Julie Marie Wade

Jeopardy! Category: P Words

 

There’s change in it, the kind a greedy wisher tosses in a well, hoping for a return of 10 to 1. You won’t see this change at first, won’t know how to even pronounce it, but the coin is there, shadowing every future investment. Conversations about this word will quickly (inevitably?) turn meta. It’s associated with shifts after all, & these are depicted in amusing ways on PowerPoint slides. One old standard is the manila paper airplane branching away from the fleet of white. Little slashes to indicate loop-di-loops. There’s also a piebald Rubik’s cube mid-twist, and a series of matte arrows pointing down with one glossy or glowing arrow pointing up. Mostly, you will have an experience before learning the language to identify it, explain it. In a broader sense, this phenomenon is college, where the lexicon begins to bloat at prodigious rates. It’s uncomfortable when your old jeans don’t fit anymore, so imagine that too-tight feeling around your brain. Zipper-stick. Button-wince. But with concepts. Heteronormativity. Pinch. Gendered double bind. Pinch. White privilege. Pinch. And it’s worse than finding out you didn’t know because you were made to believe you did. Unlearning is like the scene in a hospital hallway where doctors cut a trauma patient out of their clothes. Forget the zippers! Forget the buttons! There’s no time! Bear in mind those scissors are medical grade. Bear in mind those scissors are coming for your mind. It’s your old version of reality that’s fading now, losing consciousness. Suddenly, the literal & metaphorical overlap. Your old worldview is fading. Your former consciousness is lost. In the analogy, though, you won’t actually benefit from triage. Angie calls this scenario “fake questioning”—when you wrap some gauze around a wound & reavow all the old bullshit—I mean, previous ideological frameworks. I learned this word my first week of college. Like many words, it floated around me, Baader-Meinhofed into ubiquity. The first person I ever heard say it is still one of the smartest people I know. I loved him effortlessly with my mind but found no place for him in my body. Wouldn’t it be easier if we could just make the cognitive & corporeal align? Then, the professor said it. She was also my adviser. She was also a lesbian, the first one I ever knew I knew. She was woke before people said woke. I doubted she had ever been asleep. Once, she told me a story about carrying home a huge glass jar of peanut butter when she was broke in grad school. I can’t remember the context for this story now, but I remember being stunned to learn that peanut butter ever came in jars. (Not plastic tubs?) That wasn’t the point. She had so many plans for that jar of peanut butter. All the sandwiches she would make, all the celery stalks she would fortify with protein. Was it creamy or crunchy? No matter. There was a fuck-ton of it—I mean, an epic quantity—& she was so happy to have made an investment in something that would continue to pay off for a long time. But she tripped on the front steps of her apartment building, dropping the jar, which shattered into a dangerous mountain of brown, slivery goo. Inedible, of course. Preposterous to clean. She was sobbing, scooping heaps of it into a garbage bag while wearing her gardening gloves. People were staring, laughing perhaps. She was sobbing as she hosed down the path, sobbing as she traipsed up the stairs. The waste, the loss, the disappointment. When my friend lights his joint so cavalierly & says, “You just have to dig it? Get it? Dig it?” Yeah, I get it. But it’s not always easy to dig the real shifts. Some people get airsick. That’s why they have those paper lunch sacks on airplanes—in case you “lose your lunch.” The professor lost so many lunches, so many snacks! She had her mealtime future so meticulously planned! Sometimes a shift is a harsh slip. Sometimes a dig is a cruel joke. Sometimes what I actually know amounts to a weird log cabin made of used Popsicle sticks, & each one is stained red because the red flavors (cherry, strawberry, raspberry) are the only kind I like. When people ask me how it feels to grow up in Washington & grow old(er) in Florida, I quip, “Apples & oranges.” A smile that feels real, but still, there’s a pinch.

“What is paradigm?”

