Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Jules Deelder

Stock Market Clash

It happened in the days
that part of the youth
wore their hair to the front
that life in the city began
to pick up pace and the
bearers of a new élan
came to blows in the usually
deserted streets as ‘quiffheads’
and ‘artniks’ were mercilessly
beaten regardless of whether
they wore their hair forward or
back from left and right by the
Local Bobbies on the steps of the
Exchange with long truncheons
from the sidecars of BMWs
tearing over the Exchange Square
where the Law as guardian
of the establishment didn’t
feel like distinguishing between
the two parties and saw
them both in the same light:
as scum of the earth who
breached the peace and the
local ban on public meetings
of more than three young persons
which was repeatedly adopted
from the Occupier for a good
price and trod all over which
ended up being a slap in the
face for the justice system
for which there was only one
appropriate answer thinkable:
hit back even harder than the
louts could even imagine with
everything that was available
to them to finally settle once
and for all who was boss in
the city so that law and order
could return as quickly as
possible to the usually deserted
streets and the well-to-do
bourgeoisie still not yet rudely
awakened from their well-
earned eternal rest so as to say
nothing of the working people who
in the interests of industrial peace
in the ports and builders yards
began to share just a little in the
fruits of the increased wealth
and was not best pleased with
a ‘rebellious youth’ who
damned well wanted to put the
status quo at risk and were not
susceptible to the myth of
Reconstruction above all a
bunch of snot-nosed bastards
who hadn’t gone through the war
and who for that alone had no
right to talk in the eyes of those
who in 1946 suddenly all turned
out to have been in the Resistance
and out of pure petulance wanted to
viciously cast the norms and
values they had been spoon-
fed for centuries to the curb
without even a second’s thought
for the possible dire
consequences for society in
general and the local business
climate in particular and thus
also that the harsh approach
of the Long Arm of the Law then
still so elegantly dressed in black
complete with riding boots and
trousers could count on wide
support amongst the populace
who would prefer to see young
people busy themselves in their
free time with group hikes
or focusing on the future by
trying to follow correspondence
courses particularly for improving
their bookkeeping skills or who
otherwise enjoyed collecting
cigar bands and/or sugar
packets and promoted mixed
woodwork as a means of battling
boredom and sometimes even
reading a book about the
breeding habits of the Bengal
bustard or the role of the royal
family in the modern era – in
short a youth that aimed for
higher things in life than
tearing through the usually
deserted streets on mopeds
with absurdly high steering
occasionally adorned with foxtails
with glammed-up girls in
petticoats or stone-washed
jeans with the fly at the back
and huddling together in
half-lit cellars with booze
and who knows some of those
funny cigarettes and roughly
tossing against one other
in the guise of dancing to the
barbaric sounds of negro
orchestras and placing the
laws of the ‘concrete jungle’
above conventional etiquette
and frightening the life out of
the well-meaning townsfolk
by beating each other to a pulp
in the usually deserted streets
because some of them wore
their hair to the front and others
preferred to comb it back in a
quiff and so it happened that
in the Battle of the Exchange Stairs
the Local Bobbies could without
consequence use everything
up their sleeves in terms
of violent means to give the
scum assembled on the Exchange-
Square a beating that to this day
has gone down in city’s history for
its harshness and which on its
own would have been no more
than a footnote had it not been
for the miracle that occurred when
‘quiffheads’ and ‘artniks’ who
would normally be telling one
another to go eat each other’s shit
were with every blow of prolonged
police brutality brought closer
and closer together and as
if by some sign from on high in
the heat of the fight they were
merged into one against a
common foe and much to his
surprise gave Mr Policeman
a strong dose of his own medicine
and in the years to come would
never again war with each other
as in the days of yore when
everyone was still in the dark and
the Battle of the Exchange Stairs
remained still hidden deep in the future…

