KEYS TO THE CITY
I: A New Career In A New Town
II: Dream Life
III: Paintings As Prayers
IV: Late Summer Evening
Rose Crowned Evenings
Moments Of Pure Ashtray
The Personalised Circus
Blind Children On Western Streets
Lucifer Says He Won't See Me
Swans On The Surface
Girl Smoking On Balcony
Stained Glass Window
The Insurance Was WILD
The Sea's Smile
Van Gogh's Lights
The Disappointed Prince
A Night At The Circus
Chekhov In Kreuzberg
A Stolen Dress
Two Contract Killers Get Arrested
My Uncle Dick
Death In The Cafe
Performing To The Curtain
Getting Past The Curtain
Living With Samuel Beckett:
An Anti Essay
Collaboration with photographer Laura Cherry Grove
And there’s nothing like my opera:
Mirage Halls everywhere, Berlin, City of Mirage Halls, Deutche Oper, elderly West Berlin people tonight are the best-dressed folks on the continent.
With wine you make promised appointments, general chitchat, desirous and unflinching. The performance will start soon. The velvet red curtains cloak the stage like spoilt storm clouds.
- Scratching like eternal fingernails, like her goddamned violin.
And the token shrieks of spirit she made to make it seem like we were intelligible in that very moment. Violetta is in love again, Alfredo complains about being a buffoon. Verdi’s successors croak with strings. It’s over the top: use the binoculars and take a closer look. You feel things, great unintelligible things.
Remember how you could detect ‘just a touch’ of incoming autumn in the chilling summer air, the people of the street you’d look upon, and the people in the buildings, these grey-faced gentlemen, these full named ladies would become red, brown, black, blue, heavily awash. Grey faced gentlemen in the afternoon would continue as before.
Nasca il giorno, o il giorno muoia,
sempre lieta ne´ ritrovi,
a diletti sempre nuovi
dee volare il mio pensier
And certain ticketholders have smoke salmon on toast waiting for them during the intermission. I buy myself a pretzel and swan around with a Cinzano, and pretend it’s 1978.
Don’t caress my chin like perfect mothers do to the perfect misbehaving child, that’s not enough for me, and it doesn’t help my mood either. Unrequited love in 18th century Paris. A whore with tuberculosis drives men crazy, and finally herself. Then the curtains leave us in the dark again.
Exit West Berlin. Follow me as I pass from west to east, north to south. That lonely walk camouflage, you get it, I know, poor families acting out, you know them. Rich, I know, spoilt? I did not know. Richly poor, how about that. Emptied by ancient melodrama, the city fills you up with junk again. Presumably, they got nothing, you got nothing, we got nothing, hey pay attention, someone even lobs a bottle, it nearly hits you, and it smashes, hits a passing bus, you may have been on the bus, and then the little brats start shooting fireworks and crackers out the window.
Your friend: take me out of here, you: I will.
Can you enjoy yourself? Yes, it eases the pain.
God knows how many are suffering whilst the rest rejoice.
Sempre libera degg´io
folleggiare di gioia in gioia,
vo´che scorra il viver mio
pei sentieri del piacer.
For more of Laura Cherry Grove's Photography, click here