A Conversation With Martin Heidegger


Did Kierkegaard, before your fire at night alone,
shudder at the coals of outcasts you had once told
of the dread he said filled our teeth and twisting
veins, when we let others seize from us, for us,
the awful reins of a world we are left to die in,
daily bearing the freedom and necessity to choose:
the aesthetic, for things raised into Being,
or the ethical, for beings: that Janus coin.
Only a step, not a leap, to sluttish strutting.

Your wife, in and out to get New Germany tracts
from your study shelves, listens. The two of you
gave your children to the Holy Father and Fuehrer,
the year of the bonfires, raging inside you,
surrendering your students to the fires
(lest they consign you there?) Did you tell her
Hannah was your muse before or after you stripped
Jews, from the faculty at Freiburg, for the SS?
Do small lies make the new truths sing?

She's back for more tracts. Hannah saw them there
after the war, certain you had no patience to read
the murky Destiny of him you called Mein Fuehrer.

If Hannah read your speeches for the new Reich
(Is such patience possible?), she must have
glossed those, too. But your books were often bogs,
Martin, Hannah's more like mountain streams
you loved being near, and from clearer sources--
Augustine, Jaspers, Buber, and thou but not you.

Van K. Brock
A Conversation 5 | Ein Gespräch 4
Contents | Mudlark No. 4