"It is difficult to discover a self-made reading in Düsseldorf because most literature events are presented by a small network of official institutions that promote mostly
well-known authors. Our way of writing is open to experimental and anti-poetical methods, free from conservative rules and values. We like to surprise ourselves with our
Tom de Toys, April 2022 @ Podcast: HOW SUBCULTURAL POETRY BECOMES OFFICIAL IN A LIBRARY
ORIGINAL SOURCE @ LIVE POETRY PROJECT "POESIEPANDEMIE - LYRIK LEBT WEITER!"
Now I would like to introduce our first guest, Tom de Toys, born is 1968. He is a poetry performance artist of the German underground literature scene. Tom de Toys lives in Düsseldorf since 2012 and he is a member of the arts association Düsseldorfer Künstler e.V. He organised in 2017 a poetry festival with some subcultural stars of the scene. Hello Mr. De Toys, thank you for coming! You are 54 years old. What did you do before you arrived in Düsseldorf?"
"Hi there! Thanks for inviting me. Well, I was living in Berlin for more than 14 years as an activist of the creative scene. In the beginning I was running a literature saloon in the Art-House 'Tacheles' where I organised readings and an exhibition. At that time I lived in the district of Prenzlauer Berg where most artists and poets were located. We talk about the late 1990's. By the government's move from Bonn to Berlin the creative scene moved to Friedrichshain and later to Neukölln because of the cheap rents. There I worked as a cultural manager for a gallery in my last years."
"I see, so you did experience the gentrification in Berlin. Did your way of life change here in comparison to your former life in Berlin?"
"Yes, my life changed radically because I stopped being hyperactive as an artist just to avoid more burnout symptoms. Instead of that I became a taxi-driver and a GCA, a geriatric care assistant. But in spite of that I organized that poetry festival in 2017 that you mentioned already where I presented some subcultural stars of the poetry scene."
"2017 is a few years ago. Do you have any actual projects?"
"Oh yes, I do! At this very moment I'm invited to create an artwork out of a vintage taxi call box that will be sold to help Ukrainian refugees. And next year I’m going to perform my poetry in the local library of Wersten."
"Oh, tell me more about it! Is it a solo reading?"
"No no no, the manager of the library David Cappel asked me to choose three more authors besides of myself. One comes from Duisburg that's Marvin Chlada who is a researcher of pop culture. The second is Boris Kerenski from Stuttgart who published the legendary anthology of German underground literature in the 1990´s titled 'Kaltland Beat' and the last one is Harald Kappel from Aachen who won the postpoetry prize three years ago."
"All right, can you tell me if there are any similarities in between the poetry scenes of Berlin and Düssseldorf?"
"Well, one very practical difference between the scenes are of course the sizes: In Berlin up to 200 literature performances happen each day while in Düsseldorf you can be lucky to find two in a month. The second most important difference is the way how the activists of the scenes are connected. In Berlin it is easy to find a location that presents you without being published by an established editor or having won a literature prize. By that, many unknown poets live in a permanent live-act-exchange of their works and ideas that provokes an intense atmosphere and creative lifestyle of subcultural processes. In opposite to that it is difficult to discover a self-made reading in Düsseldorf because most literature events are presented by a small network of official institutions that promote mostly well-known authors. By recognizing that difference I am very pleased that David Cappel enables an exception of this typical separation, because on the one hand the library represents indeed this official network but on the other hand we, the four authors and the musician of course also, are not clearly established or not and by that we are a kind of mixture of the avantgardistic and the advanced scene."
"So... what unites the authors then?"
"Somehow just one common level unites us: our way of writing. It is open to experimental and anti-poetical methods, free from conservative rules and values. We like to surprise ourselves with our inspiration. If you like you find further information about us on the website of the project: www.LyrikLEBT.de"
VIDEO-USED QUOTES BY TOM DE TOYS, HERE IN FULL LENGTH:
"Very much changed. I am not so hyperactive as in Berlin for example as an artist. I did some projects here as well like the poetry festival, the OFFLYRIKFESTIVAL, in 2017. But i'm not regularly on stage, i'm not invited. So there are just a few events i took part in."
