Art, Books, Trickster

Scrub of Ghosts…

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Barbarella… Could, perhaps… Be best described… As an adult science-fiction fantasy… In which the director cast his… Under-age girlfriend… In the leading role… As sex-kitten… Par excellence… Battling against an evil villain whose death ray-gun… Is soon to wipe out mankind… If that casts the film making industry in a somewhat dubious light… Think what… The Nightporter… Would do… If we could only find… An adequate descriptor… For it… Ol’ Dirk… And his cohorts from the death camps… Have holed up in a Berlin hotel… Posing as both residents… And employees… Amid the faded glamour…

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Then one of their victims… From the camps turns up… And acquaintances… Are, ahem, ‘renewed’… There is nothing glamorous… About this film… It is dark… And grubby… But it tried to point out… In its own sickly-sweet way… That those responsible for the atrocities… In Europe… During the Nineteen Thirties and Forties… Are still very much amongst us… Living… As it were… In plain sight… Pretending to be something else entirely… The train of time… Has overshot the station again… And has ground to a halt… There is nothing for it… But to disembark… By jumping down onto the gravel of white stone…

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And make… What we will… Of the scrub of ghosts… That linger alongside… The rusty tracks… There is an image… Which trundles at train speed… Of wooden carriages… A troop train… And then stops… Spilling it’s cargo… Of uniformed troops… Glad of a break from the… Long hours… Cooped up… Like cattle… In their milking pens… A cattle load… Of cannon fodder… Bound for… The front… The men are rude… And jovial… As men of that age are… Full of life… Perhaps because… Deep down… They really know… What they are heading towards… And that they will be unable to make a scrap of difference.

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