TO ENTER THE CLUB HOLOCAUST BUNKer in Berlin, you first cross the courtyard of a bombed out apartment block, its pathways littered with broken glass, flowerbeds trampled and torn. Over the grass stretches a jumble of unlikely objects: bicycles, horseless carriages, a half-buried yacht; from the lightpoles hang plastic kamikaze planes. Some of the objects are intact, though peeling and corroded by time, and in the ambiguous mix of lunar and electronic light they seem covered by a patina, an old violin's varnish. Others are only skeletons or chassis, rods and cranks that threaten indescribable torture. You picture yourself chained to a rack, something digging in your flesh until you confess.

Beyond this sequence of antique machines - once mobile, now immobile, their souls rusted, mere specimens of a technological pride that is so keen to display them to the reverence of visitors - sinks the nadir, the antiphallus, the one true Underground --- the Bunker, guarded on the left by a scale model of the Statue of Liberty Bartholdi designed for another world, and on the right by a statue of Pascal. The Bunker's grim mouth was flanked by the nightmare of a deranged entomologist - chelae, mandibles, antannae, proglottides, and wings - a cemetary of mechanical corpses which looked as if they might all start working again at any moment - magnetos, monophase transformers, turbines, convertors, steam engines, dynamos. In the rear, in the tussle of broken earth raised by the Bunker mouth, rest Assyrian idols and Chaldean, Carthaginian, great Baals whose bellies, long ago, glowed red-hot, and Nuremberg Maidens whose hearts still bristle with broken nails: these were once airplane engines. They formed a horrible garland of simulcra that rose in adoration of the Bunker --- as if the progeny of Reason and the Enlightenment had been condemned to stand guard over the ultimate symbol of Tyranny and Horror. It was here, in the heart of bombed Berlin, that Cassius Croon managed to pull the one they called the Queen of Cats.

mustafa -- a desert rose.
copyright plankettpods april 19 2002.
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