Writing

My Worst Nightmare: Tal, Israel

February‘s theme for Voices of Berlin is My Worst Nightmare.   Tal, Israel   “My worst nightmare is being on a plane, crashing in the middle of the ocean and surviving, being alone in the middle of the ocean. Not finding your way out, just being there. Time goes by, and I’m just there with nothing to do except float. If you’re crashing and you’re dead, you’re dead it’s over but if you survive, it’s just now it’s just existing. I don’t even mean the sharks and things happening and the big waves and stones, sure that’s scary, but mainly the loneliness of just floating in the middle of the ocean, not knowing where you are or if anyone will ever come.”   Voices of Berlin is Berlin Untelevised‘s monthly Lives project. This project is to show the connection behind real lives within this both crazy and wonderful city by asking it’s many residents one question or theme...

My Worst Nightmare: Joe, Britain

February‘s theme for Voices of Berlin is My Worst Nightmare.   Joe, Britain “I had a recurring nightmare when I was a kid. It was that I was falling down a bottomless hole and being chased by a giant leaf. I used to call out in my sleep “I’m afraid of the giant leaf! I’m afraid of the giant leaf!” And I was, I was terrified I used to wake up in a cold sweat and crying, but I was young you know, 8, 9, 10 maybe. I’m not sure there’s not much meaning you can put on that, maybe it was a premonition about an environmental disaster? But I don’t like interpreting dreams.”   Voices of Berlin is Berlin Untelevised‘s monthly Lives project. This project is to show the connection behind real lives within this both crazy and wonderful city by asking it’s many residents one question or theme a month. Our ultimate goal is to curate...

My Worst Nightmare: Stefano, Venezuela

February‘s theme for Voices of Berlin is My Worst Nightmare.   Stefano, Venezuela “The first thing I thought of when you said worst nightmare is being buried alive. I have a terrible fear of that. I remember I saw a movie, I can’t remember the name, it could have been a show actually, but the guy was buried inside a coffin and he was trying to get out. It just scarred me for life… especially when I have to be inside anything confined. I was in this thing called the Tactile Dome and it was a kind of maze in the dark, and you were in there for 25 minutes going through little tunnels and slides and touching everything around you and it was completely dark. I almost went – I almost had a little, tiny panic attack but I didn’t. I’m a little bit claustrophobic but anyway, I just took a...

My Worst Nightmare: Mary, Ireland

Voices of Berlin is Berlin Untelevised‘s monthly Lives project. This project is to show the connection behind real lives within this both crazy and wonderful city by asking it’s many residents one question a month. Our ultimate goal is to curate a collection of accounts on many topics, ending each month with an abstract poem created through that month’s selection of responses and, thus, transform Berlin into a poet.  February‘s theme is My Worst Nightmare.   Mary, Ireland “So I had this recurring nightmare as a child. My dad was always really into music but it was always my mum that took me to this concert in my dream… which is weird cause it was always my dad that did that kind of stuff. She knew the band so we would go backstage and we got separated somehow, they would take me into one room and take her into another room. Then, I would come back into this...

“wet leaf dance” – Hannah Kenyon Lair

i am the smell of rotting leaves and i am the moist soft ground beneath them. you are the joy in jumping and i, i am the rotting.   the sweet peace of falling asleep and forgetting this body rings with the wind like a chorus. will you tell me a story while i go?   you are the bright leaf’s dance as he falls from the tree and i am waking to watch the tree: yellower than the sun and much louder.   on mornings like these, i cannot distinguish between regret and gratitude. i think they must both swing wild in a banjo’s holler.   so i am missing wild brown hills and wild dogs and your voice. i am dreaming of sleepovers and of lives well built.   in these dreams, i meet friends in kindness and patience and i meet strangers with love.   in this...

“monster / creature” – Hannah Kenyon Lair

the words that i have to describe what happened here are not mine, have no value to me: slow dissolution before a rupture. the recognition of pain when the surge fades.   even now, i cannot feel. too frightened, or strong, or alone. all feeling lives in relation to you. how did you manage that, world-builder?   how does it feel to know you’re a god, a mother, a fleshy divinity? is speaking for you something sacred? or are you fertile like rotting fruit – pungent and profane?   ice floe or no, the tide rises. the memory of limbs quiets in the cool dusk. i am using only what you have given me. this is all that i have. daddy frankenstein, i am begging you: look me in the eyes and tell me   you don’t want me to live without you.

