!’ A man’s voice calls from behind the door, a voice leading me to expect something noble. How pleasant it is to hear the command ‘Enter!’ – a foretaste of ritual and of a real master! It is a good start. I step inside. Through the dark passage straight into a bright living room. A small, rotund man with a square skull and a wide, round face sits in a wingback chair by an open window in the huge room – he reminds me of a Swedish bulldog. His sallow, unresting, green eyes observe me earnestly, curling eyebrows arching up as if the man were forced to endure acute pain. His small, open mouth breathes loudly and with effort, and his eyes reveal exhaustion and inertia. Is this the master? I check my posture and my standpoint.
Then the sight of his living room – such chaos! Everything in a mess. I understand now; I have been summoned on account of this disorganisation. He needs a fastidious assistant such as myself. With my acute sense of structure I will create impeccable order amongst his books and papers, make every intractable corner beautiful; I cannot abide negligence.
He heaves himself up from the armchair and cries out, ‘Bohumil, how tall are you? I need to know precisely. Detailed knowledge is my business. I approach data and facts meticulously. Do you know the exact length of your limbs?’ ‘Of course, sir.’ I bow in compliance. ‘I am 1 metre 97 tall, my arms are 1 metre and 3 centimetres, my torso is 97.3 centimetres long, my legs 99.5, my feet 33.4. Should I continue?’ ‘Highly interesting personal details. Every determinable number relating to your person is of great interest to me. My research field is man and the world as a mathematical figure! You understand what I am saying?’
A pause. He is waiting for my ‘yes’. I am silent. I will not pronounce a ‘no’, according to Rule 34.


Translation by Steph Morris *London^Berlin, 2010.
published in Germany, Dresden.
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Sunday, October 30, 2011

ESSAY: DOG´S FREEDOM (Oct.2011) Iowa City&Chicago Panel discussion (short version)


 Dog´s freedom

There is an aphorism from Franz Kafka I always remember when I speak about freedom: “A cage in search of a bird.” I would like to adjust it for my essay to say: “A chain in search of a dog”.
My motto is: “I am a writer, not a fucking bestseller.” I created it not for the provocation, but because I felt it to be a truth. Sure I know that the freedom in this motto is limited. The basic sense is this: the writer is an individual; the bestseller is a part of the system, and happy.
There is a chain of fast food in the US called Jack-in-the-Box. I visited one recently; during my quick visit to Spokane, I found only fast-food restaurants on the highway. The feeling of sitting there and actually being a jack-in-the box, chained to simple, unhealthy food, made me vomit.
They put us in this prison, in that box. When they told me that, first and foremost, I was Eastern European and I should write about my experiences as Eastern European, about the politics. Shall I do violence to my soul and mind, and start writing what the literary business demands from me? No. My mind is not committed to politics. Politics in literature is for me nothing more than nonsense.
 I started becoming ill; when they put me and my literature in that cage and told me “You are not needed, if you don’t write as we wish,” I got crazy. What madness, being useless! This was the absolute precipice; after this there was nothing else, only madness or fortunate survival through a great miracle… Being a writer and not fitting in with the current topics, the current spirit or melody in the framework of a society is like being a jack-in-the box – popping up and down, suffering and howling to be noticed while still alive. Must the writer suffer? Not rich, not accepted. Hm. I don’t want to suffer; I want to live a good life as a needed, respected writer…and enrich and motivate the others. Limitations shouldn’t damage creativity. I see this not as a grotesque game but as a serious one. To have no means for communication as an unnecessary writer, with nothing but humanity – no readers for my writing, no audience for my performances – is what I dread most, like all creative souls. We know many examples of such writers from the world´s literature.

