Poetry: Tier


Ich bin eine Tier
I’ve been on a tear
For ever is what comes of never
Back when I used to be so clever
It’s not the elements keeping me away
It’s not myself that stands to lay

Finde mich in der Finsternis
End it in the kiss you miss
Take away what’s left and over
The right way to anchor a rover
You can have all my broken and body
You can call me token and shoddy 

Wir sind eine Tier
Mit Beinen vier
The blindness that I see
Like precious autonomy
I want to jump into the statues
And white out the blues

Ich bin eine Tier
One last lonely tear
I rip out my heart
And feed it to the bark
The animals smell the food of me
They feast so greedily

Thirsty for Essen
Starlit learned lesson
I’m hungry for Wasser
Moonbeam double crosser

Du bist eine Tier
I know all your fears
I’m boring the birds
Unlisten what I heard
Touching out of sight
Caress the faded light
Cries look like lullabies 
My talent said goodbye

Jederman ist eine Tier
Dreams float in a Bier
It was he that put me here
To cleanse his dirty rear
Without a guiding light
In the cage of evernight

I got so close to near
Just get me out of here
The food chain so filthy clear
Mysterious passerby 
No time for my eyes
Wie in der Nähe ist Moabit
Where I left my suffering
I vomit my own pounds of flesh
I stole the hero vulture’s nest
So second from the almost best
I ask for one more ask
I test for one more test
I learn one more teach
I pray for what I preach

und dann
The tears carry on








Prose: Schmerz – Part 2

Germans do not acknowledge Schmerz.

While there is some facility in doling out and absorbing Schmerz throughout the indelible history of their time, despite their affinity for control – they have not yet mastered an auspicious way to conquer this unavoidable consequence.

This is a clear case of culture clash, coincidence and contradiction. While pharmaceuticals reign supreme as one of the top industries in Germany and the socialist environment allows easy access for the treatment of Schmerz, in my experience I have learned that many Germans will tolerate the agony of Schmerz by defeating the acceptance of its existence with feigned tolerance and an inclination to refuse any responsibility for the cause of the beast that is Schmerz.

I will use three not so little bears as a reference.

The first time I experienced the tragedy and comedy of German Schmerz was when I met a friend for a glass of weiß wein.

He limped obnoxiously towards me with a bright and ironic smile (immediately I pondered the impossibility that it had anything to do with his disposition), and when he finally arrived and greeted me with a hug I queried the obvious query.

“I think I broke my foot,” he explained and continued onto another topic that coerced an immediate interjection which was thwarted by a, “Naw, ist okay.”

He told me what happened but it didn’t matter because the inconvenience of Schmerz was not something he was willing to readily admit to. Despite the fact that I had to help him walk several times and I winced as he winced in pain, the big beast using me as a crutch rather than a human, he totally disregarded the Schmerz.

Later when he went to the doctor and found out he had a sprained ankle – they gave him a set of crutches that he never used. He told me he took one Ibuprofen and he should be fine.

Another tall, hefty man engaged in Schmerz epitomized the same attitude. Instead of doctoring himself by ignorance and ignoring it, he went to the doctor. Torn tendon.

The bandage wrap, topical cream, anti-inflammatory and (by American standards) low dosage pain killers sat lonely on his dining room table for most of my weekend visit, all of which might have rolled or bounced on the wood top thing from the vibrato of our screaming matches and stomping through the apartment trying to explain to him that in order to relieve Schmerz you must accept that it exists in the first place.


“Elevate your leg and put ice on it for 20 minutes,” was combatted with very stern and echoing, “Naw ist okay,” as my head spun around and around and around…dizzied by the frenzied sharp shouts of Schmerz, always followed by a complete lack if interest in ending said Schmerz altogether.

I was shocked when after the two hundred and twenty fifth time I yelled at him to get an ice pack he finally came back home with one. “Ist cold,” he protested, but found much comfort and joy when he realized that his compromising position allowed him the freedom to treat me like a slave, that oh so common Teutonic quality of barking out orders with that chasm of a pregnant pause before the chagrinned “Please” (statement, not question) slips out of their smile upside down lips after I give them the same sharp look my Mother and Father would give me when I was a young boy learning how to mind his manners.

There is another story of Berlin bear Schmerz – this time a captivating display of athlete turned invalid.

Without warning (sans the abhorrent declaration that the Schmerz was not a problem he caused himself), the seething Schmerz was in full blast trying to make itself known to the owner, a German owner that refuses to show weakness, emotion, or admit any sort of defeat.

Instead of listening to what the Doctor said/says, his exercise addiction and extreme denial provide a scary exposition of this all too common sehr deutsche personality flaw. He went running again, worked on the machines at the gym and ran around town devouring the Schmerz as nonchalantly as he could muster, the oversized meanderer.

