Typed Music

Poems.

I suppose these are just little pieces of me, wrapped up in words.

The forgotten melodies of my mind.

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35. Hans Litten

I have studied Nazi Germany
Someone stood and preached to me
All the ‘important’ names
All the ‘important’ dates
I wrote them down like longshore secrets
And debated over them
Like they were the pencil sharpenings
With which I littered the floor
‘Excellent analysis’ she said
I have even stood by the gas chambers
And the gallows
At Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
And written insensitive poetry about insensitivity
But have I heard of Hans Litten?
Of course I haven’t.
I have stood in the Berlin gestapo office
And formed philosophies that feel more like profanities
Wondering how it can ever be appropriate
To take a school trip to a genocide
But tonight my ‘important’ education
Feels like the greatest atrocity
My guilty ignorance beats almost unbearably
Around my rib-cage
And waits for the shatter and the shards
Because I have never heard of Hans Litten
We all know six million
But who knows the six million?
We remember names that we stored away
Because mentioning them in an essay
Might bring about a higher grade
Displaying ‘a highly developed and complex level of understanding’
We remember names like we remember shopping lists
Or science lessons;
A few particular points
No attachment necessary
In fact, detachment is far more becoming
When it comes to exam period
They never told us about Hans Litten
Or about the men who also ran in the race to be in history books
Or about their mothers
And their fathers
And the people they shared cells with
And the people they shared graves with
My God, they never told us about Hans Litten
And Hans Litten is better known than most of those phantom dead
Those cracked-open voices that dared to raise
Until they were too loud for anything but the conveyer-belt
Concentration Camp system.
And the thing is that six million is not such a big number anymore
Because there are 49,506,514 views of Simon Cowell crying
And nearly 300 million of One Direction singing a song which is not so beautiful after all
And people are so desensitized to the number six million
That they believe that the world
Would not have enough shit in it
Without them posting hatred after obscenity after hatred in the YouTube comments
And Hans Litten, I can’t help feeling that I’ve failed you
My generation could tell you the private lives of their idols
But would not know your name
And we will still pour into school on Monday morning
And chorus our tireless fatigue and our lack of motivation for life
And I will still pour into school on Monday morning
And let myself complain and moan and grapple for sympathy.
I’ve acquired this abstracted self-loathing recently
That is less a hatred of myself than a hatred of what I have made of myself
Of my ingratitude and self-centred inability
To compose poems that do not start and end with Me
And of my procrastination and my ceaseless desire
To live something other than the life I’ve been given
Like I asked for extra cheese and got given Margharita
Fuck.
I’m insufferable.
Hans Litten your list of injuries was ten times longer
than the list of all the wrongs I’ve had done against me.

 

 

Last night I went to watch a play called Taken At Midnight... it's about Hans Litten, in case you hadn't guessed... it tore me to shreds and then made whatever was left of me want to be ripped up too.

It is brilliant. 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-reviews/11138692/Taken-at-Midnight-Chichester-Festival-Theatre-review-harrowing.html


 

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