Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Tsead Bruinja

Prinsengracht poem with expensive food

after not exchanging hugs and talking about
not exchanging hugs
after the vitello tonato the saltimbocca
and four or so glasses of white wine
that move the conversation with your 87-year-old friend
about whether to continue publishing work
when you’re old and perhaps not as
sharp as you used to be
on to comparing great loves
and differences in disposition

after the extra limoncello
that had to be ordered
after the limoncello on the house
at the end of the conversation
that you’d wanted to call off
because your throat felt dry
you look at the friend who just
paid for your food

you give her a hug a light kiss on the cheek
and begin at once to apologize
she brushes it aside and says in a side street in the Jordaan
where bikes are parked too closely together
I think I know what you mean

in the half-empty tram on your way home
it strikes you: it’s got me in its clutches
this weighing up of everything

but not yet tightly enough

grachtengordelgedicht met duur eten

grachtengordelgedicht met duur eten

na het elkaar niet omhelzen en het bespreken
van het elkaar niet omhelzen
na de vitello tonato de saltimbocca
en het viertal glazen witte wijn
die het gesprek met de 87-jarige vriendin
over het wel of niet doorgaan met publiceren
als je op leeftijd bent en misschien niet meer
beschikt over de scherpste pen
over laten vloeien
in het vergelijken van verliefdheden
het verschil in temperament

na de extra limoncello
die na de limoncello van het huis
nog besteld moest worden
aan het einde van het gesprek
dat je in eerste instantie wilde afblazen
vanwege je droge keel
kijk je de vriendin aan die betaald heeft
voor je eten

je geeft haar een knuffel een dunne kus op de wang
en begint meteen je te verontschuldigen
ze wuift het weg en zegt in een zijstraat van de jordaan
waar fietsen net wat te dicht op elkaar staan
ik denk dat ik weet wat je bedoelt

in de halflege tram naar huis gaat het door je heen
het heeft mij goed te pakken
dit wikken en dit wegen

maar nog niet stevig genoeg
Close

Prinsengracht poem with expensive food

after not exchanging hugs and talking about
not exchanging hugs
after the vitello tonato the saltimbocca
and four or so glasses of white wine
that move the conversation with your 87-year-old friend
about whether to continue publishing work
when you’re old and perhaps not as
sharp as you used to be
on to comparing great loves
and differences in disposition

after the extra limoncello
that had to be ordered
after the limoncello on the house
at the end of the conversation
that you’d wanted to call off
because your throat felt dry
you look at the friend who just
paid for your food

you give her a hug a light kiss on the cheek
and begin at once to apologize
she brushes it aside and says in a side street in the Jordaan
where bikes are parked too closely together
I think I know what you mean

in the half-empty tram on your way home
it strikes you: it’s got me in its clutches
this weighing up of everything

but not yet tightly enough

Prinsengracht poem with expensive food

after not exchanging hugs and talking about
not exchanging hugs
after the vitello tonato the saltimbocca
and four or so glasses of white wine
that move the conversation with your 87-year-old friend
about whether to continue publishing work
when you’re old and perhaps not as
sharp as you used to be
on to comparing great loves
and differences in disposition

after the extra limoncello
that had to be ordered
after the limoncello on the house
at the end of the conversation
that you’d wanted to call off
because your throat felt dry
you look at the friend who just
paid for your food

you give her a hug a light kiss on the cheek
and begin at once to apologize
she brushes it aside and says in a side street in the Jordaan
where bikes are parked too closely together
I think I know what you mean

in the half-empty tram on your way home
it strikes you: it’s got me in its clutches
this weighing up of everything

but not yet tightly enough
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