But one thing is clear: I say loudly - Milena, a new regime is being formed. A quick switch from communism into the new art of oppression and of limitations for art, the so called Media-Regime. Media dominate us and set the rules of the freedom. This limited freedom of creativity and expression is the first sign of a world gone wrong! No more kindred spirits! Human beings are walking towards stupidity.
What a blessing to be a writer, to be able to sense hidden truths. I know there is something wrong about politics? And about the world’s hidden social structures that make individuals anxious. I see young and old people demonstrating. Now! In NYC, in Chicago, even in Iowa City - all over the world. I took part in “Occupy Chicago”. I prompt my soul to go on strike, too. I want to create a revolution in literature. I will start that revolution! It is fate that forces me to forsake my power and my courage. I am not giving up fighting. I fight for my freedom and for the freedom of being a writer! I am a writer, not a fucking best seller! I don’t want literature to become fast food literature, the literature of business and empty profit.
I am convinced that I can act, not just carry a story through action like a chained dog, but also to register emotions and portray a real character with my individual loves, loyalties, and hates. Literature must become individual again, to the same degree that it had been for ages in Europe.     
Hold on, writer, if you don’t fit in this current world. The world is still changing. I have a vision. I am keeping on track, not on the chain, not in the cage. I’ll start the revolution as a fucking writer!

Chicago/Iowa City, 10.10.2011


Love with this city isn´t at the first sight, the city is growing in me, probably into the mutual love... Yes, now I love the city! It is a bit strange, but generally interesting moving city. I feel a movement here. And I came in this city - I was feeling the coming REVOLUTION. And this city is right for the revolution!
 It is not so far from Iowa City to go to Chicago, for me it is like the trip Berlin-Prague - 350km - 3-4 hours drive by car.
I was really looking forward to visiting this famous city... My idea of organizing was, to stay a few days! As long as I could be away from our program, it means during the weekend into the week. I was about to find a rideshare or go by bus ("Megabus" for about 20-35 dollars). To fly it´s not convenient from IC. I had to have a transport to the airport. All takes the same time like flying. I found a rideshare, a student from IC who translates my play into English.
For this time I used the fabulous I am a member, but don´t use it much. Mostly in the USA. It is a wonderful meeting point if one is alone on the road, or doesn´t know people in the new city... well, there are a lot of cause to use CS. I didn´t know anybody in Chicago, so I decided to put my posting there. In 30 Minutes I got two answers, I decided for Yakov. He is originally from the Ukraine. The Slawic roots connect always, there is some warm character, some kind radiation which goes direct from the heart in the heart and back and in the air..., as well as the European roots connect me here with people whose origin is in Europe. Some feel these roots strong, some are just "reminders" of European origin. It is interesting the kind of connection I feel here in the USA or generally in the other world, outside of Europe.
Yakow showed me after I arrived the whole city by night, what a kind offer from him!! I was excited, to have such an incredible experience - Chicago from all the sides by night! He was&is really very kind guy... (I hope he reads it here, so far he knows it, I told him it...). Well, then I wanted to see the city, to walk and to meet people. I had an intuition, that I could be involved in the movie... It happened almost in the same time I stepped on the street... Yakov showed me, the famous HOTDOG =Wiener's Circle (sure I am attractive to WIEN/Vienna). I don´t like hotdogs, fastfood... but here I payed attention to people who were around and FILMING. I don´t know the name any more unfortunately, even when I got involved in the filming. I asked the right person randomly - the producer, if I could be a part of the team and he looked me the whole and said: Yes!! Come tomorrow and you can be there for one-two hours! The Hollywood team from L.A. engaged me immediately, I was just like 10 minutes in Chicago for the first time... AMAZING MOMENT AND FEELING! And I arrived! Even if I don´t like hotdogs (I like dogs) I could play - have fun - for one hour... buying a hotdog in unusual way was the purpose for the making a TV show, I suppose... I don´t know more details now...

