posted on June 23, 2006 at 9:55 am

neumann sat in his observation module
fingering the velvet frost he had bought from zeitgeist
zeitgeist was a discoteque/biblioteque/boutique
in the old town in actionstrasse
the sky was red and torn and tattered
a cold winters day staggered to an end
in the streets urchins were peddling angelfruit
the moon was too scared to show itself
so everyone crept in the shadowy fog
slo mo
lo key
neumanns latest gig was filming some secret bullshit
he was bored by the assignment
he met his girlfriend hilda at the nietzche cafe
rudy theyve changed the menu she said
huh ? said neumann who was still in undazzling mode
i thought meat was outlawed last year by the e.u.
neumann checks the menu
cannibal burgers
sure enough, the “carni-vore”
could contain meat products
cmon he pulls the girls arm
we’re leaving
outside cologne is cold and bitter
rudy, what does it all mean
neumann reaches into his pocket
the syllable gun snug against thigh
in case theres a war of words
raining droning coming down
a taxi pulls up
someone watches from a window in a flat
too much undazzling for neumann
when they get back to hildis flat
he stumbles in and stretches out on the floor
in shivasana
hildi pours them both a black liqueur
made from belladonna and sage
and wormwood flowers
the rain turns to sleet
she holds his heavy blond head in her hands
want some music, rudy she says
yeah if you like said the ageing spy
back with two beasts she says
neumann settles back
as the first notes of snowfaller begin
the first snow of the winter
adhered briefly and then melted on the window
there were some big fish to fry somewhere
neumann found it hard to relax
the girl used the spellman technique
on his third eye
neumann fell into a hypnagogic slump
dreambeings walked past him in the streets
the factories in the distance kling klang in time
the cars in the underpass swelling like a schoool of fish
the changing lights, the flickering signs, the reflected glare
the computers that were out there computing
the measurers all a’measurin’
neumanns head spun with the sudden enormity of it
do you like that rudy? came the girls voice
from very far away
stills of locations
coded numbers
translations back into english like this one
take it easssy baybee he barely whispered
the speeding porsches and fords coating the night with white noise
one by one the lights go out in apartments
everything still
thats all…

31 Responses to “a german lesson”

  1. avatar
    persephone2u | 23 June 2006 at 11:02 am #

    Nice little stories you’ve been coming up with as of late. Quite lovely and surreal, as always.

  2. avatar
    daniel 26, 15 | 23 June 2006 at 11:04 am #

    wonderful! Post another one before midnite!

  3. avatar
    veleska1970 | 23 June 2006 at 11:18 am #

    hey neumann~~good to hear from you!! so how have you been for the last, say, 20 years???

  4. avatar
    Anonymous | 23 June 2006 at 11:32 am #

    You’re a funny fella sk.

    Love it, give us more!!

    Amanda Pea

  5. avatar
    Anonymous | 23 June 2006 at 11:37 am #

    word man
    music man
    gentle man

    not necessarily
    in that order

  6. avatar
    (('{~_~}')) | 23 June 2006 at 1:16 pm #

    More please!

  7. avatar
    John Garratt | 23 June 2006 at 1:31 pm #


    Even if you tried, could you write something that sucked? Is that even possible for you?

    Flattery gets me everywhere.


  8. avatar
    verdelay | 23 June 2006 at 1:32 pm #

    I knew it. I knew he was still around.

    I saw him hanging out around the old secret police headquarters on Andrassy Utca in Budapest a couple of years ago. It’s a museum now, a monument to the brutality of the Ancient Ones.

    He was the only one there getting high on nostalgia, with his Arrow Cross swap cards and careworn standard issue trenchcoat.

    Everybody else was wincing, but I saw a smile playing Wagner across Herr Rudolph’s lips. That’s how I knew it was him.

    That’s what deep cover can do to an Angel of the Lord.

  9. avatar
    sue cee | 23 June 2006 at 2:29 pm #

    Steve! Neumann’s back!

  10. avatar
    Trickster | 23 June 2006 at 2:31 pm #

    This is the nectar of memory.


    Sadly, I missed the boat to Atlantis.


    I saw the shade of that boat in the mist.
    and for a fleeting moment I saw a familiar figure:
    the ghost of my fiend.

  11. avatar
    Fandorin | 23 June 2006 at 3:38 pm #

    outside cologne
    there are
    incredible roadblocks
    but this is a nice german etude

    sitze selbst gerade in diesem Land und wundere mich darüber, wie viele Züge es gibt..

  12. avatar
    Noel Christian | 23 June 2006 at 3:40 pm #

    I wondered what he was up to.

  13. avatar
    Anonymous | 23 June 2006 at 4:21 pm #

    One cyberpunk blog, the other a Murakami dream sequence. Thanks for the fix, I needed the escape.

    “spent a lonely night at the Memory Motel
    It’s on the ocean, I guess you know it well”

  14. avatar
    Queen Hatshepsut | 23 June 2006 at 5:16 pm #

    Wow…Neumann…last time I heard from you I was just a wee thing in college! So good to have you back; you’re like an old friend.

    ‘the syllable gun…in case there’s a war of words’

    So brilliant!!!!!!!

    Thanks for the memories SK…and Neumann,

  15. avatar
    CeciliaGin | 23 June 2006 at 5:22 pm #

    dreambeings = seres en sueños, seres de sueños, seres soñados…

    dreambeings walked past him in the streets

    seres de sus sueños lo pasaron en las calles

    coded numbers = codigos
    exchanges = intercambios
    that’s all = es todo

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 23 June 2006 at 5:29 pm #

    The return of Neuman?!!!