 

And what of the bodies we leave behind? Aren’t these where, at last, all pre-occupations with mortality must lead? No, I don’t mean the after-life. (Think practical, not spiritual.) I’m interested in the literal after-body, the body post-occupation. (Think practical, not necrophilical.) When the tenant has left the building, regardless of where they head next, what becomes of the flat? Yes, the flat is the no-longer-occupied body. Yes, I like the British word better. Yes, we can think metaphorically & practically at the same time. I find it helps maintain a certain (necessary) distance. And no, I don’t mean the old binary of containment either: casket & bury or casket & burn. This isn’t about scattering ashes or hoarding them in an urn. It’s about the after that comes before that. Post-life/pre-commemoration. What becomes of the body no longer in use? (Now think semantics for a moment, how powerful they are: Should I be calling this de-animated figure a body at all? When precisely does a body stop being a body and start being a corpse, exquisite or otherwise? Maybe it’s like that whole cathedral-basilica thing: All corpses are bodies, but all bodies are not corpses until…? Or maybe, really, it’s like that whole bride-wife thing, which seems even less clear-cut, even more prone to individual interpretation. Is the bride only a bride until she removes the dress? Or is she a bride through her honeymoon, a bride through her first year of marriage? All brides are wives, but not all wives are brides…any longer? I like to think I’m a married woman who never was a bride, though I recognize that’s a reckoning for another time…) Alive, how I’ve loved giving blood: O-negative (but you’re so positive! ha!), universal donor, a stranger’s body hemorrhaging in the ER (no time to check their type, search for a match—get me three pints of O-Negative, stat!) The blood bank tells me my “donation” (euphemism, nicely placed) will be tested, then used within two days. Something I made with my body, through no special effort, no special skill, is serving a purpose without me, beyond me. (Think practically but also vocationally. I’m not there for the oversized t-shirt or the “fun-size” Frito-Lays. This is something I feel called to do.) So what about the body itself—anticipating its future status as corpse: I didn’t make this body, & I haven’t always been kind to it either. Once, long ago, I trashed the place & didn’t bother to pay the water bill. Even the lights were turned off for a while. But somehow my body forgave me, forgives me still. (The hard red scab is forgiveness. The green phase of the bruise forgiveness. The stunning white bone cloud a beatific form of forgiveness.) Put me back in the earth was once the party line for people like me. Now, perhaps, Give me a green funeral at sea. Let me decompose in peace among the coral. But what if a pulsing question of my life has been “How can I be of use?” Might I still be useful post-pulse, post-mortem? Are you Googling “What to do with a body after death?” right now because I am. (I Bing-ed it, too, just to balance the cyber-scales.) The Last Tangible Thing, that sole possession I hadn’t thought to bequeath—how might it be harvested, studied, used to teach—at the Mayo Clinic or the state university where I’ve spent my career. I didn’t pass down my genes, & anyone might pass on my art. (No posthumous pity purchases please!) But no matter what we make outside our bodies, how much or how little, to what glorious or ignominious ends, it doesn’t change what remains when we leave them—fittingly called (how does this only come to me now?) the remains. I find myself wanting to be useful after death, when the physicality that once answered to my name becomes the cenotaph of a history lodged elsewhere. (Think existentially, ephemerally.) Maybe the monument isn’t necessary after all. I don’t care where the “me” will be, only that it won’t be there, in that breathless cathedral, that basilica of organs & tissues & bones. In life, I have been urged to take more space, to resist the sexist imperative to winnow. In death, I have considered taking less space. (Perhaps aquamation?) But what of the space purposefully taken, the body deliberately given—the corpse as enduring caesura?

“What is posterity?”

 