After I left the production-team... I walked on the street, just a two blocks further... I saw in the darkness a  bit strange, hidden narrow street at the main street, with a few people, in black clothes. It was already midnight. I had a bit fear... I said to me- go ahead! I walked towards to them... the small group were just smokers who stood outside in front of a club NEO... all were clothed in black - all seemed to me to belong to one group of people: Gothics. For me a bit new scene... I don´t wear much dark colors, and at that night I was quite sporty, fit  for fun, for the TV. Once nice couple - see below - encouraged me to go! I went in, dark, dark and just a few lights... But it was a great decision! The music was wonderful, just for a spirit-free dance!! And what else meant to happen to me at that night? After 10 Minutes entered the club a TV-team - another one - and was about the club and us, the dancers... Whew, another starring! I was feeling it right to be in Chicago!! A small star! They filmed me while dancing, - I love dancing,  the music was so good! And my clothing was all but gothic... well, the slogan on my T-Shirt was connecting:
LOVE IS THE BRIDGE BETWEEN TWO HEARTS!  I bought fresh in Chicago! All the GOTHIC dancers, women almost nacked, with tattoos and chains took me in their circle, and we danced in trance!! And the TV team was happy to have a documentary for the news about the culture in Chicago!
Around 4 a.m. I was so far out of the trance and dance... I went by train to Yakov´s  house, hopping that he opens me a door...I couldn' t come earlier and he didn´t answer to me if it was alright for him. Well, at the station I went out and  suddenly I didn´t know how to get to Yakov´s house. It was my first time on that station... fortunately there were two boys. I called, guys... hoye - how to get to xx - street, and what a random! - they lived in the same block of house! After a small talk, we had a big talk! These two guys were one of the leaders of OCCUPY Chicago! And we all three had the same drive for the REVOLUTION!! I was just occupied with my essay about the FREEDOM I should write for the panel for IWP! And I was hoping in Chicago I write it... I was feeling almost about two weeks, there is a TIME for A CHANGE!! I was happy to write the ESSAY, but I was waiting for the IMPULSES! The time for the REVOLUTION came in CHICAGO! We were talking about serious things... they told me about "Occupy Chicago" March, the next day.... I said YES! And we were really happy to encounter at 5 am... and speak such a inspirational talk...
It was so important DAY! NIGHT AND MORNING on screen!!
Time for change!
Yakov was waiting for me... he opened me a door and I told him about the day, night... and we were happy to share so much! He supported me with the essay - I was writing the whole sunday and other day - it was form me an important essay... I don´t know why I decided to write this essay in English, German would be better&faster, but not for all people I met in Chicago and others who like reading my message!
I had to write in English  ... see my Essay DOG´S FREEDOM in that blog:::
(AGAIN: Apologize my English, here in the blog as well my essay, how important it is to write in a nice language, but I am not able to spend here so much time::: This blog is just a reminder of my stay in IOWA.)
I went a few hours later with the guys into the march! After visiting the fabulous lake Michigan, the white beach, it was very hot weather... all the days. How surprising for October! I simply enjoyed the time & city & people! I was still occupied with my thoughts about the freedom and my revolution in the literature!
It was a great start for the protest, for the new REVOLUTION! CHICAGO SHIVERED a bit, we were about 1000 protesters and in two weeks again, and more people. Some people were confused and asked WHY they do protest? Some disagreed, and the rest just says YES for the CHANGE.

Short prosa 
The sun sparkles through the golden shiny trees, I see the details of the naked trees! People walk down byways and alleys, lighty, big apartments, thousands of the huge buildings and still vacant lofts, lovely bookstores, museums, poetry, art, parks, so many years before and ahaed, whistle of the wind, and the boats are out of their moorings, their distant sails like the wings of doves across Lake Michigan. The lake seems to me like an ocean... and the city emerges from a gig....
old and young black people who still burn from a lifetime of insults, of foiled ambitions, of ambitions abandoned before they´ve been tried. I try to imagine and understand the life of a black man, but I cannot understand it. America is based on the slavery, this spirit and the way of life will never disappear as in Europe the nationalism and thinking in borders...

On the beach of the LAKE - OCEAN - Michigan!