    Life’s little luxuries indeed.

    What a nice suprise to my southern californian morning of blazing sun, sea
    breeze and lingering bit of hungover.


  17. avatar
    CSTCoach | 23 June 2006 at 5:45 pm #

    another great dreamy surreal piece. neumann rocks!

    btw, SK – thanks for your book recommendation Vonnegut “a man without a country”. disturbing and sad, almost hopeless, but funny in places as well. i enjoyed it.


  18. avatar
    Anonymous | 23 June 2006 at 6:05 pm #

    I tried the Absynthe once… only once.

  19. avatar
    Anonymous | 23 June 2006 at 6:48 pm #

    espionage museum tour saturday at think a spy would pay 65 bucks admittance. hell no. finesse my way in with slippery tactics.

  20. avatar
    baby | 23 June 2006 at 7:25 pm #

    they, the leaders and all … of them took for themselves wives from all that they chose and they began to cohabit with them and to defile themselves with them; and to teach them sorcery and spells and the cutting of roots; and to acquaint them with herbs and the women become pregnant by them and bore great giants three thousand cubits high …

    of of whom love to read steve darling’s blogge

  21. avatar
    Anonymous | 23 June 2006 at 9:27 pm #

    i have images from Blade Runner in my mind. does neumann look like harrison ford? i had always thought he looked like the mailman from seinfeld.

  22. avatar
    Chela | 23 June 2006 at 10:22 pm #

    I see you Enoch!


  23. avatar
    the dean | 23 June 2006 at 10:46 pm #

    good to hear from neumann

  24. avatar
    Anonymous | 23 June 2006 at 11:04 pm #

    Actionstrasse, February 16th 2028.

    Zeitgeist. Found a transparent flexi, 7 delicate and instantaneous inches of chilling musica. At the back of second hand, deep in the bottom where the owner’s cats sit and wait for nothing. The cats containing revelations, lazy for our ever-running corridors. Electricity. The transparent object somewhat dusty from one incarnation in the bin is weary but still as flexible as my young legs and memories. Moment of truth surrounded by lies. When the stylus touches its light gram-oh-phonic surface the spell is reestablished as precise and wolf-urgent as a phone call to the policemen. “My house was invaded, help!”. A call for protection and life’s guarantee. The music claims to be a young and selfish disturbance inside a grey bedroom where unwarned girls lost their hair and smoke amongst delicious jokes. And when it plays Zeitgeist is filled with intimacy, a state of sensuous acqui(a)-essence, strangely soothing disturband. The cats silently agree around me. Their lives are stretched out on the thin sillycon floor before my solemn audition of something someone forgot.
    I decide to investigate the sleeve. There’s a letter from some…what’s the name?…A.M. Just these capital letters. The same for After Midnight. The words are blurred inside this little pop art-fact which setences and declares my day. A new statement before no statue anymore. But still I’m able to read: “All of your comforts seem so essencial. Glad I was your inflatable doll but now you’ve made me walk. Although I’m crawling…” Ah…it must be from some woman, it has to be a woman leaving her lover. I wonder what was the end. Of the letter, the case, the house where this record was found. But mysteries aren’t allowed to remain unplayed at Zeitgeist. Our lovely host Mrs. Länder comes from behind a purple room with psychedelic-like paintings in dark tones, it seems they were made by some radical noirnaïf obsessed with melted geometric… ah, we never know… when the shapes melt into darkened streets with crime and novelty, empty drunk junk and lonely paperboys distributing political anoma-lies to muted windows, orchestra curtains…She comes in singing…”Disturbance at tonight’s dance/You mistake your feet/Your heart fail to meet/My rehearsed glance”. Then in a typical fräulein way she stops the record from spinning above its planet with just one dry-measured gesture. A fingers’ syncope in synth pop grammar. It’s over. But her eyes are blueish sweetness in a livid expression of dictionaryless majesty. “Thank you for finding the last letter to my father”. He died a couple of days before the school’s ball.

  25. avatar
    Anonymous | 23 June 2006 at 11:05 pm #

    the other one.

  26. avatar
    Melquiades | 23 June 2006 at 11:18 pm #

    I do love your writing style Steve. Freeform languid, with and without prose nor with purpose other that to entertain the connection to the collective.

    I love it.

    True genius man. A repository of connection with the here and herafter.

    Personally – if i may share – I am looking for some sugestions to become unaware, if you know what I mean. 😉

    I think it was the Days Inn in NY after the Knitting Factory show.

  27. avatar
    Dig | 24 June 2006 at 2:53 am #

    That was pretting f#ckin cool.
    In regard to BWTB I have Anthem X on repeat. It’s like a jet plane on the run way, engines powering up, then lift off!
    Thank you for all of this SK

  28. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 June 2006 at 3:33 am #

    This kind of wonderful writing brings to mind Rimbaud’s Illuminations, my favorite of favorites.


  29. avatar
    isolde | 24 June 2006 at 5:15 am #

    I dream of thee



  30. avatar
    stealthblue | 24 June 2006 at 6:32 am #

    Wormwood flowers, eh??? Excellent. Nature rules…
    🙂 zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    Buenas Noches. Long live King Kilbo!!
    Pleasant dreams,

  31. avatar
    fergal | 24 June 2006 at 12:24 pm #

    did she also try the gaze technique on him

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