Thursday 27 April 2017

'In this town' - poem from 'The Refrain of Other People's Lives' by Arnold Jansen op de Haar

in this town

my books have
remained in exile
a cardboard sarcophagus of data
signed on the inside cover

full of smoke and in storage
the colours faded as those of
badly clad fellow countrymen overseas

like pastry from the right shops
like sunday lunch mother wine
like meeting her in
the middle of town
in unexpected places
like a homeless person who waits for her
on sundays after church

like the mist above the river
or fireworks   clouds
yes evening light

like phoning that you’re safely home
the silence of the city at night

like guts gurgling with bacillophobia
after visits to restaurants

like an aunt laden
with cheap jewellery
put her on four wheels
and simply drive off

like wild leftish nieces
turned bourgeois
who you were secretly in love with
and their absconded husbands

like talking about who
were there before you

like the visiting of the dead
on the anniversaries of their death and
at easter yellow ribbons
on their graves

like the first meeting
with the blond and grey lady
like the searching for a
dog gone astray

like smoking together
in the water meadows
or drawing animals on a
bare back with your salty fingers

or still knowing everything
about all the photos
and continuing to pass it on
to yourself

till you’re just the only one
till someone opens the boxes

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