The word itself is not beautiful—little irony of our language that vexes as it woos. And the adjective form, all five syllables, longest word in English for what’s attractive, beguiling, comely… So many synonyms, but in the end, everything boils down to A-B-C. “Elementary, dear reader,” & that, of course, a synonym for abecedarian. Back to beauty, though: I doubt we’re all gazing through the same looking glass. “…the beholder,” sure, though I haven’t just been watching with my one good eye. I’ve been studying Beauty all this time—assaying so as to essay? probing so as to poem? From 1994, a quote in my common book: “Sexy is much more subtle than that.” Lifetime was one kind of laboratory, open on weeknights from 9 to 11 PM. My mother devout, feet up on the couch, wielded the family remote. My father served Shastas before he reclined. My bathrobe doubled as my lab coat. In a film called Mortal Fear, Gregory Harrison signals to Joanna Kerns that the woman on the dance floor is being too obvious, trying too hard. Sexy isn’t pseudonym for Beauty exactly, but don’t they share an alma mater at least—classmates in the same yearbook? photos on the same page? Perhaps sexiness meant a kind of vibration. You felt it before you saw it, & you didn’t need to see it to know it was there. By these terms, Christ was quite sexy, sun-splashed & tunic-clad, straddling his noctilucent cloud. Now Blasphemy, of course, wasn’t beautiful—the nuns were very clear about that—but it had a certain bad-boy vibe (ribbed tank, tight abs, grease on his hands & flat on his back sliding under a car…) that some girls claimed could tug them like the tide. I didn’t catch the lyric, but its meaning landed just the same: “The chicks’ll cream for greased lightnin’!” Maybe not all of us, though, exactly. My great romance with Double Entendre. How I let Euphemism fly past first base, the heat between us sparking into second…e. e. cummings & his poem, “She being brand-new.” I couldn’t tell if I was the car or the driver. Now Beauty’s little sister is Pretty. She always tagged along to the skating rink & cinema, hoping someone would notice. (I did.) It was my task, nay my duty, to impersonate her. O, the crimping iron! O, the eyelash curler! O, the powder with its exaggerated puff! My mother said being Pretty would have to be enough since the leading role of Beautiful had already been cast. She dipped her comb in water, pronounced the part in my hair. But I cared more about parts of speech, you see, the way pretty itself was a double feature, a multi-valent modifier, if you will. (Were you pretty pretty, or were you really pretty?) Pretty could mean somewhat, could mean partly. Our language was slippery like that, like a body on a roller—& did you know that board is also called a creeper? Perhaps our language is a lady mechanic with long, thin hands, points on her shoulders, a blackberry vine tattooed around her torso. Woman as trellis. Woman as ladder I longed to climb. (Euphemisms, you see…they’re hot.) I knew who I liked to look at—girlish boys & boyish girls—everyone stretching from their ribs toward a fulcrum. Early on, the lure of hybrids, those invisible strings cinching my waist at the tolo, where, predictably, I was dancing alone. Then Lovely arrived on the scene, which made me wonder about the ways Beauty careened into Desire. (Or didn’t.) My co-workers all tittering about him, the lovely delivery man, so I nodded along. Some beauty is indisputable, elementary, after all. How Sharon turned to me, her cheeks aflame: “Oh! I didn’t realize that you could see that!” In my head, the swift retort, “I’m gay, not blind.” Instead, I flashed my pretty smile. How it thrills me when words pair up unexpectedly—people, too: each “pretty boy,” & better still, that fabled “handsome woman.” Think of the monikers we once called “unisex”—a man named Hilary (be still my heart!), girls named Max & Alex. The letter X in general, fine-tipped & branching, but also P, which has a certain feminine quality both beautiful & desirable to me. Enduring: my love story with our alphabet, my love story with a woman whose name pulses red as alpha, an A likewise at the start & end of it—Angela. How desire is recursive like that, the alphabet a slinky ouroboros like that. (Be still my heart!) Papaya our early code for love, a euphemism we coined before ever tasting the fruit. Then, when slicing open, we saw the woman’s body mirrored back. Beauty upon beauty, its pink pith seeded & ripe, a perfect visual echo.

“What is pulchritude?”

Julie Marie Wade’s forthcoming collections are Meditation 40: The Honesty Room (Pank Books, 2023), Fugue: An Aural History (Diagram/New Michigan Press, 2023), and Otherwise: Essays (Autumn House Press, 2023), selected by Lia Purpura for the 2022 Autumn House Nonfiction Book Prize. A winner of the Marie Alexander Poetry Series and the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir, she teaches in the creative writing program at Florida International University and makes her home with Angie Griffin and their two cats in Dania Beach. 

Editors’ Notes (Posit 32)

 

Welcome to Posit 32! Depth and moral courage inform the formal and substantive genius of the poetry, fiction, painting, sculpture, and collage gathered here. This is art and literature that grapples with the current state of our selves and our world: the countless ways our possibilities for living are impacted by the pandemic and the abuses we wreak upon the planet and each other — while also exploring timeless human preoccupations such as beauty and desire, aging and loss: the “inevitable / And irresistant. Ubiquitous and sacred” (Andrew Levy, “Nicked”). Here is art that “renounces renunciation” (Laura Moriarty, “Which Walks 5”) to demonstrate the “embracing // moveableness in holding on still” (Rahana K. Ismail, “Burn on my Mother’s Forearm”) — shaped with a passion for the stuff of its own making, including “words . . . like plums in the mouth—plums spirit will never share” (Dennis Hinrichsen, “[readymade] [With iPhone in It and Two or Three Plums]”).

