Biermann, born in Hamburg in 1936, moved to the German Democratic
Republic in 1953. Banned from performing and publishing there since
1965, he was expatriated during a concert tour to West Germany in
1976, causing many East German artists to leave the country in his
wake. This poet, singer/songwriter and essayist has been one of
the most eminent and unpleasant literary figures and critics of
Germany before and since the reunification in 1989. Biermann received
the Nationalpreis for his work in 1998.
General of the Civil Guard
who cares about some idiot's mug in the paper?
- Man I do!
Sunglasses in the dark, Pinochet Franco Jaruzelski
Decorations so decorative
now he's scared shitless, ETA has killed many
Yeah and I hope he gets his just deserts before
he retires on a whim
any dirty terrorist is my foolish my
But never ever this uniformed this
by her stand on the Rambla I met the fishwife
again and boorishly
she severed tuna fish with her rounded knife
and laughed at me
Tanks make mincemeat in the square in Beijing
Kalashnikovs have cleared off the streets
Those liars don't even bother with deceit
They just lie, it's true. The hunt is starting.
Sweetheart, don't ask me, what can I construe
We both see from over there what we see
For the same price, home-delivered on TV
Stars, and corpses who were people once too.
Executioner's fodder, higher power of the state,
And wide-open eyes that scream for help
But their mangled faces seem to yelp:
Death only can save me, for me it's too late.
Off! Spook's over, the remote has struck
One more glass of Merlot and then ...
It kills me that I can't do anything
With scissors I clip heads from the paper
A photo: Wrecked tank burning in Peace Square
In Beijing. Handcuffed human flesh, ducking --
Bands of men between juveniles, who wear
Spotless uniforms and are just complying.
A face: portrait before shot in head. -This dying
Lives with full force. An AP photo on the cover
Shows Xu Guoming, a man with stature
In Shanghai. His head is lowered but not
his eyes, this prole hasn't had enough yet
Alas, he's not through with all this torture
Miserably helpless, mute through the alphabet
I see my own picture ramble in a sonnet
one single apple
the old tree
in our garden
bears this year
but a beautiful
a red apple
a big one. Who
will eat it you? me? or the
autumn wind was
yet too weak
for such questions