Saturday, March 25, 2017

Erbarme dich

A new book by Marleen Decree was presented last night February 24th in Gallery The Black Panter.
The whole chapel was packed. I was a bit late and only had a seat on the first row...
The sequence of such presentations is always the same: There is the person who does the introduction: Johan van Cauwennberghe introduced the book Erbarme Dich, as always a smart analysis of the poetry at hand. Also we got some insights about what had inspired Marleen: This time Marleen had fallen in love with the photographs by Mirjam Devriendt of the sculptures by Hilde De Bruyckere. So she wrote a series of poems inspired by these photographs. As always there was wonderful music on a huge but sensitive Theorbe... performed by Floris De Rycker. The people showed up... the room was filled by her admirors and friends. Marleen read a few of her poems. I was a bit sick, so I skipped the fun early. Also not to pass on my bad cough. Her publisher Leo Peeraer gave the first copies to Marleen and Floris and Adriaan.

I gave her my texts of Blaise Cendrars and am curious as to what she will be doing with it... since they are leaving for their stay in France...

Sunday, March 19, 2017

neighbors in a big building

My neighbor is 83. She is also forgetful and lonely. So since I am closest to her, she drops in, comes by and walks in the city, probably finding some friends. She also eats out a lot. She enjoys being among people and dislikes having to eat on her own. So tonight I'll share my sturdy lentil soup with her. Some people you get to know, you learn how they tick, what their issues are. For Lucy, it is mainly loneliness, a daughter in cape town, a son in Los Angeles. For her age she is well groomed and good looking. Another neighbor is heavily invested in the local church. Another one, a man has the weirdest collections: angels, teddy bears, printing letters... He keeps the spot immaculate. And then there are the noisy neighbors...

Poem in Dutch:

De kraaien

Ik woon onder een kraaienfamilie
rumoerige buren
nee, dit is geen metafoor
het zijn echte kraaien
zwart glimmend in regen, hagel
zon en wind

Ik zie hoe ze even die extra vleugelslag geven
om op het dak te landen

Maar weet niet of het altijd dezelfde kraai is
met altijd een ander takje

Soms hoor ik hen rommelen op het dak
keitjes herschikken
en vraag me af of ze een versterkt
kraaienkasteel bouwen of een burcht
of ze steentjes dragen in hun snavel
en ze laten vallen als hagel

zomaar om te rumoeren en te spelen

Het hele dak is van hen
ik ben onderdak met hen
dit gezelschap van kraaien
boven mij
en woon in de wereld onder ‘t

voel me oude zeerover
of misschien verander ik zelf
en wordt een oude kraai

maar geen witte raaf
met wit haar


The crows

I live under a family of crows
noisy neighbours
no, this is not a metaphor
it are real crows
black shining in the rain, hail
sun and wind

I see how they briefly give an extra flap of the wing
to land on the roof

yet I do not know whether it is always the same crow
with always a different branch

Sometimes I hear the rummaging on the roof
rearrange the pebbles
en wonder whether they are building a strong
crow castle or a stronghold
or carry stones in their beak
and drop them with a sond of hail

just to make noise and to play

The whole roof is theirs
I am with them under their roof
this company of crows
above me
and live in the world under the
crows nest

feel like an old sailor
or maybe I do change
and become an old crow