Und der Haifisch, der hat Zähne,
Und die trägt er im Gesicht…
Brecht, Threepenny Opera
As Europe’s demon slipped into the grave,
The tempest in these regions reached its height.
Now, in the angles of the floodlit night,
The future lingers like a frozen wave.
Our side is neon, pink-haired youth who crave
More welfare, swearing they will never fight.
Some cherish it, this Babylon the Bright,
While others can see nothing left to save.
The other side is silence. What’s the power
We feel in it, my friend? Is it the loss
A weary singer might feel in the dawn
When “Mack the Knife” has captured half the town?
We linger at the window, and across
The shark’s teeth shines the giant broadcast tower.
(first published in March 1990 Partisan Review)