Gierik is a Flemish publication. It started in 1983 and in the second issue I had four poems: two in English and two in Dutch. I had forgotten all about that until I was invited to read in Antwerp with seven other Gierik poets on poetry day next January 31st. I knew the people involved in it were in the process of digitalizing the complete poetry archive and felt obliged to look at it and to choose a few poems I would then read. My poems have been published 19 times; however I also wrote articles for them, did interviews with authors I wouldn't have dared to approach, translated Native American poetry, wrote about 'Guilt and Grace' as in a cowboy's philosophy... Those other writings have not been digitalized yet. It is strange to encounter my twenty years younger self, to realize that even then I wrote in Dutch and in English, although not having been raised in the USA. I had this fascination for whom I would have become, had my mother stayed in Ohio... Thus I read American authors, followed American politics and became a flower power child in my own right. I learned to belong wherever I was... The distance to my origins have been sometimes a bitter blessing, yet for which I am thoroughly grateful. I too am grateful for the 'home' poetry in all its guises has offered me over all these years.
Clowns from Amsterdam
6 years ago