Contemplating Hell by Bertolt Brecht
Contemplating Hell, as I once heard it,
My brother Shelley found it to be a place
Much like the city of London. I,
Who do not live in London, but in Los Angeles,
Find, contemplating Hell, that it
Must be even more like Los Angeles.
Also in Hell,
I do not doubt it, there exist these opulent gardens
With flowers as large as trees, wilting, of course,
Very quickly, if they are not watered with very expensive water. And fruit markets
With great leaps of fruit, which nonetheless
Possess neither scent nor taste. And endless trains of autos,
Lighter than their own shadows, swifter than
Foolish thoughts, shimmering vehicles, in which
Rosy people, coming from nowhere, go nowhere.
And houses, designed for happiness, standing empty,
Even when inhabited.
Even the houses in Hell are not all ugly.
But concern about being thrown into the street
Consumes the inhabitants of the villas no less
Than the inhabitants of the barracks.
Hell, the Place I Visit Everyday ( by myself :P )
Once I was in the lineup to hell
For it was routine for me
That I pay the ferryman every single day
And make him take me there safely.
The gatekeeper made the payment
Economically manageable for me
For now I pay the ferryman
Once at the start of every month
Even for the times that I do not visit hell.
“It is a choice”, they said;
“You do not have to come here every single day”.
“But those who did not, so did starve”,
Are those unforgettable words
They made, to resonate in mine fearful ears.
So the concern of being thrown in the street
From these beautiful houses, of whose
Builders we never knew nor will we ever know, consumed me,
That I chose to walk to hell as a routine
Every passing day...
There were opulent gardens in hell
In which giant flowers no longer bloomed;
For which they had a solution
Of painting pictures of flowers on the trees
Which all of us would fight to take photos of
And call that innovation or art.
Brainwashed aren’t we?
For it is neither art nor innovation
When they let the flowers disappear
And named, what they want us to believe,
As flowers, flowers.
Nothing surprises in hell,
For I too, belong to the mass
Who comes from nowhere, going nowhere
Like a herd of cattle covered in makeup.Oh! Had we just had a brain to begin with!