Zehra Çirak’s poem, “Kein Sand im Rad der Zeit [No Sand in the Wheel of Time],” from her collection Fremde Flügel auf eigener Schulter [Foreign Wing on a Familiar Shoulder] (1994), plays with the referentiality of the lyric “I,” the poetic speaker. Çirak’s status as a minority writer in Germany was established when she was awarded the Adalbert-von-Chamisso Prize in 1989 (for young writers whose native tongue is not German). In this “thing poem,” the speaker is a bicycle. However, it is not just any bicycle, but a bicycle circulating dialogically between her work and the tradition of political lyric poetry in Cold War and post-Cold War Germany. Çirak’s poem references two others, Bertolt Brecht’s “Der Radwechsel [Wheel Change]” (1953) and Günter Eich’s “Sand im Getriebe [Sand in the Gears]” (1960). These two poems have a status beyond their texts—Brecht’s poem became an example of the postwar notion of “political” art (art that is political because it refuses political content); lines from Eich’s poem are well known and have even become a slogan for the anti-globalization organization Attac. By pointing out its intertexts, I read Çirak’s poem in dialogue with other works dealing with the relation between the literary work and society, between literary referent and social reference, because this, roughly speaking, is the terrain of dialogism. With Brecht and Eich as points of reference, Çirak’s poem can be seen to raise questions about how ethnic literature speaks the language of a national literature, even as it takes place in the gap between the things and words of a national language.