Here, I invite you to explore the enigmatic and thought-provoking piece known as “German Punctuality” by Mike Powers. Mike Powers is a gifted american writer and artist based in Berlin, Germany.
Synopsis of “German Punctuality”
In “German Punctuality,” the speaker recounts their experience of trying to catch a bus in Germany, where they do not speak the language well. Despite their efforts to confirm they were on the correct bus, they were unsure until the driver made a sudden departure at the precise scheduled time, leaving behind a man who was running to catch the bus. The poem captures the stereotype of German punctuality and efficiency, as well as the frustration and confusion that can come with navigating an unfamiliar language and culture.
I was the last one on what I thought was the right bus.
I asked the driver to make sure. He said something
that in English sounded like “crossing.” The only problem
was he was speaking German,
and I’d just taken up the language. I asked him again.
He scratched his forehead just above his nose.
He repeated himself angrily. I still didn’t understand.
I tried to simplify. “Sooo, Leipzig?”
“Ja, ja…” he said.
“Danke schön …”
I sat down a few seats behind him.
I kept an eye on him in the rearview mirror.
Above his head there was a digital clock with red numbers.
It was 6:03. At 6:05 the bus was scheduled to depart.
At 6:04 he grabbed the top of the steering wheel
with both hands
and peered at the door with his sharp vulture’s eye.
At 6:04 and about 30 seconds he began pummeling
the gum that was in his mouth,
his jaw working more furiously than ever.
6:05. BANG! He slammed the door shut, pumped the gas,
went tearing around the bend.
I looked out the window. There was a guy running
alongside the bus, his necktie streaming
over his left shoulder, a briefcase banging against his leg,
one arm frantically waving.
He kept a pretty good pace with us all the way
to the end of the parking lot,
but then we took a sharp left onto the main road.
He was a couple seconds late.
This is Mike
Writer & Artist
Mike Powers is an American writer and sketch artist based in Berlin, Germany. He is a versatile artist, known for his unique and imaginative style of writing and sketching. Want to read more? here you go!
One of Powers’ greatest strengths is his ability to blend different art forms, such as literature and drawing, to create a truly immersive experience for his audience.