Beurskrach

Beurskrach

Het geschiedde inde dagen
dat een deel van de jeugd het
haar naar voren ging dragen
dat het leven in de stad in
een stroomversnelling raakte
en de dragers van een nieuw
elan in de doorgaans uitge­
storven straten als 'kuiven'
en 'artistiekelingen' met el­
kander slaags raakten en door
de plaatselijke Hermandad op
de Beurstrappen met de lange
wapenstok vanuit de zijspans
van links en rechts over het
Beursplein voortjakkerende
BMW-motoren genadeloos uit­
een werden geslagen ongeacht
of het haar nu naar voren of
naar achteren werd gedragen
daar het Gezag als hoeder
van de gevestigde orde niet
van zins was onderscheid te
maken tussen twee strijdende
partijen die het zelf maar
in één enkel licht zag: als
tuig-van-de-richel dat de
orde verstoorde en 't plaat-
selijk samenscholingsverbod
voor drie of meer jeugdige
personen dat voor een zacht
prijsje van de Bezetter was
overgenomen bij herhaling met
voeten trad wat als een klap
in het gezicht van de rechts­
orde diende opgevat waarop
maar één passend antwoord
te bedenken was: hárder te­
rugslaan dan het gajes ooit
zou durven dromen met alles
wat men daartoe ter beschik­
king had om voor eens en al­
tijd uit te maken wie er écht
de baas was in de stad opdat
recht en orde er zo spoedig
mogelijk zouden wederkeren in
de doorgaans uitgestorven
straten en de gezeten burge-
rij niet nog es ruw uit haar
welverdiende grafrust zou
worden opgeschrikt om van
het werkvolk maar te zwijgen
dat terwille van de arbeids­
vrede in de havens en de
bouw net een beetje in de
vruchten der gestegen wel­
vaart begon mee te delen en
in 't geheel niet was ge-
diend van een 'botsende jeugd'
die de status quo hier wel
es even op de tocht kwam zet­
ten en voor de mythe van de
Wederopbouw niet gevoelig leek
een stel snotneuzen nota bene
dat de oorlog niet had mee­
gemaakt en alleen dáarom al
geen enkel recht van spreken
had in de ogen van diegenen
die in 1946 ineens massaal
in het Verzet hadden gezeten
en louter uit balorigheid de
normen en waarden die van­
ouds met de paplepel waren
ingegoten naast het grof vuil
op de stoeprand wou zetten
zonder ook maar één seconde
stil te staan bij de mogelijk
funeste gevolgen voor de be­
schaving in het algemeen en
het locale ondernemersklimaat
in het bijzonder en vandaar
dan ook dat de bikkelharde
aanpak van de destijds nog zo
elegant van top tot teen in
het zwart gehulde Sterke Arm
compleet met rijbroeken en
-laarzen op brede steun onder
de bevolking kon rekenen
die liever een jeugd zag
die zich in haar vrije tijd
en masse aan de beoefening
van de wandelsport wijdde
of met het oog op morgen
middels schriftelijke curses
nader in het boekhouden
trachtte te bekwamen of die
anders leuk sigarenbandjes
en/of suikerzakjes spaarde
en het gemengd figuurzagen
propageerde als middel om
de verveling te verjagen
of in voorkomende gevallen
zelfs wel eens een boek las
over de broedgewoonten van
de Bengaalse trapgans of
de rol van het vorstenhuis
in de moderne tijd- een
jeugd kortom die hogere
doelen in het leven na­
streefde dan op zelfopge­
voerde al dan niet van vos­
senstaarten en absurd hoog
stuur voorziene brommers
door de doorgaans uitge­
storven straten van de stad
te scheuren met opgedirkte
meiden in petticoats of uit­
gebleekte spijkerbroeken met
voorsluiting achterop en
in halfduistere kelderge­
welven met drank en wie
wist wel van die rare siga­
retjes bijeen te hokken en
elkander onder het mom van
dansen tot het ochtendgloren
op de barbaarse klanken van
negerorkesten ruw heen en
weer te smijten en de wetten
van de 'asfaltjungle' boven
de gangbare gedragsregels
te stellen en de goedwillen­
de burgers van de stad de
stuipen op het lijf te jagen
door mekaar in de doorgaans
uitgestorven straten op
leven en dood te bevechten
omdat de een het haar naar
voren wenste te dragen waar
de ander het liever naar
achteren kamde met een kuif
en zo kon het geschieden
dat de plaatselijke Herman­
dad in de Slag om de Beurs­
trappen ongestraft álles
uit de kast mocht trekken
wat er aan geweldsmiddelen
voorhanden was om het ver­
zameld schorem op het Beurs­
plein een pak slaag te ver­
kopen dat qua hardheid z'n
weerga in de stadsannalen
tot op de dag van heden niet
kent maar dat an sich hier
nog geen bijzondere vermel­
ding zou verdienen indien
niet op het hoogtepunt een
wonder was geschied in die
zin dat 'kuiven' en 'artis­
tiekelingen' die normaal ge­
sproken mekaars bloed wel
konden drinken onder het aan­
houdend politiegeweld met
elke klap méér naar elkaar
toe werden gedreven om zich
in het heetst der strijd als
op een van Hogerhand gegeven
teken plots als één man tegen
hun gemeenschappelijke vijand
te keren en Oom Agent tot
diens verbijstering nog een
stevige koek van eigen deeg
te presenteren en die el-
kaar in de jaren die volgden
nooit meer zó naar het leven
zouden staan als in de dagen
van weleer toen iedereen
maar zo'n beetje in het
duister liep te tasten en
de Slag om de Beurstrappen
nog in de schoot van de
toekomst verborgen lag...
Close

