Sunday, 22 November 2009

Another Flemish poet - Luuk Gruwez

For Jozef Deleu

Take a mother,
a mother of good quality.
Pull her tongue out.
Then put her away again.
After that take a child,
it too of good quality,
a child that can scarcely say mamma.
Pull its tongue out.

Repeat the process often enough
to get a number of tongues sufficient
to acquire a language.
A lot of tongues are needed for one language.
For every language is both cruel and tender
like nitric acid for corpses.

Thus is created what one calls a mother language.
All kinds of countries have such, for sure.
One hears, even in distant climes, when woken
excellent mother languages being spoken.

Snip off the mother from the mother language,
separating the mother once more from the language.
(With too much mother there’s a threat of gibberish.)
By no means though should she be thrown away,
as later she can still be made some use of.
Just simply set her on one side a while,
one that’s nice and cool of course.
Stay silent.

Mix the futile with the subtle,
the sublime with the imbecile.
Mix the smell of rutting with that of rotting,
the perfect with the perverse,
all of this in equal measure.

And then, but only then
and certainly no second earlier:
then speak.

 For more poems by Luuk Gruwez go to here

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