Görlitzer Park Blues
by Ulises Conti

June 11, Berlin


Görlitzer Park is one of my favorite places

You can go at any hour and eat fried chicken for four euros

It’s the park where we foreigners go

To forget reality

If you’re alone the best place to go

Is Görlitzer Park

Easy friends

People you can talk to

Everything’s nearby

From downtown on a bike it’s only minutes

Kids, mothers, single guys and prostitutes

All come and take a spin around the park before calling it a night

When I come into some money I’m going to fly you over

So we can stroll together through the park

There you can see the foreign poets

Someone playing some cover on a guitar

Or a group of break dancing Russian kids

In Görlitzer Park every now and then a fight breaks out

But in general nobody fucks with anybody

The idea of Utopia and Exile exists

Though no one talks about it really

Me I like to go in the afternoon

Lay out on the grass

Read in the sun and snooze

Near the park is a canal

In summer you can get in the water

And swim until you come out old

In winter it’s so cold

It’s better not to stay

The water streaming from the fountain

Freezes like in a science fiction film

Winter here is a little sad

There’s not much that’s familiar

I’m in a country where they speak a language I don’t know

Though that’s something I never want to let myself forget

In Görlitzer Park you can hear all the languages you want

It’s only a question of getting close enough

Me I like to see how the old men play chess

Some play for money

Others yell, enjoy themselves, and pass the time

The junkies suffer on the other side

Their faces deformed by their addiction to pleasure

There are buff jocks with iPods and colored tracksuits

Punks and their dogs like hyper-realistic monuments

Every now and then the cops come by and ask for documents

It seems years since anybody came through here

But now everybody goes to Görlitzer

The black kids play basketball

With their gold chains and mobile phones

Later on their girlfriends arrive

Fresh from the salon with newly straightened hair new clothes

Görlitzer Park is the park for foreigners

Two Turkish guys are barbecuing for their families

Who sit waiting on a bunch of folding chairs

Behind them a boy is pissing in the trees

And comes running to his pregnant mother

A group of adolescents pose on the skateboard ramp

Drinking Cokes like an ad made for TV

Farther off there’s a church and a little zoo

Both inside the park

Off to one side in a truck covered in graffiti

A redheaded girl and her bearded dad sell ice cream for a euro

In the lake the swans the ducks and real turkeys

Swim among the garbage floating in slow motion

Translated from the Spanish by Andrew Haley


Allison Scarpulla

Copyright © 2016, Otis Nebula Press. All rights reserved.


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