Stock Market Clash

It happened in the days
that part of the youth
wore their hair to the front
that life in the city began
to pick up pace and the
bearers of a new élan
came to blows in the usually
deserted streets as ‘quiffheads’
and ‘artniks’ were mercilessly
beaten regardless of whether
they wore their hair forward or
back from left and right by the
Local Bobbies on the steps of the
Exchange with long truncheons
from the sidecars of BMWs
tearing over the Exchange Square
where the Law as guardian
of the establishment didn’t
feel like distinguishing between
the two parties and saw
them both in the same light:
as scum of the earth who
breached the peace and the
local ban on public meetings
of more than three young persons
which was repeatedly adopted
from the Occupier for a good
price and trod all over which
ended up being a slap in the
face for the justice system
for which there was only one
appropriate answer thinkable:
hit back even harder than the
louts could even imagine with
everything that was available
to them to finally settle once
and for all who was boss in
the city so that law and order
could return as quickly as
possible to the usually deserted
streets and the well-to-do
bourgeoisie still not yet rudely
awakened from their well-
earned eternal rest so as to say
nothing of the working people who
in the interests of industrial peace
in the ports and builders yards
began to share just a little in the
fruits of the increased wealth
and was not best pleased with
a ‘rebellious youth’ who
damned well wanted to put the
status quo at risk and were not
susceptible to the myth of
Reconstruction above all a
bunch of snot-nosed bastards
who hadn’t gone through the war
and who for that alone had no
right to talk in the eyes of those
who in 1946 suddenly all turned
out to have been in the Resistance
and out of pure petulance wanted to
viciously cast the norms and
values they had been spoon-
fed for centuries to the curb
without even a second’s thought
for the possible dire
consequences for society in
general and the local business
climate in particular and thus
also that the harsh approach
of the Long Arm of the Law then
still so elegantly dressed in black
complete with riding boots and
trousers could count on wide
support amongst the populace
who would prefer to see young
people busy themselves in their
free time with group hikes
or focusing on the future by
trying to follow correspondence
courses particularly for improving
their bookkeeping skills or who
otherwise enjoyed collecting
cigar bands and/or sugar
packets and promoted mixed
woodwork as a means of battling
boredom and sometimes even
reading a book about the
breeding habits of the Bengal
bustard or the role of the royal
family in the modern era – in
short a youth that aimed for
higher things in life than
tearing through the usually
deserted streets on mopeds
with absurdly high steering
occasionally adorned with foxtails
with glammed-up girls in
petticoats or stone-washed
jeans with the fly at the back
and huddling together in
half-lit cellars with booze
and who knows some of those
funny cigarettes and roughly
tossing against one other
in the guise of dancing to the
barbaric sounds of negro
orchestras and placing the
laws of the ‘concrete jungle’
above conventional etiquette
and frightening the life out of
the well-meaning townsfolk
by beating each other to a pulp
in the usually deserted streets
because some of them wore
their hair to the front and others
preferred to comb it back in a
quiff and so it happened that
in the Battle of the Exchange Stairs
the Local Bobbies could without
consequence use everything
up their sleeves in terms
of violent means to give the
scum assembled on the Exchange-
Square a beating that to this day
has gone down in city’s history for
its harshness and which on its
own would have been no more
than a footnote had it not been
for the miracle that occurred when
‘quiffheads’ and ‘artniks’ who
would normally be telling one
another to go eat each other’s shit
were with every blow of prolonged
police brutality brought closer
and closer together and as
if by some sign from on high in
the heat of the fight they were
merged into one against a
common foe and much to his
surprise gave Mr Policeman
a strong dose of his own medicine
and in the years to come would
never again war with each other
as in the days of yore when
everyone was still in the dark and
the Battle of the Exchange Stairs
remained still hidden deep in the future…

