Frank Joussen (Postcard Competition Winner)

Check out some pieces of work, and an interview with Frank Joussen – one of the winners of our Postcard Competition!


the way to happiness

is forgetting, I guess,

what you wanted to have

but one way or

another couldn’t

the act of happiness

includes remembering, I guess,

all the mistakes

you tried to make

but eventually wouldn’t

the arrival of happiness

is when you can say, I guess,

to the irises

in your mirror:

deep down there you are,

I see you’ve come from afar,

you could have got lost

along the way,

but you must have

made it through somehow.


I´m dreaming of friendship that stays.

I´m thinking it always does end.

I grew up as an only child

– ‘twas normal to not have a friend.

I am a lost sailor at sea.

My friend is a ship in the night.

I hear him but I cannot see

he’s rowing towards me all right.

He can’t understand that I’m stuck.

He’s angry he’s searching in vain.

When he looks out for friendly fleets

I know I’ll be lonely again.

I head back for my I-land’s shore

and he’s thinking I’m his no more.

But in my dreams we’re in one boat

sailing to shining horizons.

Touched by Night

your touching me,

no matter how lightly,

makes all the night-

mares gallop back

to where they came from

remembering your touch,

no matter how sleepily,

lets strong white mus-

tangs drag my self

through the dead of night.

Erotic Literature

writing is wooing

the love letters of your alphabet

the various characters of your language

if it’s more than

mere intoxication, literal infatuation

you create a cosmos full of sense

reading is populating

this sense-filled universe

with one person at a time

willing and able to

finally answer the letters

and make love all night long. 


1.What’s your name?

Frank Joussen

2.What’s your favourite colour?


3.What’s your favourite animal?

The Dolphin.

4.What’s your favourite food?

All kinds of Asian food, if it is not too hot.

5.What kind of hobbies do you like?

Reading, writing, riding my bike and travelling.

6.What’s your favourite time of year?


7.Do you prefer tea, coffee or none?

Tea, supposedly the British solution to every problem!

8.What’s your lucky number?

– pass, I don’t have one.

9.What would you say poetry is?

Poetry is the perfect combination of the right words, whose sound pattern is always interesting, sometimes effortlessly

onomatopoeic, combined with the most fitting rhythm, may it be a strict metric form or free verse.

10.How long have you been writing poetry?

I started writing lyrics for a local band in 1976. I found out I’d better write poems in 1978.

11.What inspired your winning poem?

I’ve got two winners:

1) “Global Peace” (a trilogy of 3 haiku) was inspired by Denise Levertov saying something to the effect that peace is so

important that if you wish to write about it you must give it your very best. That said, please note that I don’t think

I’m a really good haiku writer. All I was trying to do was to make my peace haiku the very best haiku I’ve ever written.

2) “Let’s Live Two-gether”: This short poem was about 45 years in the making: I wrote the last three lines as part of a refrain to

an unpublished song back in 1977 or so. Then your competition triggered the beginning and the title.

12.How do you normally find inspiration?

Normally the inspiration finds ME! I’m very fortunate that way, I think.

13.Do you write your poems with pen and paper or on a device?

Always with pen and paper first.

14.Who’s your favourite author?

There are too many to mention. My favourite contemporary authors writing in English are Ian McEwan, Jennifer Egan and Jhumpa


15.Who’s your favourite poet?

Again, too many to mention. My favourite contemporary poets writing in English are Louise Glück, Roger McGough and Peter Goldsworthy (from Australia).

16.What’s your favourite book?

Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird.

17.What’s your favourite poem?

Robert Lee Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

18.How do you go about writing a poem?

As I’ve said, the inspiration comes to me – in the form of a couple of words that are, or at least sound, orginal, and contain the core,

the main idea of the whole poem. Then I try to find more of these words and simultaneously I start working on the rhythm.

19.Why do you like poetry?

First because of the answer to question no. 9. Second because it has a very sensual aspect to it: For a poem to be good you need to

feel it, taste it, when you read it out loud you love the sound of it etc. This can, of course, happen with some extraordinary prose

sentences, but in poetry you find this “feeling” in its purest form.

20.Do you have any advice for aspiring poets?

Oh dear, who am I to give advice? I’m struggling like all the rest. I think some pieces of advice can be found in some of the answers above.

Otherwise I would like to pass on one “do”

and one “don’t”, taken from a long letter by Rainer Maria Rilke in reply to the same question from an aspiring poet: DO: Find a topic or

several topics you feel very strongly about. (Then your writing will be at its most original and most sincere). DON’T: Don’t send your poems

to others, including literary magazines at first in order to use them for feedback, as a mirror. Find your own voice first.

In conclusion, Rilke says: Look inward, not outward.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *