Monday 7 March 2016

First poem of a cycle by Serge van Duijnhoven

Last post, lost past
‘General, should an old cannon still remain on your ruined ramparts, bombard us
with clumps of dry earth. [...]  Make the city eat its own dust.’
Arthur Rimbaud (Une saison en enfer, «Alchimie du verbe»)


A promise from them is worth less
than a seed in the  ground

a snowflake in the air
a droplet on the rock

but a single, icy word
can suffice for a grave

the body of my mother
disappeared through the ice-hole

she was caught in the

like a fish, I saw her
silvery countenance

the last thing she
said was: ‘son

the songs they sing
make my heart wring’

the final sound
was how she drowned

the men stood there clumsily dancing (like a class having a swimming lesson)
blue with cold (teeth-chattering) round the ice-hole

we howled
in their wake

the prince hung icicles
on their skin

this is the Cocytus
frozen river

in the depths of hell

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