With their elaborate agglomerations of shape, color, and texture, Ron Baron’s vases fashion beauty and vitality from sorrow and loss. Assembling remnants of discarded household objects into vessels whose curvaceous contours and expressive handles strongly suggest the human figure, Baron celebrates the resilience of the human spirit. Standing tall and proud with their ‘hands’ on their hips, these figures are survivors, emerging from adversity to confront the future. At once exuberant and touching, these works speak to the potential of damage to generate the forward-looking self. These unities assembled from mementos of individual loss are also testaments to collective perseverance, with special resonance for our atomized isolation in the early days of the pandemic, when the series was conceived.

Michael Brosnan returns to Posit with a suite of elegantly crafted poems confronting the challenge of meaning-making when “[y]ou and I, we are here for a spell. / And we need to speak honestly” – and, to be honest, “our story is in tatters.” As cleverly structured as they are direct and plain-spoken, these poems deftly and probingly enact what they address, applying a disciplined practice of attention to the humble stuff of dailiness, “seeking new possibilities / in a small illusion with unambiguous lines” in order to come to terms with the fact that “we sip from words that sound like glory, / then rest on eternity’s pouty lip.”

C Culbertson’s poems create a magical space where body and intellect, emotion and abstraction commingle and sing. Culbertson’s enigmatic, sonorous formulations are as haunting as they are elusive. This gifted poet’s “thrown fragments, gathering what lush silences” manage to be at once rich and spare in an “attempt at articulating the attempt, not so much in discontinuities but // startling constants, infinite // palpable bitter its indulgent // sighs but still brackish, & / tender / heat.” “Inclined to embrace the sensuous agonies of the world,” Culbertson’s intrepid verses “trace an intensity” whose “reverberations of affect echo” in the heart and mind of the reader.

Elisabeth Adwin Edwards perfectly observes and renders the extraordinary/ordinary moments we all experience, and the questions and realizations they engender. Roaming in CVS for the obligatory 15 minutes after a Covid vaccination, she notes all the reminders of how we are limited by our capitalist consumption and its personal cost: “How many / gradations of gray / eyeliner all // the shades / of a depression,“ as well as the cost for our planet: “You say Someone //could build a raft /from these pallets/ of bottled water // if they drank the bottles first.” Then, in the face of personal loss, the stray bits of knowledge that we come across take on new meaning. We “learn that the tissues of ankles are the softest part of a body. How fragile the seams holding us together, how easily we come apart.” Even when mourning, the body reminds us, or we remind the body, that we still live: “At home I masturbate using those shorn and throbbing fingertips, the ones on my left hand, because coming means I’m alive. I’m doing everything I can to stay in this body.”

Sean Ennis’s almost-hopeful, witty but painful story of a narrator trying to cope with his partner’s mental health and his own insecurities works on several levels. In a conversation ostensibly about movies, “Grace and I talked about the type of story we’d like to see told.” Since “[t]here are, of course, multiple frameworks available to choose from,” the reader is treated to a story about the characters, but also about the act of writing itself. Everything in the marvelously unpredictable movement of this narration is tentative: the flowers that were not planted, the narrator’s struggle to make a living (“I’m becoming more non-profit”), the not-so-good meals he cooks, the “tiptoes on a sticky floor.” Ennis cleverly uses language to both shape the story and to show how language changes us as we think it, as well as how it could change us, if we’d let it: “It was a new day, but fragile!”

In poems that juggle and encompass magical shifts of time and perception, Peter Gurnis weaves the history of a place and time into the here and now, even as his narrator claims to tell time by the living detail: “I pay attention to lilacs, and such-like native fruit. / I pay attention to the birds.” In these poems grounded in a seemingly mundane domestic life, going to the post office, sitting at home, and even a simple walk engender questions of marvelous transformation. “What if you could only think of the name for a river by going on a walk? What if you could only think about a river by falling into sleep?” Gurnis’s narrator becomes absorbed into the language and events of the past, invoking Henry (Thoreau?) and further back, Increase Mather. He recounts memories and dark events: “a handful of feathers coming out of a loving mouth,” a child who “coughed up a handful of soot,” as well as “Invisible Furies” like “the Capitalist . . . or an indefatigable lynx,” but “This is but a speculation.” Yet, what happens in the brain also happens, doesn’t it? “For example, once / I saw a tanager being eaten by a hawk. And in the evening, he nailed /on the wall: / a landscape of greenish yellow, dark blues and black. / While his wife watched from a chair. / And the cat slept.”