As I saw you, Chicago - from the John Hancock "bar" on the 96th floor... What a marvelous view, the best lady bathroom with the view on Chicago... Enjoy to "make a pipi" on the world from the top once or again again if you step so high!!

Here are many condolences & flower & thanks / wishes for STEVE JOBS.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


So far it has been almost one month we are here in Midwest of the USA. Iowa City says me every day, welcome, Milena, I still feel here welcome and happy to be here, well, one month!
What a change after Berlin... I cannot imagine the change after Bejing - I must ask my Chinese friend Yueran, how is it for her?? This is really a small city BUT with a power of writing´s potential in itsself . IS unique, we are lucky here to be a part of the center of it and to have access to the beautiful outstandings possiblities and to write!
I have just learned - think local, move local, see local, meet friends local, shop local, read local!
I am in the SANATORIUM! I cure my soul.
For me it is an important time to heal here - to say to write and concentrate on the inner creative soul.
Thanks for the regimen.
We are a group of writers, we see each other everyday, we meet / encounter each other passionately everyday, love is in the air or in the stars*** (far away are the stars...) we dinner or at least we drink together in the evening, there isn´t day when we don´t see each other, we must take care of each other, we love, the whole group. And if we don´t see anyone we miss him/her, so far my feeling about some in the group. 


Oh, those oh-so-emotional emotions. Oh, oceans of emotional emotions. If it's emotions that are moving us well, don't panic, you are not alone.
Instead, lie back, look up at the sky, there is a sunny Indian - summer- day, put your arms behind your head, and float, float, float, letting the rise and fall of feelings buoy and sink beneath you. Ah! All we write down what we feel now... we have time for our feelings, beautiful here!
I am likely to be the patient in my sanatorium.
Writing in a place you enjoy can be like soaking up the sun before you dive into the cold waters of a mountain lake. The comfort of the place can make you feel less alone and help tease those first words onto the pages you start in the new place. I am full of the stories and words so I think I will overcome the first writing - difficulties. To write requires faith in yourself. Requires that you say no to others "normal" life. That you believe you are worth standing up for, when deep down you would like nothing more than to walk off into the sunset, to a different life and into the arms of a new and more comfortable self!!
Everyone has his issue to write about, everyone deals with it every day and everyone feels here some pain. We are writers and writers must suffer and create from the suffer. Good to suffer. We nurture our souls every day with a pain and happiness in our daily solitude. We cannot ease the isolation we have chosen for ever!
And here is such a quiet healing atmosphere. Nothing disturbs me like in Berlin, attempts to say yes to the wild nights of Berlin! That´s why it reminds of a sanatorium?
As I described our hotel is a patient´s residency and outside the city is just a holy extension of our sanatorium. Remarkable is the FIRE ALARM which has already been set 4x in this week!! It´s apparently defect and just in one week so much stress, in the early morning FALSE ALARM of the fire. I start to believe in the THEORY OF CONSPIRACY in the USA! Every day early in the morning they want that we run out take laptops, passports, the most important things and wait outside in the cold weather - I am sure there the authorities they don´t like the writers! We just hope there won´t be a fire for the 5th times and everybody in his room... nobody trusts now the alarm. Love the writers - keep them in peace!
Anyway, how noisy is this small city, the trucks make a horrible noise, the train which cross the river near this hotel makes noise - reminds me again the movie Mystery train, the workers start to work at 11 pm very loudly in front of the hotel etc... there is never quiet in that small city!!
There are always some adventures for us in the US!

 We get every morning (as patients) a meal, vitamins, sitting in the breakfast-room makes fun, the low and loud buzz of talk around me, the click and clatter of cups, the toast´s smell, bagels and peanut butter, the American coffee which I must indulge, there is no oven to make a right Italian coffee - I brought the Italian cane, there is just a microwave in our rooms, so our meals are done in the microwave if we really don´t want to go out. We do! Nell, a friend of mine tried to make "smashed eggs" in the microwave, not successful! For the lunch I usually buy a fresh, in front of me made sushi, almost every day. What a nice habit.
We have almost every day a schedule to follow; we also have free hours for a writing and what my inner doctor ordered: work work work and live! In the evening we go out, to play each other which happens differently, as a group or solitary - self -abandonment, out of habit or frustration. Everyone want to streamline his life.

