The Nightmare of a “Daymare”

The publication was long overdue. When In came to the publisher’s office, which was a damp basement, he showed me my book of poems. It had a cloth cover. He explained to me that cloth was more prestigious than cardboard. However the cloth covering was completely blank. No title, no author’s name and no publisher.

Later the book appeared in paperback. Appeared is the wrong word since was not on sale in bookshops.

A colleague ordered fifty copies to distribute at a symposium. The order could not be fulfilled since the publisher did not have sufficient books. He had applied for a subsidy and had printed some books in order to pocket it.

That night I had a nightmare which consisted of stark reality. There was nothing surrealistic about it. The “dream” was just a repetition of the day’s events. I woke up from the nightmare into the “daymare” with a nosebleed that took a week to staunch.



I was the first to translate the poetry of the Burgenland Croatians and the Carinthian Slovenians into English and the first to anthologize them.

On November 10, 1983, a presentation of Hawks and Nightingales was slated to take place at the America House, for which I had acted as an intermediary. Presentations of Carinthian Slovenian Poetry and Austrian Poetry Today were to follow. And a reading tour featuring poetry from all anthologies was planned.

However, on November 9th, a day before the presentation, Cynthia Miller, the United States Cultural Attaché received a letter from Dr. Reiterer withdrawing from the presentation. Dr. Reiterer wrote: “I would like to convey to you, that due to recent events, our publishing house will not be able to send a representative to the reading that you have planned.”

The “recent events” were allegedly Ronald Reagan’s invasion of Grenada

The buffet was delivered and set aside. The presentation was cancelled. The guests were sent home and all other events were cancelled, That was the end of my relationship with the America House. I may not have been to blame for what had happened, but I had made the unfortunate connection with Dr. Reiterer. Anti-Climax insert that if it hadn’t been for the participation of the United States in World War II, the Third Reich would still dominate Europe.

When I called Dr. Reiterer, he in informed me that he had achieved his intentions. That was the end of my relationship with the America House. I certainly was not to blame for what had happened, but I had made the connection with the man who had caused the cancellation of the book presentation.

I have never spoken to Dr. Reiterer since then, nor will I ever speak to him again on this earth. And if there is an afterlife, ditto!

After our brief phone conversation, I received a bill for complimentary copies of Hawke and Nightingales dated November 23, 1983,, which I had distributed for publicity and funding purposes. I quote, “Regretfully we cannot agree to having the book presented to people such as Peter Rath, who is the owner of a glass and chandelier company that has absolutely no connection with our publishing house.”

Peter Rath of Lobmeyr happened to be one of the sponsors of Austrian Poetry Today and received credit for his generosity in that publication..

On December 20, 1983, I received a letter from Dr. Reiterer informing me that Herbert Gassner of the Croatian Academic Club had purchased 50 copies of Hawks and Nightingales on condition that Dr. Reiterer desist from harassing me with bills for complementary copies. I quote Reiterer: “We regret that an uninvolved third party has entered this situation.” In other words harassing me with bills was more important him than selling copies of the book.


Not too long ago, I had a dream. I was attending a symposium at a university. As I was walking on the campus, I saw Dr. Reiterer. I approached him and used a German expletive (apparently, there’s no English word to match it)(1) .That’s the complete dream. I cannot remember ever previously having spoken German in a dream.

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(1) Drecksau