Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Nachoem M. Wijnberg

Revolution

Your friends who made revolution
– and in the distance you see another one approaching who could become your friend –
live in houses that are too big for them,
and faraway they have more houses,
where they haven’t been for a long time,
so you shouldn’t think you can say something about houses
instead of something about growing old. What is it like if you think
that only a revolution will help?

For instance, one who lives in the most beautiful house in Paris
and you can go there for dinner one night
and it’s none of your business what is said to a stranger
who rings the doorbell and stands at the front door
or at most you ask: surely you have someone to open the door?
(just to open the door?),
but your voice stays calm,
you don’t even need to do your best for that anymore. Is there something you want to talk about
as if the listener
does not know what it is like? The wings of an angel
are not for flying (even if there are some who use them for that),
but for whispering over great distances
with their shape, as can be seen from faraway, and their colours.

You spent many nights one after the other
in a house that belonged to a friend of a friend’s
or an angel’s angel,
who cries out as if he wants to call someone back
to calm him down
as it gets dark. When you were back in your own house
he came to you to say goodbye in your house
to whoever wanted to say goodbye to him,
and it was only the next morning that you saw that he had only wanted
to stay one night, but why then did he have
so much luggage with him? Can you see anything from your house,
the ocean? A park with oars standing upright,
a fish with its mouth
full of hooks,
just look how many wanted to have me. What remains of you
when every fish or angel has travelled a day
away from you. You move your nights
forward, then
backwards.

Is it going to start again with fury
about the redistribution, and only afterwards
about the distribution? You want an uprising on the streets? That works better if the fans of the football clubs join in,
the Galatasaray and Fenerbahce supporters in Istanbul,
like once the Blues and the Greens
in the Hippodrome in Constantinople. You don’t think you will be able to
predict the outcome five minutes sooner by recognising that,
at most it provides an opportunity to be able to explain it
when you’ve stopped watching.

Your friends who are suddenly poor
after they have given you
what you asked for,
no longer able to live in their big houses,
but in houses as small as when they were children. What is an uprising that’s not a revolution? Heaven is where the angels are
or what the angels rebel against
when they get scared that it can only postpone its downfall,
not prevent it. If an angel gets old
he becomes just like you (as in: surrender those wings),
but for a long time he looks much younger than he is,
as in: have you ever thought
of becoming a model,
you are too old
for walking back and forth where everyone can see you, but your face could hang above the bottles of perfume
in shops at airports, three times life-sized. Because I look
like I no longer have any wings?

Revolutie

Revolutie

Je vrienden die revolutie hebben gemaakt
– en in de verte zie je er weer een aan komen lopen die je vriend kan worden  –
wonen in huizen die te groot voor hen zijn,
en ze hebben ver weg nog meer huizen,
waar ze al lang niet geweest zijn,
dus hoef je niet te denken dat je iets over huizen kan zeggen
in plaats van over oud worden. Hoe is het als je denkt
dat enkel een revolutie kan helpen?

Bijvoorbeeld een die in het mooiste huis van Parijs woont
en jij kan daar op een avond komen eten
en het is niet jouw zaak wat er gezegd wordt tegen een onbekende
die aanbelt en voor de voordeur staat
of hoogstens vraag je: je hebt toch iemand om de deur open te doen?
(enkel om de deur open te doen?),
maar je stem blijft rustig,
daar hoef je je best niet meer voor te doen. Is er iets waarover je wil vertellen
alsof wie luistert
niet weet hoe het is? De vleugels van een engel
zijn niet om te vliegen (ook al zijn er die het er toch mee doen),
maar om over grote afstanden te fluisteren
met de vorm, zoals je die van ver weg ziet, en de kleuren.

Je was vele nachten achter elkaar
in een huis van wie een vriend van een vriend was
of een engel van een engel
die schreeuwt alsof hij iemand wil terugroepen.
om zichzelf gerust te stellen
terwijl het donker wordt. Toen je weer in je eigen huis terug was
kwam hij naar je toe om in jouw huis afscheid te nemen
van wie afscheid van hem wilde nemen,
en je zag pas de volgende ochtend dat hij maar één nacht
had willen blijven, maar waarom had hij dan
zoveel bagage bij zich? Vanuit jouw huis kun je wat zien,
de oceaan? Een park van rechtopstaande roeispanen,
een vis met een mond
vol haken,
kijk eens hoeveel er mij wilden hebben. Wat er van je overblijft
als elke vis of engel een dag ver van je weg
gereisd is. Je schuift je nachten naar
voren, daarna naar
achteren.

Begint het weer met woede
over de naverdeling, daarna pas
over de voorverdeling? Je wil opstand op straat?  Dat gaat beter als de fans van voetbalclubs meedoen,
de Galatasaray en Fenerbahce supporters in Istanbul,
zoals vroeger de Groenen en de Blauwen
in het Hippodroom in Constantinopel. Je denkt niet dat je de afloop
vijf minuten eerder kan voorspellen door dat te herkennen,
hoogstens geeft het een kans het uit te mogen leggen
als je opgehouden bent met kijken.

