Conrad Gamble

Writer | Director

The Thin Line

On the 3rd of November 1986 5 brave Dadaist’s painted a white line in protest along the colourful side of the Berlin Wall, this is my Promeathean tribute to them, here’s to falling walls and raising spirits.


Over Weimer dusk is seduced by darkness,

it’s Wednesday, it’s June 26th, it’s 1984.

A striding crew-cut, wary of his own persona,

stops, and leans against cadaverous bricks

He rubs his head, feeling the comfort of the follicles resistance.

Anxiety, who had been shuffling hurriedly in front, returns to spark his last cigarette.

100 yards ahead, he spies a young man, Thomas O.

Taking the sun from the sunset,

And stirring it into his paint pot.

Goethe’s Promethean agitator.

Inhales the colour.

Tight black jeans, loose red jumper. flecked with yellow all over.

Holding his dripping brush aloft like a torch.

Taunting the paranoids.

He anoints an ashen façade

“Turn the state into cucumber salad” it reads

As the final ‘T’ is finished with a vertical pull.

A yellow-gold globule splashes to the ground-up.

The crew-cut smiles.

He sees the light.

Men are not gods.

Thomas is arrested.

For gifting fire.

September ’85 while the same rain falls either side Berlin’s dislocated spine.

Droplets dance off the barbed wire, exposed nerve endings

Vibrate to the sound of Din Dada.

Thomas who’d been imprisoned, yet free in his mind.

Is now released.

Berlin beckons.

He takes a stale train north.

To join his elder brother Jurgen and three friends.

Two named Frank and a Wolfram.

Unsettle amongst the Stasi to the East.

Nien Bitte in Mitte.

Their cut out tongues spit seditious stains

On the communal canvases of Kopenick and Pankow,

Provocatuers lifeblood spurted

Scrawled morsels of defiance, left for the hungry, who can all have a piece.

They eat with teeth broken from chewed-on tension.

It’s not written in the newspapers, it’s written on the walls.

Some men choose bats, some men choose balls.

Words hammer at the oppressor’s knees.

Before the weather turns the pages.

The 5 young sages are moved west, through Checkpoint Charlie.

The greatest distances aren’t geographic.

Plutot la Vie.Freedom.

Or so they thought.

Having achieved their dream,

Each evening Thomas is gunned down his nightmares.

Evading border guards that he left behind.

Machines in minds.



Angered by the wests apathy.

Agitators amongst the advertising,

Selling their ideas for free,

For the price of liberty.

Prickled by lefties assertions of leaving the socialist eden

“In the east we could take one step before someone stepped on our toes.

In the west, we could take two.” On the morning of 3rd of November, 1986.

Under the partition, Unconcerned by the morning shadow from the east.

A hooker paints her fingernails to cover the dirt underneath.

While a holed eyed, skinny junkie waits fat minutes, ravenous to put up his own walls.

Kreuzbergs dealers sells prisms

Djs spin rhythms that bounce off the schism

The five friends have other lines on their mind.

Jurgen, the former informer, leader of the pack.

Thomas, brush in hand, bloodless mask, long mac.

Armed with arms Pots ready to paint a single white line along the colourful side of the wall.

Like an operator connecting separated parents.

Asking them to talk

Perhaps get back together.

5 kilometres in, through herrings and Harings.

The border guards from the east become real again.

They open a secret doorway.

Chasing them before they reach the Brandenburg gate.

5 ran.

4 escaped.

3 years later, the wall fell.

1 line.


Today Bald Eagles wear wigs while they feast on our livers

But The Great Wall of China has never been visible from space.

Up there


We see lights

Huddling electrons, gather.

Not walls.

We see lights.