Oliver Baum

Ode to Berlin

Berlin, what's up,
I'm your lonely wanderer,
in search of Kerouac's eastern "shrouded stranger" on the road,
your city lights and endless bookshops are taking away my sight;
Berlin, what have you done to me with your old weary scary face,
I cannot sleep because I'm counting your yawning wrinkles at night,
I see your postmodern scarful face and have to weep;
O Berlin, what's up,
you're awake when I'm asleep and you're asleep when I'm awake,
what's wrong with you, why don't you stop dropping tears on your innocent roads,
when I'm creeping through your deserted melancholic night streets of dark burning shadows of the heavenly thunder wing, Poverty eats up my latest vision in an illuminating thought;
In the postatomic wake of Fukushima I eat my tuna with a geiger counter
and try to figure out the unemployed in the multi-culti city of the unemployed,
O Berlin, my holy desire, I am but denounced to a number in an endless queue of quivering mad souls in Poe-like remote and terrifying surroundings of the unreal and unknown and I try to figure out your old homes in the wake of the homeless I cannot count any more;
O Berlin, what's up,
why have you slapp'd my pale face with your invisible hand of screaming souls,
I try to read your thoughts as I interprete your snoring whispers of the automotive night roads into a hearable crack of the overall alarm siren but all I get is your facade of jumping and drowning hearts, famous for their facade and famous fame and mad mad maddening mad madness in mad mankind moods of mad-ternity;
O Berlin, what's up,
I first saw you in love and gladness when I was innocent and young,
be sure to be left by me in pain and melancholic madness still to come;
O Berlin, what's up,
see, I'm always on the run through your pulsating streets of quick time in the sense of Cassady and Kerouac's "Ah we know time and that all is fine" to eat up Ginsberg's "total animal soup of time", ah Berlin, why don't you have time for me?
O Berlin, what's up,
I visited your intact fallout shelter in which we will all be blown to mad-ternity in the aftermath heat wave of the Cold War in our new millenium,
O Berlin, what's up,
I listened to the Queen's Lecture on "Robotics" and embraced the Queen in my mind
and had to think 'yep it's true, the future has eaten us all up', Ginsberg's "Robot apartments" are alive like sharks on the dolphin's dive;
O Berlin, what's up,
you are hard work, I cashed you up for almost three starving years of pain and endless humiliation, but got never lost for the degradation, for I do know your ugly face,
look into the mirror and spit out our human race;
O Berlin, what's up,
I need an hour to drive your ambitious veins and was lost in translation,
at night it took me two because of the night bus and the Spätkauf;
Berlin, you are my Therapy, my inner enemy,
Berlin, you are my Friend, my right hand,
Berlin, you are my lost Love, the earth-tired sky-fond dove,
Berlin, you are my challenging Chance and dying Desire, my mighty Misery and furious Fire,
Berlin, I feel beaten and eaten up alive and hope and glory and beatitude at the same time when I look into your sad mad happy beat face in vain, your tears to acid rain,
Berlin, your young people are killed by younger people on the underground for fun,
Berlin, what do you have to say about this?, is it normal under our melting sun?
Berlin, you are home to our ambiguous politicians, why don't you get rid of all your fascisms?
Berlin, why don't you talk to me? What are you so angry about? Take it out like Osborne's angry young Jimmy, this bloody rime is for my heavenly and only true brother Timmi,
Berlin, you are "My Beautiful Laundrette" I visit each week and a cup of coffee full of guilty Iago-like intrigues that knock on my door at night MacBeth-like, it's the Black Cat's delight,
Berlin, you are my breakthrough, you are the German American Dream, a failure, too,
Berlin, your mother tongue is Spanish, as well,
Berlin "do you speak English" means "do you have money" in your streets like a false spell,
Berlin, you have billions of cities, Berlin, you are a billion cities and atrocities,
Berlin, your dark wanderers smoke and drink on the train, your young visions beat me in vain,
Berlin, you are not the Love Parade but at Heaven's ample stake, Berlin, you are Curry 36, you're tasty as my skin among cannibals,
Berlin, your stores are opened till midnight, dawn and longer, to quench the blood-thirsty,
Berlin, why don't you spit out your Poverty, Dirt and ugliest Shirt?
Berlin, you are drunk, what has made you so sick?, tell me, was it your naked population?
Berlin, I have seen your 1984-like Telescreens à la Orwell in Friedrichstraße and got a shock,
Berlin, I was impressed by your Blade-Runner-like architecture and buildings of tomorrow like an enormous piece of high-tech rock, if I were a vampire this would have been my flock,
Berlin, people keep jumping from the TV tower and selling their homeless magazines on the road, I do love Alexanderplatz, Berlin, are you male? Why did you bite me, am I on sale?
Berlin, you have Saturn 12 times, why is that?, are you a marketing consumerist leader?
Berlin, I step out of my door and find myself in chaos, crowded hysteric masses like refugees from a lost war for the better, you never ending and never sleeping tumult of the masses,
Berlin, I don't like your circle line that so often goes into the wrong direction like our society,
Berlin, I take your underground to the underground like a hot driving sauna of false shoam,
Berlin, your sundays here are like mondays over there, how can this be?
O Capitol of Germany, "whatever that is", to quote Kerouac's dedication to adolescent America,
I do embrace thee in these mad nights of postmodern madness and mad post-mad-ternity,
We have something in common that is mankind's grave, I visited Mercuse's tomb,
Berlin, you are History and my temporary dwelling but I have no idea who you really are,
Berlin, we don't know each other well but in thy Holy Embrace I feel Glory and Misery,
Berlin, I saw the remainings of The Wall, was it your adolescent disease?,
Berlin, there is no answer,
Berlin, let us be home for all human race...


All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Oliver Baum.
Published on e-Stories.org on 11/13/2012.


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