We walk normally in the circles. I meet the same people. But still get to know some new as a miracle. I believe in the miracles! I see the same pictures of the city. My eyes are used to see always the changing scenery from Berlin. The same pictures I bear in my eyes, daily change people/students I walk through the streets but also not such a great change, they all wear the same t-shirts, shorts with the label IOWA, which looks nice and even shows their love & belongings to IOWA... what a honest nation of Iowans. (Just for the creative eye boring to see always the same... it smashes like the eggs in the microwave.)

 OLD CAPITOL... lovely sitting here in the days like now - sunny sunny and still warm weather!

The streets are all the same. For me it was quite hard to orientate here. Even if it seems to be simpel. For me wasn´t. Ok. There was said: The starting point for all of Iowa City is the corner of Iowa Avenue and Clinton Street. Adresses increase in number outward from here. The numbers are on both South and East sides of the steet, while odd numbers are on both the North and West sides of the street, I can orientate now. It took me a while to understand this small but somehow too city in the architecture, so simple that I feel lost. I got to know Berlin quicklier than here. The numbers and the names of the streets mixed up with the history of all the presidents of the USA was always very difficult to learn them by heart. And here are in one cube of the city. Jefferson, Washington, Clinton, Governor etc. ....  some simple shopping malls but 4!

The walking around the city isn´t for a leg-stretch, it´s a small tour but at every corner you can PLAY A PIANO!! Yes, there are pianos in the city outside and musicians play, unfortunately I forgot everything how to play reasonable...  I have already met some interesting musician here like Jaison, Henry, Bina, or Chase Garett who told me, he is going to have a concert in the Carnegie Hall 2013 in NYC. - Those pianos are not supposed to be serious instruments, they are not in tunes - anyway every piece of music the musicians play in the street is fun and technically challenging to play. Talents playing here are worth seeing as Chase Garett. The impressive way his hands fly up and down the keys with precision and force outside in the plain air!! I love it!
So I meet in my sanatorium also another artists.
Around are big books so you can read in them as scupltor, not very artistic but smart and clear image of this UNESCO city of LITERATURE.

The area I am concentrated on calls the MARKET Street: One Cofee Shop - T-Spoons, opposite is a wonderfull book store: Haunted Bookshop, where I am going to have a reading Oct. 14th, further go to eat cheap & ok by the Mexican´s or to shop  in the wonderful second hand craftarts shop for some winter-clothes or just some nice stuff, for a grocery shop I continue to the Jack´s and already is an evening!! Back on the Market street to the Iowa House or  to stay and just cross the street are two bars. 
Voilà most of us continue on meeting at the bar George´s or at the Foxhead. The Foxhead has been till now our favorite bar where we always met to discus our clinical topics we write or think about. There we meet mostly another graduated students or undergraduated in writings workshops, or just people who once wrote or just write passionely or just as a hobby, as a lost hope to be a good writer. They started here once... Well, to be a write is a tough job, you must deal with the solitude and with the concentration on your soul and head to put it raisonable together. 
But now I already know where I am and where I want to go, every day. I am almost familiar with the city, with my daily circle. With my promenade in the crowd of the "similar" iowa- students in gold and black -  the Hawkeyes! Keep their interest up and give them support with the call: Hawk, like the origin-people the Indians, or not? Or just the birds!?