Sue Havens’s ceramic sculptures have an almost icon-like presence. These are shapes that stay in the memory, in rich and various patterns and colors reminiscent of beautiful sea creatures like the nudibranch or different species of coral. Finding inspiration in such sources as thrift-store finds, miniature golf architecture, kilim rugs and tree bark, to name a few, Havens creates sculpted and drawn environments that incorporate layering, tactility, and the accidental. Havens is seduced by the world in its myriad forms and textures and her work offers the viewer a kaleidoscopic record of this world, so that, as she says, “content might be remembered, discovered, and felt.”

Dennis Hindrichsen’s pure honesty and explicit eye detail the brutality of loneliness and growing older, as well as our sure knowledge that we are destroying the planet, “besieged by end times // a toxic forever chemical feeling” in which “I am sarcophagus // but I don’t worry the half-life because they are better than plutonium and Jesus—the fluoropolymers—they do not break down // I ingest by pan (dearest Teflon™) // by clothing and pizza box” while exploiting people: “shirt Sri Lankan—pants Vietnamese—//the one or two women/from among the millions toiling on my behalf//muttering names under their/breath—harsh//names—mine again—their sweat and tears/falling into the fabrics (I love buying shirts).” We may say we love the planet, although it doesn’t seem to stop us from our shallow pursuits. Yet these poems also celebrate desire, “the substrate vector—why / deny it,” and the moments when love strips away our façade, as, for instance, for “a friend I love—he is failing— /death is in him like a leaf—or paddle into a river—/one heron angling crosswise. //He saw this once—shallows to deeper shallows— /and was moved by it—//and so I will pause here now (hearing voices) (reliving joy)—/obliterating all my coolness.”

In language heady with compassion and love, Rahana K. Ismail’s lyrical visual images of daily life and the natural world speak to the profound connection of the physical and metaphysical. In “Burns on My Mother’s Forearm,” “[a] moth alights on the clabbered cloudlet skin. / Brown sleep sprawled on wings, an embracing //movableness in holding on still, a cotton-woolled /confession smudging the edges…” And in “Crochet,” a troubled girl is set a frustrating task: “Having the amaranth yarn make the first hole is to open another hole another /hole another hole,” which becomes a moving meditation on loss and the learning of it. “Carrying loss is to open loss like a package: a snarl of yarn or a window you climb over/ when the bars fall away, the room you hear the ill /-oiled swing of a sewing machine, / the foot treadle groaning a rust-ridden elegy. To be unable to search for my sea-glass / quietude in the red-oxide drone.”

Jean Kane’s prose poems consider the limitations and possibilities of autonomy under existential threat. Cryptic and compressed to the point of codification, Kane’s potent, razor-sharp prose is reminiscent of Emily Dickinson’s virtuosic linguistic and conceptual puzzles. Evoking the emotional complexity of a father’s transition to death and a “Skewed History” of abortifacients as instruments of free will, these dense works are bookended by a meditation on the anxious vulnerability of being the “Unmasked” prey of human and virus alike, and a fantasy of what it might mean to “Unclench” and “soothe [the] knots” of the constraints of personal identity itself. Like two sides of the same coin, “Unclench” and “Unmasked Hours” evoke self-exposure’s potential for anxiety or liberation – to suffer “pit panic” or to “float walking under a bank of air,” “open and open without expulsion into the blue over bare trees.”

Francesco Levato’s fascinating combination of glitch technique and erasure strikingly portrays the social isolation of our attempts to cope with Covid and the disruption of the psyche the pandemic has caused. Words selected from pages of Jack London’s novel The Scarlet Plague reiterate our fear of death, while the distorted objects themselves, as well as the fractured movement in the glitching process, symbolize a reality that has undergone a profound change with chilling effects. Levato’s titles, too, lend weight to the seriousness of this societal earthquake and its repercussions. “Barcode, Notepad, Hospital Bracelet” evokes the dangerous and deadly consequences of the pandemic; and the allusion of “In Flag on Pole, Inert” is followed by text that suggests a society unprepared: “the way to kill it / went no / farther. /they /were /unable to move /and / years in discovering how.”