“Feather Cut” – Karen Almendra Byk

  taking teeth out is far worse than crying, and he is a feather that’s cutting me because it’s far away. my job consists of opening cardboard boxes and every time I get hurt my fingers bleed for days, it’s the spill of the accident following me even when I’m away. from today on I’m going to make efforts for things: that’s how it started, the e-mail I was about to send him  

“My Arms Are Weak” – Karen Byk Almendra

L. told me that many years ago and now I cannot lift the cardboard moving boxes. I do the same thing with you: I’m six years old again and I trust a man who explains that I’m a sweet girl. My girlfriends love each other. They kiss and they hug in decadent places and we don’t care that the roof is dripping or that people are throwing up all around us.   L., for example, assured me that she knows me for real, that I don’t need to seduce her. I believe her because all men want to save me when I have nightmares but none of them think that my poems are good. It’s different with L., I call her when I leave your place, she cries on my shoulder while I kiss her through her hair.   We know each other for real, so much that we can...

EP Watch: Breezy – Tragic Mulatto

The moment you read or hear the title of this record is the same moment you come to realise that the artist behind it means to leave her mark. Unyielding and yet playful, expressive with a reserve of ‘more to come’ and the duality that makes this record most powerful is the link between the present and the predecessor. The Tragic Mulatto EP offers an indelible insight into Breezy, who helms her debut EP with majesty and touches of madness.   The first voice you truly bear witness to on this record is Nina Simone. She is waxing on the definition of freedom in her low lyrical tones while Breezy’s mood-setting melodies hum a unison of identification. The present and predecessor. Enter ‘Low Power Mode’, an anthemic swell of a song, the refrain of which is a highlight of the entire EP. Backed by stark keys and a simple but...

How I Stay Alive: The Poem | Voices of Berlin – January

You come into existence, your brain comes online, you become a functioning unit then you’re like… the fuck? Today is the best day of your life… Just in a dream. Wow, this is a bit of a tightrope we all live on. I’ve thought many times about suicide… This repetitive, mind-numbing, soul-killing experience… I keep goin’ on, I dunno. I found little tricks, little things to do and really nothing helped. I didn’t want to ask anybody for help. It’s always work a day here, work a day there. There’s the sketchier, I-need-rent, Craigslist segment. Let’s go out every night and get fucking wrecked I don’t do ketamine so I really don’t fit in A foot fetish job, then… Can you translate my book? I keep reminding myself of my own self-worth. What’s going to keep me happy? It’s useless to protect people- the worst thing you can do to...

How I Stay Alive: The Collection | Voices of Berlin – January

Voices of Berlin is Berlin Untelevised‘s monthly Lives project. This project is to show the connection behind real lives within this both crazy and wonderful city by asking it’s many residents one question or theme a month. Our ultimate goal is to curate a collection of accounts on many topics, ending each month with an abstract poem created through that month’s selection of responses and, thus, transform Berlin into a poet. January‘s theme for Voices of Berlin is How I Stay Alive.   Eugenia, Greece  “I keep reminding myself of my self-worth. But mostly I stay alive with small and oriented goals, especially in Berlin because you can make a plan but not stick to it. There are all these questions like What are you doing with your life? How long are you staying in Berlin? But especially in this kind of city, there are so many different opportunities and you can not predict anything so I decided...

How I Stay Alive: Eugenia, Greece

January‘s theme for Voices of Berlin is How I Stay Alive.   Eugenia, Greece “I keep reminding myself of my self-worth. But mostly I stay alive with small and oriented goals, especially in Berlin because you can make a plan but not stick to it. There are all these questions like What are you doing with your life? How long are you staying in Berlin? But especially in this kind of city, there are so many different opportunities and you can not predict anything so I decided to plan weekly. Then you can pick your opportunities, even here tonight, it was very spontaneous… because then you can get overwhelmed and you can get worried about all the things you’ve missed and it’s fine because you can get surprised. You’re never disappointed.”   Voices of Berlin is Berlin Untelevised‘s monthly Lives project. This project is to show the connection behind real lives within this...

How I Stay Alive: Skylar, Canada.

January‘s theme for Voices of Berlin is How I Stay Alive.   Skylar, Canada “Basically, I’ve been unemployed for a very long time and anyone that knows me knows that I always need a job or gigs, and my friends have given me some random jobs, it’s always work a day here, work a day there. Then, a few months back, my friend and I started a jewellery brand. It wasn’t really a brand, but it developed because we got the opportunity to work at this shop and sell our jewellery there. So, we didn’t have anything, we weren’t making jewellery, we had 2 days and we just had to become a brand! So we did that and then we ended up getting featured in Vogue. It literally started because someone was asking for a jewellery designer, and we just said We could be jewellery designers, even though we’re not!...

How I Stay Alive: Petra, Slovenia.

January‘s theme for Voices of Berlin is How I Stay Alive.   Petra, Slovenia “I get up in the morning saying today is the best day of your life because it’s the only one you have and on top of that you are…. And then I start counting what I have. You are in Berlin, you are young, you have an inspiring project you need to do, you have food in your fridge, you have a phone, you have people around you to support you. Then I start listing all the things that I have and that makes me motivated. Instead of a place of lack, I come from a place of gain.”   Voices of Berlin is Berlin Untelevised‘s monthly Lives project. This project is to show the connection behind real lives within this both crazy and wonderful city by asking it’s many residents one question or theme a...

