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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Olliver Wichmann introduces and translates Grim104


Grim104 is one half of Zugezogen Maskulin and the one with the deepest and most critical lyrics. He has been characterised as being “nonconformist, disenchanted through and through and accordingly livid” and “as punk as one can get” through “his manner, attitude and to the heart” [1].


Grim104 – 2nd of May

New shirt by Mishka [1], an Ajax scarf [2] around the neck
The fight for liberation means little to me
Yet since the age of 14 I’ve been hoping for something to happen
That the world in which we’re living will be thrown off balance
But after each 1st of May I had thrown stones at the cops
Followed the 2nd of May – great, child benefits from the bloody state
My parents came from Western Germany – terror, Schleyer [3], Landshut [4]
I only get its remnants – Lena Meyer-Landruth [5]
But if I cannot smash the state
Then at least a window, take all I can carry
Plasma-boxes, OLED
Revolt on television, I’ve got to see it
Nothing will pass, there’s no progress
Fehlfarben [6] lied
There are street battles at Silbermond [7]
Petrol bombs fly through the screen
And set everything ablaze – the dip, the chips, the leather sofa
I top me up with Grasovka [8] and piss out the flames
I want to be a part of something great, divide myself by little things
Go to the bank on the 2nd of May, buy stones, in order to smash windows

No matter how many bottles we are throwing
Nothing changes
No matter how hard we are pogoing
The world keeps its balance

Standing at the beach of Piraeus [9], snip a fag end into the oily water
I’m a – I’m a hustler [10]
Brown sauce and cured spare rib
Children of 9/11, but nothing has changed
Want to feel like Macolm X, but there are no curtains on the window [11]
When that guy in Miami died of zombie bites
I thought “finally, the zombie apocalypse has arrived”
But nothing happened, my last chance to become a hero
Is probably to die of AIDS as a broken artist
Merkel doesn’t need any cops to stop the coming resurrection [12]
The fervour can be eliminated with a stay abroad
Plans for a placement, then the dictatorship of the precariat [13]
There is no red dawn, prisoners of the present
See myself in the mirror, watch me putting on a mask
Turn away laughing, for there are goodie-bags for free
Feel free to make your peace, but count me out
I’m irreconcilable to myself, Grim104

No matter how many bottles we are throwing
Nothing changes
No matter how hard we’re pogoing
The world keeps its balance

No matter how many bottles we are throwing
Nothing changes
No matter how hard we’re pogoing
The world keeps its balance

[1] A NYC-based brand for clothes
[2] Ajax Amsterdam, name of a Dutch football club
[3] Hans-Martin Schleyer, German business executive, employer and industry representative who was kidnapped and eventually murdered by the Red Army Faction (RAF), a far-left militant group, in 1977
[4] Name of the aircraft that was hijacked on 13 October 1977 by four Palestinians in order to secure the release of imprisoned Red Army Faction leaders.
[5] A German singer and songwriter known for winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 in Oslo.
[6] Reference to the song “Es geht voran” (there’s progress) by the German group “Fehlfarben”, which became a hit in 1982:
[7] Reference to the video of “Irgendwas bleibt” by the German band “Silbermond”:
[8] A vodka brand sold in Germany
[9] A seaport in Greece
[10] Reference to the song “I’m a hustla” by Cassidy:
[11] Reference to a known picture of Malcom X standing by a window with a machine gun in his hand and peeking through a curtain
[12] “The coming insurrection” is a political tract that created major interest in anarchist circles
[13] Cynical reference to the term “dictatorship of the proletariat”: Graduates from university are compelled to gain unpaid work experience, sometimes abroad, in order to avoid gaps in their CV only to eventually land precarious, low wage jobs with permanent life insecurity.


1 comment:

x larry said...

i remember, way back in youth, often feeling the same. the big one for me was the internet--i somehow thought the world would be instantly better for it in some strange way. seeing what yahoo has become shows my bitter disappointment. there were other brief instances, clinton taking office being one. i didn't learn till well afterwards how shit he really was, mercilessly bombing iraq, his 'trade' pacts, the drug running he did while governor, the murders...


About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), six of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007), Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009) and A Mere Rica (2017), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.