Poem by Darling Fitch


The economic position is only flourishing on the surface. Germany is in fact dancing on a volcano.” – Gustav Stresemann, 1929

How do you love a city that’s all surface
A proud layer of grime on the window of a train
That rumbles uneven circles around and around
A lumpy public drunkenness you can no longer afford
How do you love a city that will stare and stare
But never make eye contact
A city where the myth of walking home un-accosted
Still seals the lips of anyone longing for sympathy
A city that knows you’re hurting
And likes it that way
A city on the shit-end of a new beginning
Controlling austerity with rolled up notes
How do you love a city that tore down its wall
And replaced it with a thousand bouncers
Death strip throbbing with bad techno
And heads throbbing with the Kopfschmerz of
Furtive bumps off keys soon to be lost
Somewhere between never-ending supposed utopia
And puking in the canal
Where Rosa was killed for trying to lift the lid off
A city that still thinks it’s better than America
How do you love a city that never finishes what it started,
Just moves on to something worse
A city of cultural Zwischenmiete
Where predetermined eviction of dreams and bodies is public knowledge
And no one is wanted for too long
Every previous inhabitant a ghost
Paradise lost her mind playing in the shell
Of a city cleared by investors and a genocide that’s too cliché to mention
But the streets are gold with it

The whole of this city is dancing
Uneven circles around and around
On the edge of itself
At the center of everything
It claims to keep distant
Dangling marionettes over errant flames
And waiting for the inevitable drop
To really get the party started

First published by Anti-Heroin Chic.
Darling Fitch read this and other poems at an event during the exhibition of the Berlin Art Prize 2018.