Satori in Berlin (X-Berg Songs)

05“Satori in Berlin (X-Berg Songs)” has been published by Kendra Steiner Editions back in January 2009. It was published “quietly”, as Bill hasn’t written his usual KSE post about this publication. Only 45 copies were printed, and I disappeared from the small-press poetry scene for a while, mostly for lifestyle-related reasons – my first rehab, to be precise. But also because of my songs, on which I wanted to focus – and so I started to work on them in 2009. Some of those early 2009 recordings can be found on my bandcamp in the dada folk series of albums. Some were recorded more professionally, and released on my debut album, “Second Hand Man” (LP, CD, 2011).

“Satori” is an interesting document, and consists of song lyrics I’ve written after moving to Kreuzberg, Berlin in September 2008. Most of them were written that month, some a bit later, but if I remember well, I had 10 texts ready by the end of October, of which Bill chose 8 for this particular chapbook. “As If They Never Knew” was left out, but in 2010 became a part of “Saint of Kreuzberg” – another song lyrics collection published by Erbacce Press (40 pages of Berlin/Berlin-related texts). “A Lonely Choice” was also omitted, and remains unpublished, as I am not satisfied with this piece.

As of 2015, I’ve managed to record only one of the songs – “Zeppelin Blossom Sky” – it can be found on my “Jersitz: The Shapes of Folk to Come Vol.1” album. It worked great in its original edit with the spare chords I had, plus the imagery fit the subject of my album, even if the album was about a district in Poznan, Poland – Jezyce – or Jersitz – not about Kreuzberg (Gorlitzer Park in this particular case) or Berlin.

In 2008 and 2009 I was constantly flirting with danger, and this chapbook reflects that well. Back in 2010 when I got back on the “poetry train” I was even glad that “Satori” went by so quietly, as I thought the texts were much weaker than my usual stuff. But now, re-reading this small collection, I think some of the lyrics could work really well with my new music, as was the case with “Zeppelin Blossom Sky”, and that this chapbook can serve as experimental canvas for new songs and ideas. That’s how I always work, living in the future, but at the same time saving my past from the “paper museum” – as to me my work never has a “finished form” of any kind. There are no “final edits” in my world, and I perceive myself as a constantly evolving, moving manifestation. If not a thing on this planet can pin me down to a place or time, why my writing should? If you leave your poem “finished” – it dies.

So, “Satori” serves as the only current document on my life in Kreuzberg as a songwriter. A document of my poetic life there would be “New Architecture”, a multi-part poem I worked on up until November 2008, centered around a drug-fueled catastrophic dream-mare. I published it as New Polish Beat #1 in May 2009. So, in a way, my Berlin adventures, while not necessarily exemplary or healthy, were great building blocks for new, interesting enterprises. And this I perceive as beautiful.