“Do you want me to go to the Doctor with you?”

“Naw ist okay.”

I asked Schmerz Bear #3 rhetorical questions, mostly different versions of “Why are you so stupid?” knowing full well my effort was fruitless considering he had all the answers.

His shin splints do not allow him to take more than 3 or 4 steps without demonstrating that the Schmerz is real; it really exists.

After he denied my request to use a bag of vegetables as an ice pack and all the other things he should and should not do, I ended the conversation angrily with one last request coerced by another catalyst of Schmerz I was shocked to hear he was going to birth: “Please don’t ride your bike to the Doctor.”

I have spent too much of my time trying to encourage Germans that their bodies are not impervious. From a Yankee point of view and coming from a place where people go to the Doctor for a broken toenail, that capitalist wonderland that is the un-United States of American’t, it is no wonder then that these feuds arrive sporadically.

Having studied Anatomy and Physiology for so long as a requirement for my dance courses and a general nerdy interest overall – I am always appalled by these German rebuttals denying the truth of my prognosis’s. it’s no reproach of theirs, for all of Europe is mostly correct in assuming that American’t breeds a very reputable and infamous lack of education in their (our?) culture.


Berlin, this old city, is rife with refutable tradition. The undying adulation of non-feeling passed down from generation to generation; surely a proud badge of an attribute to well represent the Black, Red and Gold.

This old town with its lack of elevators compares to Seatlle’s lack of flat ground. Much like the wary west American’t city, veteran denizens rely on the advent of crutches and canes to make their way around, stubborn and determined.

The heavy haunches that are genetically inherent in this Aryan society bare the brute force of its own making. It’s not subjective, it’s science.

I never was so much of a leg-man until I came to Berlin, now hip-hunting almost daily in a marked attempt to catch a glimpse of those leg of lamb legs that they hone so well, even in times of physical adversity. I digress, that is a topic for another time.

But I continue on, hoping that one day they realize that it hurts me to see Schmerz.

It does not elude me so much as frustrate me, this abundant proclivity for such uncanny cultural proclamations. Turns out, all this nonsense has helped me to learn a new German word: Kummer.

Note: December 15, 2010

Here is an iPhone note from 2 weeks before I was leaving Berlin to return to the states after staying in Germany for 3 months to test the water and stake my claim.

December 15, 2010 – 5:39pm
“Going for the Gold”

Shiny round beacons. Always loved silver. Ball and chain. Add water instant boyfriend. How do they do it. Proposal cliches. Jaded or tired. Are they happy I wonder. That true feeling in your gut. Does it go away. Codependent. Lady in waiting – for what. It’s like a race running around in circles, hurdles, passing the baton. What’s at the finishline??? When it happens will it stifle the rest of life? What is the prize? Settle for less. Notch on the bed post. Held out sex to no avail. Find a proper place. The impossible balance. True meaning of family. Someone you have to let in “company” the musical. Love songs on iTunes. Alcohol and drug effects – loss of inhibitions. Children and raising a family. Want what you don’t have both ways in and out of relationships. Love lives of celebrities – technology. Online dating not frowned upon. Less traditional communication. Harder to get into workforce. Putting career first. Hard vs easy. Time. What does it all mean when you question it. Emotional food chain. Survival of the fittest. Family influence. Freudian inclinations. Want the door opened but not carried through the threshold…


Prose: Light

I was sitting in the dark in the smoking room with the lights turned off, the only light of the room coming from the outside to the inside, from the streetlights mostly. I lit my cigarette, and for a moment I could see the quirky comedies in the room: the poorly executed painting of three black horses running on a wild fluorescent orange beach with cigarette burns all over it, the two lone coat hangers on the wall with the added graffiti of a crooked smile to make the two hooks look like vicious eyes, the triangular table that sat in the corner of this cancer cave where there was the only source of electricity in that oh so eco-friendly way of Europe where once one of my neighbors watched some seemingly important (European, not American) football game, the faint color of the walls much like the color of baby shit after he/she has eaten a healthy dose of pureed peas, the antiquated CD player that had heinously released the sounds of the last kinds of songs that should have been played in a place like this including but not limited to “Always on my Mind”, “You’ll See”, “I Come Undone”, “Sweet Lies” and many other sad songs to laugh at or happy songs to cry about.

I let the flame of my lighter crackle and burn for longer than necessary, puffing in and out on one of my last cigarettes, in attempt to make it much more than worth my while. The noise in the room and the tiny shards of light from the outside, and admittedly, from the inside outside hallway, were all mine alone, the only time I could find peace and quiet in that place. It was 2:30am.

