“The stuffed coffin” | Damien Drechsler’s investigations # 1 | Novel

The French version “Le cercueil farci” has been awarded the Gay Crime Fiction Award 2019 (Prix du roman policier / Prix du roman gay 2019)!

After breaking up with his boyfriend, Damien Drechsler needs a holiday. The Greek village of Levkos seems like the perfect place to go—dozy, sunny, bucolic, with lonely beaches and little bars where he can drown his sorrows.

But the very first night, Damien meets Nikos, a dashing young man, who makes his heart beat faster all of a sudden. Then, he is almost run over by a reckless driver. The next day he learns that an old man has been killed in a suspicious-looking car accident only minutes after his own misadventure.

From then on, everything seems to go wrong. A well-endowed nudist tries to seduce him; a handsome lad sets off a misunderstanding with far-reaching consequences; and last but not least, Damien starts to fall for Nikos. Worse, a tourist dies in the hotel swimming pool although she seemed in perfect health the day before. Another accident? Or could it be… murder?

Intrigued, Damien tries to unravel the odd puzzles he has stumbled upon. But what with the bellicose police inspector he has to deal with, the sudden disappearance of a sports activity leader, and Nikos who drops him just when he starts to feel hope again, he suddenly has more questions than answers… Could it be that the “Happily Ever After” existed only in fairy tales?

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“Twenty-five” | Poetry 3.0

My poetry often starts with a word, a sentence, a sensation I stumble upon in my everyday life. For instance, I’m listening to Laurie Anderson singing “Oh superman / oh judge / oh mom and dad…”, thinking of a conversation I’ve had the day before about the difficult relationship someone I know has with his or her parents. “You raised us as / pale ghosts of your / measly dreams…”, I’m thinking. Asking myself if it’s not vital for all of us to “kill” our parents, in a symbolic, psychological, almost Freudian sense, if we want to be able to find happiness. And writing “Oh Mom and Dad”.

Or I’m walking down the street, and pictures, stories, emotions come to mind. Maybe “the wind, / the cold November wind / painting the sky a dark / and rain-streaked grey, / sweeps glossy pavements dirty…”. Or “a streetsweeper hoses down / the pavement in front / of the construction site / where cranes, still silent, / stretch skywards, / whispering to each other / in their lost language”.

It’s often songs, song-titles, music that trigger off the unexplainable machinery that will lead to a poem. I’ve mentioned above how a Laurie Anderson-tune influenced one of my poems. Brendan Perry sings “Utopia”, and I’m creating “Utopium”. Goldfrapp sings “Annabel”, and a whole life-story comes to mind, asking to be expressed in a poem. The Austrian singer / drag queen Conchita Wurst wins the Eurovision Song Contest, some narrow-sphinctered East European politicians call Europe “decadent”, and “Western decadence, expunged” appears in my head. I could quote many more examples (“Improvised”, “The city never sleeps”).

Another possibility: memories. God, yes, Memory Lane—what a rich source for poems! “Picture of the past”, “Feels like home”, “Heathen summer”, “Vandal” are but a few examples of how a memory, a brief glimpse of the past have led to a poem. My third poetry collection “”twenty-five” includes all the above-mentioned titles plus 14 black-and-white photos of my personal collection.

“the solid and thoughtful cow” | Poetry 2.0

To write poetry means to use words sparingly, to reduce stories to their essence in order to stir emotions. With keen observational skills, a good “ear” as well as kind instincts, Dieter Moitzi writes in a personal style that makes you see the world around you in many different, maybe even new ways. His poetry is visual, sometimes sensual, always sensuous: you feel things on your skin, you smell scents, you hear sounds.

He presents you the lonesome wordsmith who sits at his laptop struggling with his fear “… that I will end up lying in my flat, / lonely, unread, unwept, / a cat gnawing my bones, / a longcase clock ticking / eternities away…” He shows you how it feels to move from a popular Parisian neighbourhood with all its “fastness, blurry, and turbulence” to that posh suburb where “even the dogs wear Ralph Lauren”. He invites you to have tea in the Serengeti, under “a lone, archaic baobab that stretches branches / like shrivelled, pleading arms into the balmy breeze”. He evokes those “watermelon days” when “the faint smirk of boredom lurks / between the pages of a summer novel”. He uses the romantic image of a candlelight dinner in Paris only to upend it and make everything feel “like plastic / except the perfectly iced bottle / of ‘Cristal’”.