Je vrienden die als ze je geven
waarom je gevraagd had
plotseling arm zijn,
niet meer in hun groot huis kunnen wonen,
maar in een zo klein als toen ze een kind waren. Wat is een opstand die niet een revolutie is? De hemel is waar de engelen zijn
of waartegen de engelen in opstand komen
als ze bang worden dat die enkel nog zijn ondergang kan uitstellen,
niet voorkomen. Als een engel oud wordt
wordt hij net zoals jij (zoals in: lever je vleugels maar in),
maar hij ziet er nog lang veel jonger uit dan hij is,
zoals in: heb je ooit over gedacht
van fotomodel je beroep te maken,
voor heen en weer lopen waar iedereen je kan zien
ben je te oud,
maar je gezicht zou uitvergroot boven de parfumflessen kunnen hangen
in vliegveldwinkels. Omdat ik kijk
alsof ik geen vleugels meer heb?
Close

Revolution

Your friends who made revolution
– and in the distance you see another one approaching who could become your friend –
live in houses that are too big for them,
and faraway they have more houses,
where they haven’t been for a long time,
so you shouldn’t think you can say something about houses
instead of something about growing old. What is it like if you think
that only a revolution will help?

For instance, one who lives in the most beautiful house in Paris
and you can go there for dinner one night
and it’s none of your business what is said to a stranger
who rings the doorbell and stands at the front door
or at most you ask: surely you have someone to open the door?
(just to open the door?),
but your voice stays calm,
you don’t even need to do your best for that anymore. Is there something you want to talk about
as if the listener
does not know what it is like? The wings of an angel
are not for flying (even if there are some who use them for that),
but for whispering over great distances
with their shape, as can be seen from faraway, and their colours.

You spent many nights one after the other
in a house that belonged to a friend of a friend’s
or an angel’s angel,
who cries out as if he wants to call someone back
to calm him down
as it gets dark. When you were back in your own house
he came to you to say goodbye in your house
to whoever wanted to say goodbye to him,
and it was only the next morning that you saw that he had only wanted
to stay one night, but why then did he have
so much luggage with him? Can you see anything from your house,
the ocean? A park with oars standing upright,
a fish with its mouth
full of hooks,
just look how many wanted to have me. What remains of you
when every fish or angel has travelled a day
away from you. You move your nights
forward, then
backwards.

Is it going to start again with fury
about the redistribution, and only afterwards
about the distribution? You want an uprising on the streets? That works better if the fans of the football clubs join in,
the Galatasaray and Fenerbahce supporters in Istanbul,
like once the Blues and the Greens
in the Hippodrome in Constantinople. You don’t think you will be able to
predict the outcome five minutes sooner by recognising that,
at most it provides an opportunity to be able to explain it
when you’ve stopped watching.

Your friends who are suddenly poor
after they have given you
what you asked for,
no longer able to live in their big houses,
but in houses as small as when they were children. What is an uprising that’s not a revolution? Heaven is where the angels are
or what the angels rebel against
when they get scared that it can only postpone its downfall,
not prevent it. If an angel gets old
he becomes just like you (as in: surrender those wings),
but for a long time he looks much younger than he is,
as in: have you ever thought
of becoming a model,
you are too old
for walking back and forth where everyone can see you, but your face could hang above the bottles of perfume
in shops at airports, three times life-sized. Because I look
like I no longer have any wings?

Revolution

Your friends who made revolution
– and in the distance you see another one approaching who could become your friend –
live in houses that are too big for them,
and faraway they have more houses,
where they haven’t been for a long time,
so you shouldn’t think you can say something about houses
instead of something about growing old. What is it like if you think
that only a revolution will help?

For instance, one who lives in the most beautiful house in Paris
and you can go there for dinner one night
and it’s none of your business what is said to a stranger
who rings the doorbell and stands at the front door
or at most you ask: surely you have someone to open the door?
(just to open the door?),
but your voice stays calm,
you don’t even need to do your best for that anymore. Is there something you want to talk about
as if the listener
does not know what it is like? The wings of an angel
are not for flying (even if there are some who use them for that),
but for whispering over great distances
with their shape, as can be seen from faraway, and their colours.

You spent many nights one after the other
in a house that belonged to a friend of a friend’s
or an angel’s angel,
who cries out as if he wants to call someone back
to calm him down
as it gets dark. When you were back in your own house
he came to you to say goodbye in your house
to whoever wanted to say goodbye to him,
and it was only the next morning that you saw that he had only wanted
to stay one night, but why then did he have
so much luggage with him? Can you see anything from your house,
the ocean? A park with oars standing upright,
a fish with its mouth
full of hooks,
just look how many wanted to have me. What remains of you
when every fish or angel has travelled a day
away from you. You move your nights
forward, then
backwards.

Is it going to start again with fury
about the redistribution, and only afterwards
about the distribution? You want an uprising on the streets? That works better if the fans of the football clubs join in,
the Galatasaray and Fenerbahce supporters in Istanbul,
like once the Blues and the Greens
in the Hippodrome in Constantinople. You don’t think you will be able to
predict the outcome five minutes sooner by recognising that,
at most it provides an opportunity to be able to explain it
when you’ve stopped watching.

Your friends who are suddenly poor
after they have given you
what you asked for,
no longer able to live in their big houses,
but in houses as small as when they were children. What is an uprising that’s not a revolution? Heaven is where the angels are
or what the angels rebel against
when they get scared that it can only postpone its downfall,
not prevent it. If an angel gets old
he becomes just like you (as in: surrender those wings),
but for a long time he looks much younger than he is,
as in: have you ever thought
of becoming a model,
you are too old
for walking back and forth where everyone can see you, but your face could hang above the bottles of perfume
in shops at airports, three times life-sized. Because I look
like I no longer have any wings?
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