Stock Market Clash

It happened in the days
that part of the youth
wore their hair to the front
that life in the city began
to pick up pace and the
bearers of a new élan
came to blows in the usually
deserted streets as ‘quiffheads’
and ‘artniks’ were mercilessly
beaten regardless of whether
they wore their hair forward or
back from left and right by the
Local Bobbies on the steps of the
Exchange with long truncheons
from the sidecars of BMWs
tearing over the Exchange Square
where the Law as guardian
of the establishment didn’t
feel like distinguishing between
the two parties and saw
them both in the same light:
as scum of the earth who
breached the peace and the
local ban on public meetings
of more than three young persons
which was repeatedly adopted
from the Occupier for a good
price and trod all over which
ended up being a slap in the
face for the justice system
for which there was only one
appropriate answer thinkable:
hit back even harder than the
louts could even imagine with
everything that was available
to them to finally settle once
and for all who was boss in
the city so that law and order
could return as quickly as
possible to the usually deserted
streets and the well-to-do
bourgeoisie still not yet rudely
awakened from their well-
earned eternal rest so as to say
nothing of the working people who
in the interests of industrial peace
in the ports and builders yards
began to share just a little in the
fruits of the increased wealth
and was not best pleased with
a ‘rebellious youth’ who
damned well wanted to put the
status quo at risk and were not
susceptible to the myth of
Reconstruction above all a
bunch of snot-nosed bastards
who hadn’t gone through the war
and who for that alone had no
right to talk in the eyes of those
who in 1946 suddenly all turned
out to have been in the Resistance
and out of pure petulance wanted to
viciously cast the norms and
values they had been spoon-
fed for centuries to the curb
without even a second’s thought
for the possible dire
consequences for society in
general and the local business
climate in particular and thus
also that the harsh approach
of the Long Arm of the Law then
still so elegantly dressed in black
complete with riding boots and
trousers could count on wide
support amongst the populace
who would prefer to see young
people busy themselves in their
free time with group hikes
or focusing on the future by
trying to follow correspondence
courses particularly for improving
their bookkeeping skills or who
otherwise enjoyed collecting
cigar bands and/or sugar
packets and promoted mixed
woodwork as a means of battling
boredom and sometimes even
reading a book about the
breeding habits of the Bengal
bustard or the role of the royal
family in the modern era – in
short a youth that aimed for
higher things in life than
tearing through the usually
deserted streets on mopeds
with absurdly high steering
occasionally adorned with foxtails
with glammed-up girls in
petticoats or stone-washed
jeans with the fly at the back
and huddling together in
half-lit cellars with booze
and who knows some of those
funny cigarettes and roughly
tossing against one other
in the guise of dancing to the
barbaric sounds of negro
orchestras and placing the
laws of the ‘concrete jungle’
above conventional etiquette
and frightening the life out of
the well-meaning townsfolk
by beating each other to a pulp
in the usually deserted streets
because some of them wore
their hair to the front and others
preferred to comb it back in a
quiff and so it happened that
in the Battle of the Exchange Stairs
the Local Bobbies could without
consequence use everything
up their sleeves in terms
of violent means to give the
scum assembled on the Exchange-
Square a beating that to this day
has gone down in city’s history for
its harshness and which on its
own would have been no more
than a footnote had it not been
for the miracle that occurred when
‘quiffheads’ and ‘artniks’ who
would normally be telling one
another to go eat each other’s shit
were with every blow of prolonged
police brutality brought closer
and closer together and as
if by some sign from on high in
the heat of the fight they were
merged into one against a
common foe and much to his
surprise gave Mr Policeman
a strong dose of his own medicine
and in the years to come would
never again war with each other
as in the days of yore when
everyone was still in the dark and
the Battle of the Exchange Stairs
remained still hidden deep in the future…
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