The "landscape" of the city doesn´t change, I must change inside.. I must have full life inside of me.
Slowly I know my sanatorium, I would like to travel, to go out of the city to change the scenery, some pleasant variations of this grand circle of the city I cannot afford. I don´t have a car to move... I cannot get to know the outer circle of IOWA. But soon!
Just sit back, close the eyes and take a few deep breaths, inhalling completely and releasing the tension as you exhale. Create the optimal conditions for you! It cannot be forced. Sure, it depends upon the quality of the air you breath, you cannot be always in control of the chemistry of the atmosphere that "surrounds" us... 

Fill your head with culture today - I say everyday and there is a quite everyday some culture on the program I try to consider that demad also here, in Berlin was it easier even too much! The more people appreciate it here, in Berlin it´s just one of ...
I went to the reading of the Russian poet: ILYA KAMINSKY!! What wonder-ful poet!! Trully a great poetry, I love it so much! (
He spent a week in Iowa city presenting lectures and discussing such topics as translation and international literature. He asked me how are the best Czech & German poets!! Who put such a questions? Only a humble great poet. Ilya has been deaf since the age of 4, has been recongniszed by many organisations for accomplishments in his two volumes of poetry. He lives in San Diego and teaches creative writing, outside of his writing *career, is he cofounder of Poets for Peace, organisations that supports such programs as Doctors without Boarders and Survivors international!

Then all the participants are also a part of the culture here, pannels readings, the readings in the book store Prairie Lights Bookstore or in Shabaugh House.

With the Iowan Henry in the Prairie Lights... with a book from the wonderful U.S. Poet, very ill, Dean Young: SKID.
 I have already met here some interesting people - authors, translators who held the readings here, coming from other states!

And another cultural event is ahead: A TRIP to my beloved SAN FRANCISCO! the cure continues...
The autumn is still warm smart chilly in the night... this is the 23rd Sept. With love...on the way...

Monday, September 12, 2011


Already a few days passed and quite a lot of happened.
Today in my blog I am occupied with the CULT OF the AMERICAN PHYSICALITY.

One thing that is on my list of to do here in Iowa City is to make a sport.
There is outside lovely swimming pool near to our hotel.
There is also a great offer for us - writers - to go for free to the FITNESS STUDIO.
It´s just 5 Min. walk! As I discovered this studio I was completely amazed how huge it is! One big building!
In Berlin I used to go to the McFit - for Berlin´s circumstances it´s the hugest (I suppose) fitness studio in the city/Germany. Some voices of people around me just refuse to go in this big studio, they prefer a small one, where is very limited choice of the maschines. In the comparison to this /American studio is the German McFit (which already seems to be very American as the name is...) tinny, small studio. Normal. As well  known in America is almost everything huge so that I am not so much suprised, when I walk through the three floors and besides are two swimming pools, one is quite as big as an olympic size and the other is just smaller for a refreshment. There is also playground for a basketball and tenis.
 I feel comfortable with one floor - with the 2nd floor - it´s enough good for me, there is everything what I need.
 I like the craft training but I won´t exagerate in the dimension of my workouts and in the choice of the maschine, there are really plenty!!! I could spend there three hours. The mood is nice all around. People are occupied with themselves very concentrated on their exercises. Right.
What I mainly ADMIRE is how people exercise - workout here!! What a lovely view on all of them!!! They have in their faces huble and healthy, happy believe in their physical abilities. I feel beside them OUT OF SHAPE! Men & women catter here to extreme fitness buffs, heading toward strength training AND almost -it seems to me as a militaristic exercise. It seems sometimes its a military´s special workout they do. I look at the Men of Steel. Supermen are training here for hours of pumping iron. And this is very inspirational: If I am surrounded by substandart people, I´m not going to workthat hard myself. Here I do! I learn with them to discover the love of pushing myself beyond my notions of limits!!!
I am not used to do it so first of all I must train my mind then my body.  Before I go to the fitness studio I am  interested in training my mind in physical workout which comes...I am preparing for the completion of my 2 hours SPORT. Mind and body and soul should be connected. Mega-pumped!
It is extreme tough how they exercise, they do it as extreme as America can be. I haven´t ever seen such a joy and an imaginative "creative" workout as here. People seem to be happy with their extreme military way of the workouts! Yes, I like their fit, slim, great bodies! They are not fat at all!! So when they eat hamburgers, Frech fries or chicken wings with a big portion of the ice cream or cakes, it´s OK. They can eat that, they lose weight through their hard exercise already here. So I don´t really see fat people here as it´s common to say about the Americans. That´s Iowa City!!? Yes, maybe.  The generall food is really horrible, fat pizzas, hamburgers etc. But with such a fitness studio and a personal steel will they can allow it to eat it. I think we cannot . I cannot. I had to culminate in this studio in tears and sweat but still I am not as extreme as they are. I might be critical, that´s alright, that´s the new goal: American extreme toughness! With the new motto: "Don´t complain  if the work si too hard, or if you pass out, drop a barbell on your head, kettle bell on your toes."