“Rock Pools” – Craig Teatime

As a child I searched rock pools left aside by the tide, tried to redraw picture books in real life, from the shelf I could reach up to, which divided to a full page double spread of a watercolor a child painted, better than I could draw. The escapades of an Ann or a Barry if the book was Irish, or a Tom or Harry if they were English, telling the reader, still reading slow in big print of the bounty living in ecosystems out there where mum or dad might drive you if you’re good.   Though it was only a harbour in Dún Laoghaire, but still here where the pier sloped lay pools of warm water, held up to inspection in rocky palms, living with strands of electric green seaweed deathless in air, but filled foliage in the glassy water there, and held tight to the water lips...

How I Stay Alive: Zeke, USA.

January‘s theme for Voices of Berlin is How I Stay Alive.   Zeke, USA “So basically, I’m a terribly ill man and I was in Berlin for about 6 months but the thing is, I was so devastatingly ill and I had no access to healthcare and then I waited about 4 more months. I was almost dead. You are supposed to have a certain amount of haemoglobin in your blood, about 14 and… I had 6. Really dangerous. So I packed my bag, I got on the aeroplane and I showed up in America, showed up at a hospital and just… fell. I spent the next somewhat 10 months trying to figure out how to make myself healthy again. I found little tricks, little things to do and really nothing helped. Eventually, I got put on a medicine, they thought I was doing really good and I applied for...

How I Stay Alive: Camille, France.

Voices of Berlin is Berlin Untelevised‘s monthly Lives project. This project is to show the connection behind real lives within this both crazy and wonderful city by asking it’s many residents one question a month. Our ultimate goal is to curate a collection of accounts on many topics, ending each month with an abstract poem created through that month’s selection of responses and, thus, transform Berlin into a poet.  January‘s theme is How I Stay Alive.   Camille, France. “Let’s say that first of all, there’s my “official work” which is translating, I do some various articles and translate and write for publications. Then, we get into my hobbies but I still survive off my hobbies a little bit, so selling vintage, pop-ups a few times a year and I’ve just started trying to sell stuff online too, so there’s that. Then…. We get into the sketchier, I-need-rent, Craigslist segment of how I survive, so...

“Joan Is My Mother’s Name” – Craig Teatime

The night of our life, And the home that could be, It’s mostly just a room, With enough beds for a group of sleazy English lads, Or the accounting department catching a weekend off, To quench that age-old ambition Of a weekend bender abroad.   Ha-ha, see – It’s less of an apartment and more of a factory, Our Airbnb. I’ve heard of the Czech spring rising — Until the tanks closed in on those soft children And the Vltava was stripped of all its blue, Closing tight and killing any chance of life, The way that those who can close, do. Yet still for us, This is Prague in autumn, The music from the greasy bar rising up to the window sill that’s Broken and doesn’t close, Mind the shower’s cracked tray, Skin oils cold on bed clothes. The host knows, But what’s there to say – it was...

EP Watch: Kojey Radical – 97:Pure

Keep your ears peeled. Kojey Radical is staking his claim as one of the most formidable emcees in the UK. His EP release 97:Pure is more of a double single that acts as a wake-up call to those sleeping on his gruffness. Sitting at the intersection of hip-hop, grime and spoken word Kojey is carving out his space and what a space it is.   97   With the wave of 90s nostalgia still prominent and pervasive, Kojey kicks off this release with an anthem the tagline of which is ‘I’m bout it bout it like it’s 1997’. The song is a meandering celebration that moves from Kojey’s brazen call that ‘all young kings get beheaded’ a veiled reference to the Basquiat piece ‘Most Kings’ all the way to his hushed self-representation in the first verse. The musical motif that acts as a backbone to the song is a high...

“/ʔ/, /θ/ & /ð/” – Ziska Killat

Your first language is nostalgia. When I learnt to spell at school They told us not to say “SS” But “double S’’. What do you know about mouths? You have to stamp your little letters With spit to send them out. Who got to pick the sound of your voice? Do not say “SS”. “S”s require spit. They draw attention. How old is all this intention? Just born and full of sounds Your first language is nostalgia. Be observant of the stops. This one is full of stops. Do not say “SS”. Do not say “socialism” anymore either. Obstruct the airflow in the vocal tract Before vowels. Prevent vibration. Mouth dry and pausing. Wait, neatly – accommodate – attention. Your first language is nostalgia. Your first language comes with stories. So make good use of your teeth. Fought, sought, thought – Thinking, thoughts. Cause turbulence, Plot holes and dental friction:...