Audrey Mei

Five Short Pieces for the Talking City

I.  Preto

dammit! what is
the word in Portuguese
i’m trying to explain to
this little Brazilian actress
yes they all say she is
famous very pretty and
i’m sure quite nice as well
but she didn’t know
Berlin was once split
in two
and since i cannot explain
the war communism jews
iron curtain airlifts stasi
to keep it simple i’m telling
her the east was once dirty
it was all colored
black

I.  Preto

Verdammt!
Wie war noch auf portugiesisch
das Wort das ich dieser kleinen
brasilianischen Actriz zu erklären versuche
ja alle sagen sie sei
berühmt sehr schön und
ich bin mir sicher auch recht nett
aber sie wußte nicht dass
Berlin früher in zwei
geteilt war
und da ich den Krieg Kommunismus Juden
den eisernen Vorhang Luftbrücken die Stasi
nicht erklären kann sag ich ihr
um es einfach zu halten
im Osten war alles dreckig
es war alles
schwarz

II.  Wasteland

“Unser Besiegt-Sein war tatsächlich unser Befreit-Sein”
– Prof. Dr. Karl Jaspers, Universität Heidelberg, Januar 1947

a mortared plagal is echoing
resentment’s morning fog

overlying the grey strata of desperation
sheltering minutes of ten to thousands
in sequences of cement which became
monoliths in yesterday’s meadow

dwarfed by this morning

in a breeze wafting the hymn
of the cold and esurient

and the voices of confusion
built the accidentally marred
decades of yonder

droning the strata of concrete
monoliths in the field

III.

REPORT FROM WEST-BERLIN POLICE RE: ATTEMPTED ESCAPE OF GÜNTER LITFIN, 24.8.1961

24.8.1620, NW21 HUMBOLDTHAFEN, SOUTHERN RAILWAY BRIDGE, SEVERAL SHOTS – MACHINE GUN – WERE FIRED FROM EAST GERMAN TRANSPORT AND NATIONAL POLICE AT AN APPARENT DEFECTOR IN WATER.  THE CONDUCT OF THE BORDER POST OF THE POLICE WHO LATER SEARCHED THE WATER INDICATED AS SUCH.  WHETHER A PERSON WAS PRESENT IN THE WATER AND WAS WOUNDED COULD NOT BE VERIFIED.=

 

REPORT OF EAST BERLIN NATIONAL POLICE RE: ATTEMPTED ESCAPE OF GÜNTER LITFIN 25.8.1961

On 24 Aug 1961, at approx 1615 hours at Humboldthafen, a Günther L i t f i n, born 19 January 1937, residing in Berlin-Weißensee, Heinersdorferstr 32, workplace unknown, attempted to leave democratic Berlin illegally.  L.  bypassed the post by apparently approaching from the Charité property and climbing over a wall to reach the bank of the Spree.  As he came under the bridge at Alexanderufer, he was requested to halt by Officer P., Post: Trapo-Halle, from the railway area.  L. failed to respond to this request and ran towards the riverbank 30 meters away.  The police officer fired two warning shots from his weapon.  L. however continued running and jumped into the water to reach the riverbank of West Berlin.  In response, the post issued three curtain shots; L. proceeded to ignore these warnings and continued swimming.  Officer P. then issued two shots aimed at L., one of which fatally wounded the accused. Within a short time, approx 300 spectators assembled at the western bank and remained there until the removal of the corpse at 1905 hours.  Among the spectators were several photographers who attempted to photograph.  The corpse was appropriately removed so that photographing was not possible.  L. was brought to the National Police Hospital.  On site were Dept F, Transport Police, MUK and Dept K of the VPI.  Further processing by MUK.

 

REPORT FROM WEST-BERLIN POLICE RE: ATTEMPTED ESCAPE OF GÜNTER LITFIN, 24.8.1961
ADDITION TO FS 1710 FROM 24.8.61 =

24.8., 1905, NW 21 HUMBOLDTHAFEN, NEAR THE FORMER ADMIRAL-SCHEER BRIDGE.  A MALE CORPSE WAS RECOVERED BY 3 DIVERS OF THE EAST BERLIN FIRE DEPARTMENT.  APPROX. 1915 HOURS MISSION COMPLETED.=

[Source:  Polizeihistorische Sammlung/Der Polizeipräsident in Berlin]

IV.

(something in the breath
of you next to me
so soft will hurt
come august morning;

when you again say
politics of your inner
never will change;
yet remain my heart

which bone beneath
your skin (that i loved
to kiss) knows truly ‘tis
not the separation
between me & you but
the separation of
above and below

(and missing you
behind a cratered wall
i dream not but
confess am hoping
someday
we will
be
one

 

V.

change here for Olympic Stadium
please move your dog out of the way

i agree sometimes it’s dingy in parts and
the serotonin of Neukölln is mostly low
medicate her with Frühshoppen and
sweet-apple shisha and i insist
i’m new but also proud to be here

because after all you have been through, lady
dress like sunday morning anytime you want.
23-hour jogging suit and grilled lamb stops traffic
the dangling plastic telecafe goes great
with a frosted coiffure from Savigny Platz

and polka-dotted wannabes photograph themselves
be gone every 10-minutes with the subway train.
a solitary station agent battles grafitti
one line left scribbled on the wall
Fuck of Nazi scum ! [sic]

but he in blue coveralls stops cleaning
and carries his bucket away

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