Dieter Moitzi’s main topics are our lives in this modern world. How we can still pursue happiness in an environment that often feels cold and depersonalized. How we can still find beauty in the grey, rain-splashed streets of a big city. Rummaging through his memories, he explores new ways to see sunsets and moonlit lakes, November fogs and teenage angst, how to deal with a Prince Charming, how to imagine our final moment “when he comes at last, / dust-winged eyeless angel…” and says “in that raspy voice of his, / ‘Are you ready? Time to go!’”

Some say that poetry is dead. Some say that poetry doesn’t sell. This poetry collection shows that to the contrary, poetry is still very much alive, and that its main goal is not to sell. What Dieter Moitzi tries with his poetry is to show you how the familiar, the ordinary, can suddenly look different. He offers you words that live and resound.

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“Small Portions” | Very short stories

“Small Portions” is a story that comes in… small portions. In precisely 111 little parts – AND a recipe. To explore the many facets of modern life, the author has chosen the literary form of vignettes, those short impressionistic scenes that focus on one moment or give a trenchant impression about a character, idea, setting, object.

Dieter Moitzi tells his own story in poignant scenes that vary from a snapshot of his christening in the early 70s to his father’s death in a skiing accident at the beginning of the 2000s. It’s small things he talks about, those many small things that compose a life – his life. He recalls the painful process of coming out of the closet, relates in funny detail the first encounters and love stories of his happy-go-lucky twenties, delves with analytical distance into aspects and turning points of two long-time relationships. He takes you by the hand and guides you through the streets of Paris, the city he lives in. He writes about food and the internet and his travel experiences in Greece, Morocco, Vienna, Tunisia, London…

In just so many carefully chosen words, sometimes poetic, sometimes blunt, but always with a good deal of wry and self-deprecating humour, the author succeeds in creating little universes with each story. Each one stands alone, yet when you link them together, another story takes shape. The story of a life, the sketch of a person, the mirror of a time. Our time.

“and somewhere under” | Poems

“… and somewhere under the concrete

and cement and asphalt and steel and glass,

under the weary pavements and jaded streets,

the wasted buildings, the throttled cars and trucks…”

Extracted from the poem “and somewhere under”, an ode to Mother Nature waiting patiently for her time to come…

More than 50 poems, some of them previously published on the author’s literary blog http://dietermoitzi.blogspot.com, are assembled in this volume. Poems that speak of love and fear, pain and death and loss, happiness and hope; poems that describe the mountains and the sea; poems that sing of the Big City; poems that circle around modern life. A unique voyage that will lead you deep into the realm of smiles and tears, dreams and words…

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“Miss Otis regrets” | And other short stories

“Will Nelly be able to remember the precise message? Miss Otis anxiously fiddles with her lace collar. To express oneself properly is of the utmost importance, even through a servant. It has been a tantalizing trial to find the right words, an almost artistic research to compose the sentences. Since last evening, Miss Otis has lived in a nightmarish worry-go-round that has prevented her from sleeping. At last, with the new day showing up at the horizon, she has worked out the acceptable formula. Thus, it will not do if Nelly mixes up the precise wording; it will absolutely not do if Nelly says something else instead, or if Nelly forgets and (God forbid!) improvises. The words have been thoroughly weighed and finally approved. So, will Nelly remember them? Miss Otis has to be sure of that.”

Thus begins the short story “Miss Otis regrets (she’s unable to lunch today)”, which relates the probably most important hour in Miss Otis’ otherwise calm and rather eventless life. Her posh 19th-century-existence, hitherto similar to the lukewarm breeze sweeping over the caribbean island she’s been living on all through her life, will be changed forever by a whimsical decision of hers. But did she have a choice to act in any other fashion? Or wasn’t she somehow predestined to do what she’s about to do?

This and other contemporary short stories (including “Cheat”, the story of a young Paris yuppie meeting his destiny) by young writer Dieter Moitzi can be found in this volume.