Marcus Speh image for MHLitThe Last Letter
By Marcus Speh

Whenever I begin to think about editing and publishing my father’s angry, political poems, I am overwhelmed by the multitude of images that surround my recollection of his gray head bent over the typewriter, looking up like a blind man who scans the inside of an unseen world, or perhaps of a lost world, charging ahead into the unknown like Professor Challenger,never surprised at what he finds and always willing to generously spread the treasure around among those willing to listen. He gets up, waves a piece of paper, says “pearls before swine” to no one in particular, grabs his well thumbed copy of Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, scratches himself, which makes an odd noise because he’s wearing his tight leather pants never mind that he is in his 70s, and flops on the couch. Pulling the book over his eyes he begins to snore. Later, he will wake up, remember the rhythm in which the wings of his nose flapped during his nap, and then he will spend hours trying to transfer this rhythm to his writing, crouched at the feet of one of the great libraries of the city like a book, like a bat turned into a book, like the last letter of a secret alphabet that must memorize itself, and so it goes on and on in my head until a friend rescues me from my memory banks and takes me out for a beer in Berlin.

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To listen to this story:

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Marcus Speh is a German writer and lives in Berlin. His debut collection of short fiction, Thank You For Your Sperm was published in April 2013 by MadHat Press (  He blogs at

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Thank You For Your Sperm reviewed:


 Christopher Allen in Metazen Sunday Review:

 Beach Sloth:

 Derek Osborne at Gertrude’s Flat:


Marcus Speh interviewed:


 Christopher Allen in Flash Mob 2013:

 Susan Tepper’s “UNCOV/rd” at Flash Fiction Chronicles:

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