Andrew Levy invites the reader into the process of his brilliant and multiplicious thinking, which ranges (and sometimes rages) from postulating other strange and wonderful modes of being (“Nonhuman / intellectual property? //The other side of an opposable thumb”) to work that sharply makes plain the bitterness and absurdity of our inescapably political existence: “I gave a check for ten million to my friend who has been without any means of existence. // My own spirit observes the indifferent, the debris of a good atrocity.” Like a dark film, devastating and elemental, Levy’s language surprises us into a truth: “Gunmen break open / An alien distance,” as his elegant imagination leads the reader to an altered perspective: “And yet, from his writing desk, / Disenchantment inhabits the subject. Its rigorous /architectural elastic symptom.”

In this selection of poems and related artworks, Laura Moriarty heeds the exhortation of Yoko Ono’s Walk Piece to “look out / as the broken world // breaks again” in order to contemplate the variety of ways in which both world and artist are “drawn to bits.” The active reader has much to unpack in these formidable intellectual and prosodically dazzling excursions, richly conceptual and studded as they are with word play, double entendre, rhyme, and rhythmic riffs. The works of an artist “inwardly // directed to / arrange and play / as we (rapt) / are carried off,” these poems and multimedia creations emerge from a practice of “daily acquisition” not only of “beads… balls . . . brass. . . [and] steel” but of observation, insight, and recollection. Moriarty creates incantatory assemblages capable of managing “what we want: // an engine of past time, / creation, and abstraction // whose apparatus / reflects the precision of // wrapped glass / collapsed threading through / the fastness // of everything as everything / found or findable // resolves into action.” By “resolving the ‘made place” / into the made real day,” Moriarty is committed to bending art to the monumental and necessary task of changing reality itself.

Begun at the outset of the pandemic, the collages in Jill Moser’s Nude Palette reveal both shifts from, and continuities with a body of work dedicated, in her own words, to the “teasing of form and gesture each insisting on the other.” In these collages, initially assembled from fragments of past work in collaboration with poet Anna Maria Hong, Moser’s dense, vividly chromatic biomorphic forms evoke poured and pooling fluids, gels, bubbles, cells, and bodily organs layered over and contained by geometric structures in a saturated matte palette that glows with vitality. Any departures from Moser’s earlier work are in keeping with the circumstances of their conception in the early days of quarantine — from gesture to form; from line to solid; from dynamic to static (or at least contained); from a contemplation of signification (often in a tonal palette) to being (in the vital tones of Spring). But perhaps the seeming shift from gesture to form is better understood as an evolution of focus — since form, as Moser has remarked, is simply gesture suspended. And in fact, many of the ovoid, stacked shapes in these works are familiar from earlier series like Syntax, Topographies, and Naming Game. In some ways, these biomorphic forms appear as isolated and confined within their shelters as we all were during lockdown. But just as collaboration was their origin and animating impulse, these collages enact the collaborative interdependence of form and color – thereby celebrating deeper, if quieter, dimensions of connection. Texturally rich and dense as buds, these lovely works salve the anxiety of trying times by reminding us of the beauteous “thereness” of what is, ripe with the potential of what will be.

Julie Marie Wade’s Jeopardy poems contain multitudes. Playful, sly, carefully constructed verbal puzzles, they are also sophisticated meditations on the academicization of insight (“this phenomenon is college, where the lexicon begins to bloat at prodigious rates”), as well as frank considerations of desire and its elusions. This is the work of a writer who has “been studying Beauty all this time—assaying so as to essay? probing so as to poem?” – where the beauties in question are sexual, intellectual, and linguistic, as this excerpt from an extended abecedarian demonstrates. Noting the “little irony of our language that vexes as it woos” and musing about the nature and intensity of paradigm shifts in which “it’s your old version of reality that’s fading now, losing consciousness,” Wade notes that “sometimes a shift is a harsh slip. Sometimes a dig is a cruel joke. Sometimes what I actually know amounts to a weird log cabin made of used Popsicle sticks…”

Thank you for being here!

With love and gratitude,

Susan Lewis, Carol Ciavonne, and Bernd Sauermann