OUTSIDE OF MY FITNESS the Foxhead bar : not drunk, just fit to dance!

Another SPORT I could admire here was a RODEO.
We went out of the city by the car. It took two hours to arrive to the RODEO ARENA. Sure, Iowa isn´t the capital country of the rodeo races but neverthless for the starter-fans as me it is good enough to enlarge the imagination of this American sport.
I bought immediatly a real cowboy hut - I was drawn into the wild atmosphere of the Western - see below. I wouldn´t say I  become a fan, but I will speak about it with a kind of an adoration for COWBOYS and COWGIRLS athletes. Cowgirls were really amazing strong, riding the horse in a high speed! It was terrifying! Crazy, they risk their life. But again there is a cult of physicality! 
I just argue about the animal cruelty.
Well, everybody knows the iconic silhouette image of a "Bucking Horse and Rider" is a federal and state-registered trademark.
Actually I haven´t seen anything of that before - life. Something on the TV but this was immediatly life and really frighting and terrifying.
 On the programm was: Tie -down roping,  Steer wrestling, Saddle bronc riding, Barebacl Bronc-Riding, Barrel racing (which did also small children 3-8 years old!!) and Bull riding. The event was divided into two basic categories: the rough stock events and the timed events.  
The wild horses trying to shake down the cowboy. Uff, it was very dramatic... I was shouting and trembling about them. As a part of audience I was feeling the adrenalin in me going high by every new wild horse and the strong and crazy cowboy who risks his life. One had felt on the ground and seemed to be breathless.
As a Middleuropean woman I haven´t seen any such kind risk sports as this one or others are. We don´t have such extremes sport - just football /socce, voleyball, basketball etc. Killing or using animals for races isn´t familiar to me. So. I was glad that this isn´t sport about the killing the animals - the cruelty and the stress was enough - enough stress had the baby calfs who were tortured by running and then tied by the lariat of the cowboy - Tie-down-roping- discipline.
Roping competitions are based on the tasks of a working cowboy, who often had to capture calves and adult cattle for branding, medical treatment and other purposes. The cowboy must throw a type of rope with a loop, known as a lariat or lasso, over the head of a calf or onto the horns and around the hind legs of adult cattle, and secure the animal in a fashion dictated by its size and age.
My favorite discipline was: ROUGH STOCK - BRONC  RIDING - Competition.
The risky riding on the wild horse or bull...
Bronc riding is - I read about - , where the rider uses a specialized western saddle without a horn (for safety) and hangs onto a heavy lead rope, called a bronc rein, which is attached to a halter on the horse...and rides!
That was a beautiful show I would say. We all enjoyed it!
Back to IOWA CITY full of our passive adventure!! Still admiring the physicality of the Cowboys/Cowgirls!!
Till yet we have had a very beautiful weather here, good to make sport along the IOWA RIVER just next our hotel.
I am jogging and meditating here at the river and in this small city full of little surprises!!
Today 11/9 - Indian Summer and everywhere in the ground small American flags. I like that patriotic SPORT! Honour to own people who die for the country.
It´s a sweet cult of the love.