thanks to Kurt Tucholsky
Good evening, gentlemen, how are you?
I’m the PR man from Kokostech.
Kokostech has no harmful side-effects,
Since it has no effects at all.
We are only manufacturing it in order
To cover the high advertising costs,
And we advertise it in order
To be able to manufacture it.
In this way we symbolize what lies
Closest to our hearts – capital.
Questions? Capital? Gross accumulation,
Money begets money, ask your banker.
Lacking that we couldn’t be Kokostech.
No effects at all? Of course not,
Because it we had effects, we’d have causes,
And nobody wants causes, right? That’s
Logic. Causes are dangerous, cause
Effects, side-, inside-, outside-, ugly.
We want beauty, henceforth Kokostech,
That miracle of manufacture plus
Advertising, all up the spout, friends,
Trusting trusses, our only support.
Comment: When writing “thanks” to Kurt Tucholsky, I am very direct. I was reading a book on the Weimar Republic, which dealt primarily with the arts, and I came across a prose passage, lacking a context, from Kurt Tucholsky. It was a parody of advertising and said that whatever “has no harmful side-effects since it has no effects at all.” Immediately, I knew there was a satirical poem there and set off writing this poem. The first half went very well, but when I read it to my Spilling Ink colleagues they quickly saw that I had failed to follow it up in the second half. I listened to their criticisms carefully and went home and rewrote, thoroughly, that second half. At least according to them I succeeded, and you now have the completed poem.
I had to give a voice to Tucholsky’s prose and invented a PR man speaking to a group of shareholders about his product, for which I invented Kokostech. Ko- is a favored bit of sound for products of all kinds, and I liked it for this one, whatever it is, I don’t know, although it suggests to me something to pull off a pharmacy shelf and ingest for better health.
Tucholsky was a satirical poet, and, I believe, suffered and died under the Nazis. He is little-known in this country, unfortunately.