Thursday, 2 December 2010

Poem by the Dutch poet Alfred Schaffer


Seeking diversion in trifles is what keeps you going.
Practising scales. Loving someone endlessly. But,
what a letdown man is, infatuated, a slave of his organiser
and should he not fancy something, he breaks off the connection.

You smell how I decay, although I am not there, you’re lying, so I
imagine, staring enraptured at a monitor, at the first evidence
of life on Mars, there something innocent moves, something
that has a chance of success and without shifting your gaze

you grasp my hand – which is not there, hurrying to scribble
all this down, somewhere where I embark on pilgrimages
to buildings in high locations, completed long before Christ.

My hawser has snapped, I cannot heave myself on land.
When the city’s buzz soon dies away, I should see more with
these night-glasses. To make quite certain. But there’s nothing more.

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