Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Arno Van Vlierberghe

THE SITUATION 3

Praxis of love – Resumption of movement – Only echo – Exit

What is The Situation? It is almost morning and I’m standing at my post. Pondering the early aesthetics of war, corporate infighting and the sputtering blood that keeps me going. My breathing calm, my muscles warm again, my mind clear again. You in the centre would do well to mind your heads. There will never be a better now. The words and their echo are as ever they were. Hardly perceptible in the tumult of the city. In all our factories and in all our offices and all the stations and all the prisons and all the hospitals. Now only echo, and then no more. What is The Situation? With proud chin and head held high, I strangle my workplace. Bury it, leave it behind. What do you see now? It’s morning and I shred my skin on the world around me, mercilessly, coarsely. What do you see now? Forgetting in the rhythm of our bodies what movement was. What do you see now? That all your thinking in this world will be my thinking. That all your belief in this world will be my belief. What do you see now? The power of speculation, the power of difference. What do you see now? Cold intimacy, disguised as praxis of love, wiped away by a new wind that blusters through our history. What do you see now? A wedding, the street and the institution. What is The Situation? What is our duty? Radical empathy. What is The Situation? I forfeit the community that never was. What is The Situation? The forlorn vitality of an Arno. I won’t smooth my edges. Not for you, not for me. What is The Situation? I’m becoming impossible.

De Situatie 3

De Situatie 3

Liefdespraxis — Weer in beweging komen — Niks dan echo — Exit

Wat is De Situatie? Het is bijna ochtend, en ik sta op post. Denkend aan de beginselen van oorlogsesthetiek, corporate infighting en het sputterende bloed, dat mij draaiende houdt. De adem rustig, de spieren weer warm, de geest weer helder. Jullie in het centrum mogen wel opletten. Er bestaat geen beter nu. De woorden als vanouds, de echo als vanouds. Nauwelijks verstaanbaar in het tumult van de stad. In al onze fabrieken en in alle kantoren en alle stations en alle gevangenissen en alle ziekenhuizen. Niks dan echo, en dan ook geen echo meer. Wat is De Situatie? Met een rechte kin, een opgeheven hoofd, mijn werkplek wurgen. Begraaf het, laat het achter. Wat zie je nu? Het is ochtend en ik schuur me aan de omwereld, genadeloos en grof. Wat zie je nu? In het ritme van onze lichamen vergeten wat beweging was. Wat zie je nu? Dat al jullie denken op deze wereld mijn denken zal zijn. Dat al jullie geloof op deze wereld mijn geloof zal zijn. Wat zie je nu? De kracht van speculatie, de kracht van het verschil. Wat zie je nu? Koude intimiteit, vermomd als liefdespraxis, weggeveegd door een nieuwe wind in onze geschiedenis. Wat zie je nu? Een huwelijk, de straat en het instituut. Wat is De Situatie? Wat is onze taak? Radicale empathie. Wat is De Situatie? Ik vermaak de gemeenschap die nooit heeft bestaan. Wat is De Situatie? De wanhopige vitaliteit van een Arno. Ik maak me niet glad. Niet voor jou, niet voor mij. Wat is De Situatie? Ik word onmogelijk.
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THE SITUATION 3

Praxis of love – Resumption of movement – Only echo – Exit

What is The Situation? It is almost morning and I’m standing at my post. Pondering the early aesthetics of war, corporate infighting and the sputtering blood that keeps me going. My breathing calm, my muscles warm again, my mind clear again. You in the centre would do well to mind your heads. There will never be a better now. The words and their echo are as ever they were. Hardly perceptible in the tumult of the city. In all our factories and in all our offices and all the stations and all the prisons and all the hospitals. Now only echo, and then no more. What is The Situation? With proud chin and head held high, I strangle my workplace. Bury it, leave it behind. What do you see now? It’s morning and I shred my skin on the world around me, mercilessly, coarsely. What do you see now? Forgetting in the rhythm of our bodies what movement was. What do you see now? That all your thinking in this world will be my thinking. That all your belief in this world will be my belief. What do you see now? The power of speculation, the power of difference. What do you see now? Cold intimacy, disguised as praxis of love, wiped away by a new wind that blusters through our history. What do you see now? A wedding, the street and the institution. What is The Situation? What is our duty? Radical empathy. What is The Situation? I forfeit the community that never was. What is The Situation? The forlorn vitality of an Arno. I won’t smooth my edges. Not for you, not for me. What is The Situation? I’m becoming impossible.

THE SITUATION 3

Praxis of love – Resumption of movement – Only echo – Exit

What is The Situation? It is almost morning and I’m standing at my post. Pondering the early aesthetics of war, corporate infighting and the sputtering blood that keeps me going. My breathing calm, my muscles warm again, my mind clear again. You in the centre would do well to mind your heads. There will never be a better now. The words and their echo are as ever they were. Hardly perceptible in the tumult of the city. In all our factories and in all our offices and all the stations and all the prisons and all the hospitals. Now only echo, and then no more. What is The Situation? With proud chin and head held high, I strangle my workplace. Bury it, leave it behind. What do you see now? It’s morning and I shred my skin on the world around me, mercilessly, coarsely. What do you see now? Forgetting in the rhythm of our bodies what movement was. What do you see now? That all your thinking in this world will be my thinking. That all your belief in this world will be my belief. What do you see now? The power of speculation, the power of difference. What do you see now? Cold intimacy, disguised as praxis of love, wiped away by a new wind that blusters through our history. What do you see now? A wedding, the street and the institution. What is The Situation? What is our duty? Radical empathy. What is The Situation? I forfeit the community that never was. What is The Situation? The forlorn vitality of an Arno. I won’t smooth my edges. Not for you, not for me. What is The Situation? I’m becoming impossible.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
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