Doctor Fausti Weheklag und Höllenfahrt

Das Habe-nun-Ach für Angewandte Poesie.

Her Father Didn’t Like Me Anyway (Das Liebesleben der Hyäne)

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——— Shane MacGowan and the Popes: Donegal Express, from: The Snake, 1994:

Kahaya! You Fuck!
Come Hell or high water
I might have fucked your Missus
But I never fucked your daughter

Light of my life, fire of my loins,

you are young, that is why you don’t know; I am German, and this is why I’m going to explain it to you.

Of course if you’re German you need an English-language book or two in your reference collection. I have the Bible in King James version, a one-volume Shakespeare, Alice in Wonderland, some of the really fat Penguin samplers, which are called anthologies as soon as they are books, like Victorian poetry, which I dearly deeply truly madly love (the volumes and the poetry), William Blake, Lolita, and for the remaining few hundredweights I’d have to think.

The first English book I read was Tom Sawyer — it’s not English, I know, it’s American to the core, which is the kind of English most people consider English — so I read Huckleberry Finn subsequently. Not the easiest choice for a start, what with all the Negro slang („Why, I dunno“), and even Negro was an acceptable term in 1876 and in the 1980s when I came to read it.

Supporting my literary and ethical self-education, my muinicipal public library in charge held a few books by Charles Bukowski, since the manager thought American was English and Bukowski fitted fine next to Anthony Burgess („What’s it gonna be then, eh?“) in the alphabet. A Clockwork Orange was going to be topic of a girl’s term paper I was crushed on; the girl, not the paper, so I read Bukowski first.

Heck, this read a lot easier than Mark Twain. They had Post Office, Women, and Hot Water Music, and You Kissed Lilly in the latter was sheer and shaggy beauty and literature on its peak and its nadir and still is, amen.

In my upcoming local pub I met a scruffy guy with a voice I immediately thought good for reading Bukowski stories and poems aloud, told him, and learned he had been touring for years with Bukowski readings, featuring Miller the Killer on piano, in the translations by Carl Weissner the word congenial had been invented for.

I tried to write a Bukowski poem. It worked. I tried another one. They were as easy to write as to read. Other too young and too lanky boys keep writing Erich Fried poetry for the lack of rhymes and rhythm in it — Erich Fried, that’s Anne Sexton for you — but a few Bukowski poems further I had gone so good nobody ever heard the Bukowski out. My typical Bukowski went:

Eris, Red Stockings, April 6, 2012Bloody Lousy Motherfucking

I had a beer
for breakfast and
fucked the housewife.

I had another
one and fucked
her daughter. On

my way home
I got arrested
for public pissing.

It was a
rotten day all
for those cunts.

Then another girl I had crushed on gave me the first Pogues record, Red Roses for Me. This one did not stand in my shelf, this one stepped into my life, which is another fairytale to be told some other time.

Still the diction and some melodies reminded me of Bukowski. The Pogues were young and thirsty in all senses of the word, but they could be heard as dirty old men — Bukowski’s self description. When the Pogues‘ head and throat, Mr. Shane MacGowan, started losing his pants on stage with intoxication, he had to sing alone as the intoxicated do.

However Shane MacGowan without the Pogues was better than the Pogues without Shane MacGowan. The Pogues without Shane MacGowan were like non-alcoholic beer: everything a beer needs, only you don’t get drunk, and everything Irish punk riot needs, only you can choose whether to sing along or not — which you shouldn’t.

Shape is content, content is shape, that’s Aristotelean (long before the medium was the message). And a Bukowski poem cannot be shorter or longer or use different words, since it consists of what it says, and a Pogues song cannot sound different even if the words tell the opposite of what the music roars. Swearing and cursing as exercised by Bukowski or the early Pogues is a prayer. You call to something you use as God and perceive Him and Creation and the Universe and Yourself and all the Fish.

Going through the train of thought with all stations and destination again, I could as well have stuck to Alice in Wonderland. But believe me, little girl, this does make sense. Not only am I perfect, I’m German too.

Image by Eris: Red Stockings, April 6, 2012;
Shane MacGowan without the Pogues: Donegal Express, from: The Snake, 1994.

Bonus Track: Her Father Didn’t Like Me Anyway, ibidem.

Written by Wolf

20. Oktober 2012 um 00:01

Veröffentlicht in Novecento, Schall & Getöse

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