"I see differences specifically in the poetry scenes: in Berlin you have very many unknown local heroes that perform very often. So you got very many literature live events in Berlin every day. But here in Düsseldorf over all the years i tried to figure out where underground poets are and where they perform and it's a very rare experience. There seem to be very few only and the locations maybe have not that great advertisement. In Berlin it was normal that you know everything and you go there. Everybody goes there and everybody knows about everything. And here i see just a very reduced network of established institutions that organize very professionally literature events but that's all. By that you have maybe one or two, maybe three official events each month by that established institutions. And they present moreover mostly established authors. So where are the underground poets? That was always my problem here and that's why i organized myself that big festival in 2017 just to present once forever here in Düsseldorf real established stars of the german subcultural poetry scene."
"That's what i like and appreciate when poets are able to perform their poems also in a way that the audience doesn't fall asleep or doesn't understand anything. So that's a big difference between many authors: the one can perform and the one write very good things but can't perform."
"We are very free spirits and we don't care if the lyrics we produce sound conservative or experimental. I love the intensity of the poems. I miss the intensity in many poems that get big prizes in Germany by established institutions. I'm not the one who ignores the others even if i don't like them but i go to the library and i read complete books of the other poets that i don't like just to prove if i'm still right with my opinion or if something has changed. I am interested in finding intensity and existential themes. But i regret that the literature has no influence on the society. I feel very disappointed and sad about the fact that i can put as much intensity in my poems as i want - it will never change the situation! So the influence of literature at all is my question. In Cologne i was bored because i thought nobody needs us. Nobody needs readings. Nobody needs poems and poets and live poets. Everybody just has his routine in life. In Berlin you have this hypnotizing feeling that something happens. Of course nothing happens at all. It's just we who do something and have our fun. There's as well as here no influence on society. So in some way it doesn't matter where you live, it is always the same and you can be lucky if a small audience comes. And this audience maybe is infected by us a little bit to go on with the thoughts we give them in a poetical way presented with a good voice and a good performance."
"I got a very famous poem from the early 90's. It's a 3-word-poem. The title was 'DAS GEDICHT ÜBER DIE MODERNE'. This fucking three words. It was with NICHTS. I really can't remember the three words. It's away. It's not any more in my brain. But maybe i can produce a poem just for you right now: DAS GRÜN DER BÄUME / DAS SIND DOCH NICHT NUR SCHÄUME / DER HIMMEL SO BLAU / DIE ALTE SAU / HAT SIE SELBER HINGEMALT / DIE FARBE DIE KEINER WOLLTE / GRÜN SIND DIE BLÄTTER / BLAU DER HIMMEL / DIE WELT IST VOLLER SCHIMMEL. Well, maybe that's all. Now we need a title for this poem!"
Erfinder der Quantenlyrik: Tom de Toys
Düsseldorf-Eller Süd, NRW
Deutschland / Schönes Neues Europa
PLANET ERDE IN DIESEM UNIVERSUM
EQ-Filialleitung: Siegfried Sühd
Assistenz: Siegmund Sähr
Chefsekretärin: Siegrid Szöhn
ABM-Kraft: Simone Sorglos
T.de.T. schrieb am 6.3.1993 das Gedicht "PARADIES" mit den Zeilen "kriege führt man nur / gegen sich selbst" sowie "wir lecken dann / gläsern die körper", woraus Siegfried Sühd am 11.6.2003 sein 8.QLP-Quantengedicht "RAD" formte, in dem dann die Zeilen lauten "EG HR AN UR / EG IC LB" sowie "IR EC AN / ÄS IE ÖRP". Alle 53 "QUAntisilben" wurden für die Rauminstallation auf transparente Folien kopiert, 14 plus zwei lose Buchstaben "Ü" waren in neongrün auf den S-Bahn-Fenstern zu lesen. T.de.T. entwickelte die QLP-Methode am 11.1.2001 im Auftrag der "Performance Impulse SÜHD" (Rolf Langhans).
At the 6th of March in 1993 T.de.T. wrote the poem "PARADISE" with the lines "wars are only waged / against yourself" and "then we lick / the bodies like glass". On June 11th 2003, Siegfried South then used special isolated parts of the poem to form his 8th QLP-quantumpoem "RAD". For the bunker installation, all of the 53 quantum particles were copied onto transparent plastic films. 14 particles plus 2 single letters "Ü" were applied to the subway-windows of the Paradise S-Bahn trains 477070 and 477085. T.de.T. developed the QLP-method on January 11th in 2001 on behalf of the "Performance Impulse SÜHD" (Rolf Langhans).
Mein wichtigste EQ-Inspirationsquelle war und ist mein eigener Vater: Dr. Christian Holzapfel @ www.RuheEnergie.de