I waited for the routine sound of stalker heels that never failed to make their way up and down and up and down and back again and up and down again through the nighttime dimmed light of the main hallway. Every morning she did this from 1:00am – 2:30am. She and I were always the last ones to go to bed sleepless and always the first ones to wake up restless, early in the morning, around 6:00am.

She was one of the only neighbors I wanted to talk to, and perhaps befriend. She looked like an artist or teacher or librarian or all of the above. Her perfect posture was veiled by her constant fear, and her garb; she was always wearing color-blocked tights, a smart and fitting pencil skirt, a nondescript crew neck blouse and a chic cardigan that she spent much time wrapping and re-wrapping around herself, as some sort of protection maybe – the whole ensemble was of cool dark colors: purples, greens, blues.

Her hair was mid-length and a rich shade of tree bark brown, shiny from the obvious constant brushing of it. The straight locks complimented her pale peach white skin magnificently. There were no bangs to mask her precious, scared and mostly furrowed brow, the eyes delicate but always bulging, the corners of the mouth squeezed together in deep though, her skin unfettered by the atrocities of modern feminine necessity. She was naturally beautiful, somewhat of a blessing and curse it seems.

She would check the entrances before they she entered anywhere, though I only ever saw her going into her room and the dining room, constantly getting tea and almost drinking as much as I did. One time I helped her, she was shocked.

The sound of her shoes made the whole experience more cinematic, the clink clank sounded like that classic clichéd moment of a scary movie, though it seemed as though she was the one being hunted or haunted, these clunky brown leather heels echoed throughout the entire ward. When she walked, it was almost as though there was a light that had been blown out inside her.

The way she held herself, tautly embracing herself as if not only she was cold on the outside but also cold on the inside (figuratively speaking) – I knew we had something in common besides the artist/teacher background, the fear of being watched, the love of reading, the tea, the smart and dark colored style of dress, the lack of sleep. She was a rape victim.

I was thinking about nothing when I was staring out of the window at the moonlit and streetlight lit and puffy gray cloud and pin-sized starlit pre-morning. Thoughts were at the time the biggest enemy for me and I did my best to do my counting and breathing exercises to thwart any attempt of philosophy.

In that room, a cigarette was not really necessary, for the chain smoking of the day was heartily still apparent in the air, but I had no cardigan, so I needed something physical to calm my nerves.


And then, a light.

Across the street, in a bright yellow building (a color almost mocking the building that housed me and kept me away from that real-ish world), a light came on. It was another eco-friendly European thing, the saving of electricity for the love of conservation despite the devolution of the world.

It was a bright guiding light that lit up the hallways of the building and most notably, the stairwell. The oxymoronic transparent and opaque glass walls that led down the outside wall of the apartment building filled up with the most bright and distorted light, reminding me of the control I once had of the functions of lamps and overheads and all sorts of lighting devices.

I remembered it was a Saturday night.

There were three girls. They walked from one of the mid floors down to outside, their ghostly shadows bouncing amorphously with the rhythm of the descent down the crisscrossed stairway. When they arrived at the heavy entrance door making their exit, another pool of light came rushing out in front of them and them behind until the mouth of the door snapped shut, eating the light from within. Then the two bright flashes of yellow lights from the VW Golf that was parked with its ass towards me, unlocking their getaway car for their after midnight escape to some party somewhere that I was not invited to.

The designated driver was sturdy and had dark features, the other two girls had light hair that was bouncy and free and glistening in the artificial light that was brightened for them as they approached the car that sat expecting under another stoic streetlgiht.

The interior light of the car lit up as the girls ducked into the vehicle, becoming half their size, and I became further acquainted with the backs of their heads. I wondered if all three of them wished that the fourth wheel of the bandwagon was amongst them, a token gay black guy, someone like me, someone to compliment their make-up, to fix their hair, to help them pick out the right smart outfit, to suggest wines and restaurants, to warn her if a guy was wrong for her or if he was gay, to hold her purse without embarrassment, to hold her hair in the toilet without embarrassment, to make sure the clasp of her necklace is always in the back pressed against her nape, to tell her whether or not to send that SMS to that stupid boy, to get her another drink, to tell her when she has had enough to drink, to remind her that she’s not fat, to dance with her, to smack her ass and help her feel sexy, to talk about feelings and the causes of them, to tell her she is right even when she is wrong, to make sure her lipstick is still there, to make her laugh when she wants to cry, to surround her with friendship without the confusion or threat of sexual advancement…

The taillights and the headlights of the Volkswagen came on, red and yellow and white, and white respectively, then the white brake lights dissipated and the interior light faded down and only the light colored hair glimmered in the darkness, and suddenly, the girls sped off farther away from me.

For a few moments, I started to think again. About the past, the future, and the fantastic reality of the present. The light in the hallway of the building went out, but the warm red orange of my cigarette was still shining bright.