MM N 667. Literary sketches

Literary sketches. “When the winter sun”, The yellow house.

No-MM_N0667-01.jpg. MM N 667, p. 1

MM N 667, p. 1

    When the winter sun that hung
low on the horizon shone
in through the Window – the room
became inflamed in red and yellow
– The yellow wooden walls turned to
fire and the brownish-red tablecloth
to blood.

    The light and the colours cut like daggers and arrows into
my soul and my body
where the blood moved sickly
– Melancholy
– lack of velocity in the
sickly blood.

    I ran out in order to flee from
the terrifying creature – that had
installed itself in my room
– out into the fresh air –

No-MM_N0667-03.jpg. MM N 667, p. 3

MM N 667, p. 3

Down in the stairway I
encountered a pair of light blue
piercing eyes – that latched themselves
onto mine – I see a pale
countenance – with reddish grizzled
hair –

    It was an epileptic  –
it was the first time I saw
him and the last – The next morning I
heard that he had not made it home again
– had died in an epileptic fit
    These endless walks – from which
I returned bathed in
sweat –

    Today I met
the madman I often encountered
– the one with the flowing
cape around his shoulders –

No-MM_N0667-04.jpg. MM N 667, p. 4

MM N 667, p. 4

he walked straight towards me –
whispered in my ear – Listen You –
the next time we meet I will
shoot you – Then he continued
walking with his flowing
cape around his shoulders –

    I was waiting for spring – so that
sleep and health can
return –

    The black clouds have
gotten the upper hand – it has rained
for several days, snowed and been windy
– I was so tired I could
hardly walk –

    Today I met the consumptive
shopkeeper – the one who always
coughed and spit –

    I have come down with a cold again
he said – have been bedridden for 5 days
been spitting the whole day through

No-MM_N0667-05.jpg. MM N 667, p. 5

MM N 667, p. 5

The yellow house

    The stained yellow
wooden house with two stories
stood on the hillside –
with its unsightly carved wooden scrolls
– in an ugly Swiss chalet style with
ludicrous dragon style ornamentation –

    The sticky stained yellow
colour looked morose against
the dark spruce forest –
the house stared darkly
out over the fjord with windows
like wide-open eyes –

    Up there I occupied two small
rooms – stained yellow and sticky

    Yet the view over the fjord
with the spruce tops in front and

No-MM_N0667-06.jpg. MM N 667, p. 6

MM N 667, p. 6

and the islets further out was
beautiful – forlornly beautiful

    There in the two rooms I
paced to and fro – to and fro
– then out for a long stroll
– then once more to and fro across
the floor until it was bedtime
– How I hated the bed
– his torture bench –
I lay there waiting for
sleep – which only arrived to
be immediately replaced by waking again
– there he lay waiting
for morning to come –

    The long nocturnal hours
with a thousand sinister
thoughts until at last – at last
morning came – then once again
the long day – then once again
the sleepless night

No-MM_N0667-07.jpg. MM N 667, p. 7

MM N 667, p. 7

I was reclusive
– did not wish to see anyone –
The other residents of the house
ate [their meals] below – The
melancholic – the epileptic
the landlady who always
lay in bed with crippled legs.

No-MM_N0667-08.jpg. MM N 667, p. 8

MM N 667, p. 8

    Downstairs on the staircase I
encountered a pair of light blue
piercing eyes – that latched themselves
onto mine – I see a pale countenance –
with reddish grizzled hair
– It was the man with
the falling sickness –

    – It was my first and my
last sight [of him] – he will never
return to the pension.
– An attack had brought death
to him in town

No-MM_N0667-09.jpg. MM N 667, p. 9

MM N 667, p. 9

    I now weigh only 110 pounds
like a child –

    If only spring would come!

    Come and visit me –

    I went to visit him –
his house was situated nearby –
It too a dark stained
brown house in Swiss chalet style –
– morose and dark –

    I climbed the dark
stairway –

    There he sat pallid
bent over his desk –
– I am writing my testament
– my wife shall inherit from me –
we have no children

No-MM_N0667-10.jpg. MM N 667, p. 10

MM N 667, p. 10

I knew that he repeatedly destroyed
the testaments he
wrote when his wife had
annoyed him –

    Now she had been
kind to him –
– Yes disease is nasty

    He was once again in
the dark spruce forest –
then back again – [pacing] to and fro
across the floor in the stained yellow
wretched room –

    A messenger came from
from the landlady –

No-MM_N0667-11.jpg. MM N 667, p. 11

MM N 667, p. 11

The maid stood in the door opening with
a bill – and greetings
from the landlady –

    She would like to respectfully ask
if I would pay
the bill –

    – She is not very well by the way
said the maid – she may not
survive the night –

    – I paid the bill –
The Maid came up with the receipt thanked me and greeted me
from the landlady

    The Landlady died – the same evening

No-MM_N0667-12.jpg. MM N 667, p. 12

MM N 667, p. 12

    I painted the picture
Melancholy –

    I drew the melancholic
sitting by the flaming red
table with the window in the background –

    It was a matter of depicting her large
and looming and monumental
her dark mute unrelenting
sorrow – That is how the melancholic
woman I saw in a mental hospital looked
– she did not recognise her sister
who spoke tenderly to her
– she understood nothing – her
large black eyes were without
lustre – stared emptily
inertly out into space –
– What is greatness? –
Infinitesimal compared to the stars
– What is smallness? great
compared to its atoms
– which are constellations

No-MM_N0667-13.jpg. MM N 667, p. 13

MM N 667, p. 13

I then painted Details in
the window which was 3 metres behind
her – the Window became small
– in the sense of perspective – the Pine trees
with snow – the Sea
in the distance with reflected sunlight –
the Hills behind were tiny
doll-sized trees – doll-sized stars –
doll-sized hills –

    Then the melancholic  … 

    The wallpaper was designed with
small flowers – On the floor
a crack was visible in
the radiant yellow sunlight
– Only the melancholic
was large – as she sat
there in her mute
dark sorrow

No-MM_N0667-14.jpg. MM N 667, p. 14

MM N 667, p. 14

Spring arrived at last.
The Sun shone more –
and more –

    But the Cold and snow
from the north would not relinquish
their grip – would not leave the
frozen earth – over which they
had reigned for many
months – Great dark troops
of clouds from the north continued to
hover threateningly above the hills
– When the sun burned
the dark winter clouds re-
treated – but came rushing
back later as the afternoon lengthened
– covering the entire sky
– There towards the south – light winter
clouds with a southerly wind

No-MM_N0667-15.jpg. MM N 667, p. 15

MM N 667, p. 15

and an Italian sun lit up the sky – cloud castles
ablaze with the Sun

    – They hovered waiting to
come and pour their spring
onto the frozen earth – to chase
the winter clouds away

    – At midday when the
sun was high – the white
cherubic clouds spread
across the shimmering blue air –

    The Breeze from Italy made
the mind frail – and strangely
sad –

    The Snow melted – the streams
gushed – the roofs dripped –
sparkling liquid pearls –

    The Earth softened


No-MM_N0667-16.jpg. MM N 667, p. 16

MM N 667, p. 16

    But as the afternoon lengthened
the winter clouds contracted
into great blue-black fists
in hatred and defiance –

    leaden grey – blue-black they
raged with renewed strength
across the vault of the sky
– the cherubic wings from the South
were chased away once more