A.J. Kaufmann @ Erbacce Press

Remember 2008? After I wrote and published “Siva in Rags” and “East-West Train” with Kendra Steiner Editions, this collection of song lyrics I’ve written back in 2007 was published with Erbacce Press, Liverpool, UK.
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This is what Bill Shute of Kendra Steiner Editions, the first American to discover my work, had to say back in the days:

“In a literary world overflowing with pretentious academic poets and laughable Bukowski wannabes, poet-songwriter-musician A.J. Kaufmann is the real thing we’ve been waiting for: an honest, untamed, visionary, and completely original voice. Growing strong in the rich soil of Beat poetry and psychedelia, Kaufmann’s writing has been gaining speed and momentum on its own lost highway, and in his first two poetry chapbooks, SIVA IN RAGS and EAST-WEST TRAIN, he has mixed fresh experimentation and street-level cheap-wine wisdom better than anyone has since the glory days of Ted Berrigan and David Meltzer.

INSANE IN ROME collects Kaufmann’s song lyrics and shows an exciting new side to his work. It’s a wild ride on the Kabbalah Freight Train, fueled by the Seed Of The Serpent, Always Searching For Beauty, Sleeping in Maria’s Coffin, Drinking In Budapest, and winding up Insane In Rome. It’s where you need to be!”

The Skull & The Rose
January 2007

You swore that you will love me
Under dark specific skies
So pour your waters down & let me love or die

A candle must be burning
Cause there’s a light upon my head
Shattered by the fading voices of the dead

The magic lamp has shattered
And a vision came on those
Who weren’t afraid to connect a skull with a rose

Once I told you a story
About the lovers from the past
And how they died and how their love could last

They both made a promise
A promise sure to keep
“Blood & tears will guide us into the big sleep”

And when the reaper came
He came right on harvest time
They drowned themselves in a glass of poisoned wine

And in 2010, almost immediately after I wrote and published “Via Alighieri” (actually late 2009) and “Vagabond Vacancy” with Kendra Steiner Editions, another collection of lyrics was published with Erbacce Press, and so the appropriately titled “Saint of Kreuzberg” collected my writings from 2008 to 2009.
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“Saint of Kreuzberg is, in its essence, like Eno the lyricist meets Cohen. Or the raw meat of Swans meets polished nonsense of art-rock. Reading the collection makes you wonder what sounds did actually play in the head of the author, or if these are actual lyrics, as in songs exist, and one can hear them. What would they sound like? Dub meets industrial or post-punk melted with prog? Something from Canterbury maybe, only metalized and slightly depressing? Something dead serious, or playful, yet childishly cruel and vicious, as good glam should serve it? Never mind. It’s all here, so grab it.” (Rainer Fetter). The best part is, that after almost 5 years, both these collections are still available via Erbacce Press. Don’t be shy, and click the link below, to feed your head with a honest dose of Polish songwriting straight from the gutters of Poznan. Both books should come with a warning, because they’re certainly unhealthy. But some like it that way, and those will certainly click, grab a copy and never regret it. http://www.erbacce-press.com/#/a-j-kaufmann/4530637516

Mortar

Spring lakes and mountains, coins
revolving at the door
night’s new kingdom sleeps
company of thieves
fire ice and bone
lice on face’s throne
spinning maggots, winter cheeks
alabaster leak

Monster lake and lion mountain
pedestal of flesh to funfair
circles spinning fast
thunder rain and trash
we were here
where are we now
we were at the periphery
whispering wind and singing rain
wandering pig meat cemeteries

Gore of summer, cruel sun
violent cluster full of fun
nursery rhymes and nursery slay
wonder children put to death
inner magic, run of veins
mortar for the magic man