Monday, 5 July 2010

Poem by the Dutch writer Alfred Schaffer


At that time Superman was known as extremely friendly.
He would greet politely at the breakfast table,
pass the sugar when asked
        and enjoy the breathtaking panorama.
He would play old music when making decisions
and afterwards phone his mother.

Until the night the windows of his birthplace were smashed
his balloon face hung like a boy’s dream
        throughout the town.
He asked: take pity on my situation,
but had to wave his fists
                to keep people’s attention.

He became The Great Absentee. He would sneak in
        and sit on the back row of theatres
and roar for another encore, or grin for minutes on end
at women in the lift via mirrors
                and bide his time.

He has done marvels by leaning forward
        at unguarded moments
and whispering something into an ear,
by adding moustaches to unknown people’s photos
in the scrapbooks he took with him to auditions.

He could actually fly. Whenever he felt bored
he simply rented a couple of comic films.

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