Saturday, 20 March 2010


At Thirty-Three
It was all so different from what she'd expected.
Always those rusted Volkswagens.
At one time she'd almost married a baker.
First she read Hesse, then Handke.
Now often she does crosswords in bed.
With her, men take no liberties.
For years she was a Trotskyist, but in her own way.
She's never handled a ration card.
When she thinks of Kampuchea she feels quite sick.
Her last lover, the professor, always wanted her to beat him.
Green batik dresses, always too wide for her.
Green flies on her Sparmannia.
Really she wanted to paint, or emigrate.
Her thesis, Class Struggles in Ulm 1500
To 1512 and References to them in Folksong
Grants, beginnings and a suitcase full of notes.
Sometimes her grandmother sends her money.
Tentative dances in her bathroom, little grimaces,
Cucumber juice for hours in front of the mirror.
She says, whatever happens I shan't starve.
When she weeps she looks nineteen.
Hans Magnus Enzensberger

A good way to start: Class Struggles in Ulm...

Many wonderful things here, and the thesis says it all. So, what is to be done if we sacrifice our life to an idea? An idea narrow, dry, illusory; but necessary also. Do we try a new beginning with tentative dances and little grimaces, and odd words in a vacuum? Maybe we do.

1 comment:

  1. Ideas, you say. Many many years ago I had an idea, an idea which over time became an obsession, an obsession which became an all-consuming flame, a flame which consumed my very existance, as I shall reveal in the following narrative. "I intend to put together a musical composition composed entirely of excerpts of existant audio recordings, utilising rhythms, melodies and various fragments of other people's musical endeavours culled from LP and cassette tape" I said to myself, as though it were a magic spell.

    Locking myself away from the quotidian concerns of a disinterested and 'trendy' world, I toiled alone, chopping and fashioning reel-to-reel tape into a coherent whole whilst never losing sight of my goal.

    After many troublesome years, my work drew close to completion. Following the suggestion of a much younger musician of my acquaintance, I solicited the visit to my home of a representative of the Japanese corporation Akai. He arrived at my house with a machine known as the S900 digital sampler, and placed a record on my gramophone by the American combo Grandmaster Flash entitled "Adventures on the Wheels of Steel".

    My defence against the charge of murder on the grounds of intellectual copyright and patent theft was thrown out by the judge, nor would he accept the defence of provocation. My one consolation is that my "tune" (as my cellmate insists on calling it) has the inherent warmth of third harmonic distortion which is a characteristic of analogue tape.

    Best wishes