Poems of Berlin

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After I moved from Palo Alto to Berlin, I experimented with different artistic venues like poetry.


First Poetry Slam. First Poem

I wrote my first poem two hours before attending my first poetry slam. I procrastinated until the last moment to force myself to not over-think it. The poem came from an experience I had while walking the hills of Barcelona during the end of a six day water fast

A new day
I resist the fat, the sugar, the salt
I resist red lips, broad hips, big tits
I resist headlines and talking heads
I resist worshipping a green god
I resist to be perfect so they don’t nail me on a cross
I resist human nature
I resist..., I resist... crying, bleeding, betting, sobbing.
And then ... surrender.
Eyes flicker, close.
My senses subside. I fall in a deep slumber.
Not to die but to be reborn in a new world.
Pristine rivers, fields, forests, untouched by human hands
Water and air as pure as light
Life as wide consciousness can stretch
Mystery itself, divinity, undresses in front of me in a torrent of waves
Dipping, soaring, angulating, glowing. A cataract of glory.
No master narrative, no golden key, but structures of intelligence and light
They speak not to, but through me
In an instant all differences are revealed and erased
I don’t understand. Understanding just happens.
All of a sudden, the sky blazes into brilliant light
A crack appears at the rim
The masters have arrived
Raptured, in perfect awe, the sun of another world fills my being
Time reveals itself reverberating through every ray of light, drop of rain, breath for air.
The future perfectly visible 10, 20, 50 years ahead …whatever comes first
I know it at once and I know it complete, yet to describe it would be trying to drink the ocean with a fork
I can’t. It isn’t words
I step through were the crack hit the earth
The flesh returns, I awake.
Wholeness disintegrates into parts
Categories emerge
Us, them. Good, bad. Adam, Eve
A new day in the world begins

*this poem also answers: can fasting get you high?


Du Beast Bar in Berlin. The Cellar was a fire hazard and reserved for Poetry Slams. In a weird coincidence, the last apartment I rented in Berlin would be right next door

Second Poetry Slam

This time I bring a midi-keyboard for some background groves. I chaotically write the lyrics before leaving the apartment and create a few looping background beats on my laptop in the subway train.

It's my riff on The Revolution Will Not Be Televised from Gil Scott-Heron.

Start clip of The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
The economy won't step up, come through or trickle down.
A bullet to the talking head.
Easier to kill a parasite than to grow a garden.
Reconsider Assassination
Riot, Riot!
Take to the streets
Shout out
Punch in
Get through
The apocalypse will not be televised
You will not be able to close the tab
You will not be able to skip the ad
You will not be able to pause the stream, switch the channel or go for a piss.
No plugging in or logging out.
No OS upgrade
No swipe right
Reconsider Assassination
Now, shut up, tune out and tear down, brother.
The apocalypse featuring the four horsemen
Now live on Facebook
Brought to you by Pepsi
Courtesy of the US and China
The apocalypse will not be televised
And Death?
Death, ...for the first time,
Will be live

Thinking Back To My First Years in San Francisco

I wrote this in Berlin, remembering my first two years in San Francisco, after getting there on a one-way ticket.

I miss you
I miss getting a sandwich and lying in Dolores Park
I miss getting fined for skinny dipping
The long walks along the shore,
up the hills
down to the park
through the gardens.
Every street a new strand of strangeness
Every corner full with story.
A life at the extremes
The ultra-rich, the homeless, the brilliant
and the unbelievably uneducated.
I miss the late-night talks, the movies at the Castro
and yes, I miss the intellectual elite
I lost you
I lost my girlfriend, my apartment, my friends, my stock options.
I lost you with a single roll of a rigged dice
The life that could have been
I never thought I had so many firsts left to experience
And when I return, you will be gone

Words After my Second Exit from California

From an email I sent to a group of friends. This was after my time at Stanford, leaving behind my life in California for the second time.

[...] While you guys are watching the series finale of America, I settled down in Berlin.
All in all I’m doing good, although I hate having left California again. Losing you, some of you even a second time…not being able to get a sandwich in the Castro together; a pizza on Valencia; a long walk through the Marina; barefoot in the sand along the shore; skinny dipping in the ocean; getting caught by the coastguard; playing the foreigner card; the late night talks; the zeitgeist; the salty air and the rhythm of the ocean; the fundamental, primal beauty of the land ...