Industrial Poetry




Hertz Tower – a landmark of My Private Alphaville! (Photography by Peter Carstens…Danke!) – – – Here’s a little poetry for you. It is based on Marcel Duchamp’s idea of the readymade as well as on the Dada movement’s concept of the objet trouvé. Found art gains significance from the designation assigned to it by the artist. The objet trouvé was one of the mainstays of Dada artistry, alongside with other heuristic inventions, such as the readymade, the collage, the cadavre exquis, and automatic writing.

Basically, these poems consist of CTFA declarations I found on cosmetics. Well – they are CTFA declarations, you know. Ingredients. CTFA – that’s the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Fragrance Association. Here you have a striking sample of the Real in Lacan’s theory – by now you should hopefully know what I’m talking about, if not, go back to The Blank Space of Reality, Part ThreeNow! ( Take those CTFA declarations as an attempt to inscribe the intangible Real into symbolic order via scientific terminology. Which I feel is just beautiful. Scientists know it’s impossible to make any statements about the true nature of reality. About what reality is… About what the hell is going on. Their job is to describe nature and to find possible approximations towards the true nature of reality. Which can be found in – chemical terms.

These terms denote things that smell good.

Things which are meant to deodorize.

Or to cleanse.

You may not think it’s poetry – but once you’ve broken a piece of prose into line and verse, anything written may pose as poetry.

Even your bank account.

For some, this might well be the ultimate form of poetry.

Chemical terminology is very sensuous and fragrant.

It is derived from Greek and Latin roots mostly.

But we ought not be bothered with meaning and content.

Here it is looks and sound that count.

So read and enjoy.

Let the fragile beauty of a word like dimethicone work its magic on you.

Let the mysterious power of etidronic acid unfold its subtle effects on your subconscious.

After reading my poems, I swear you’ll look with different eyes at those words in small print on the back of your bottle of shampoo.

A tube of toothpaste will never be the same again for you.

You see, a little shift in perception is all that’s needed, a little fine-tuning…

To raise awareness to another level.

To discover art where before there was only technical specifications.

To find emotion where before there was only… engineering? (I give you a little blank space here…)















It’s just a matter of selective perception.

You all know that.

To find mystery, magic, even transcendence in everyday objects, you just have to pretend you know what you’re looking for – and instantaneously forget it.

That way you are bound to succeed.

Just like this cute li’ l mutant feller…


Peter Bies – Mutant mit Herz, 2081 (540 x 540 cm)

And here’s – the poetrah…!

Head and Shoulders








Sodium Lauryl Sulfate,




Cocamide MEA,




Zinc Pyrithione,




Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol,




Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Sodium Diethylenetriamine Pentaethylene Phosphonate,




Magnesium Carbonate Hydroxide,




Benzyl Alcohol, Etidronic Acid,




Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde,




Limonene, Citronellol, Sodium Polynaphtalenesulfonate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, DMDM Hydantoin, Disodium EDTA








Here’s a short one:







PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil,





Stannous Fluoride,


Sodium Saccharin,


Cl 42051.

What do you think? What do you make of this?