Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Alfred Schaffer

INVESTIGATION

Life is wonderful here. Where is ‘here’? Have I changed? Why don’t I shake hands? Is that important? Did anyone call for me? Do I miss the wonderful buildings in my home country? Can I explain everything? What is there to explain? Do I have all the mod cons? Could I walk along the street without getting hassled back then? Whether I know my real name? My old name? Did I like smoking drinking fucking that kind of stuff? Do people look up to me nowadays? Am I afraid of the enemy? Or should I ask: did people look up to me? Would I harm myself for the sake of something greater? Something sublime? Do I like pizza or do I prefer kebab? Why not both? Do I speak my languages? Do I have a final message for my friends? Do I know people in need? Do I narrowly escape death a couple of times a day? Are those sirens I can hear? At this time of day? Can I handle loss? Do I still have a while or do I need to hang up now? Will everything be alright? Like in the Disney films? What I think? I don’t have time to think right now.

BESTEKOPNAME

BESTEKOPNAME

Het leven hier is prachtig. Waar is ‘hier’? Ben ik veranderd? Waarom geef ik geen hand? Is dat belangrijk? Heeft er nog iemand voor me gebeld? Mis ik de mooie gebouwen in mijn geboorteland? Kan ik alles uitleggen? Wat valt er uit te leggen? Ben ik van alle gemakken voorzien? Kon ik vroeger zonder al te veel problemen over straat? Of ik mijn echte naam nog weet? Mijn oude naam? Hield ik van roken drinken neuken dat soort dingen? Wordt er naar me opgekeken tegenwoordig? Ben ik bang voor de vijand? Of moet ik vragen: werd er naar me opgekeken? Zou ik mezelf iets aan kunnen doen in naam van iets groters? Iets subliems? Houd ik van pizza of eerder van shoarma? Mag het ook én-én zijn? Spreek ik mijn talen? Heb ik een laatste boodschap voor mijn vrienden? Ken ik mensen in nood? Ontsnap ik elke dag wel één of twee keer aan de dood? Hoor ik daar sirenes? Op dit tijdstip? Kan ik tegen mijn verlies? Heb ik nog even of moet ik ophangen? Komt het allemaal goed? Zoals in de Disneyfilms? Wat ik denk? Voor denken heb ik nu geen tijd.
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INVESTIGATION

Life is wonderful here. Where is ‘here’? Have I changed? Why don’t I shake hands? Is that important? Did anyone call for me? Do I miss the wonderful buildings in my home country? Can I explain everything? What is there to explain? Do I have all the mod cons? Could I walk along the street without getting hassled back then? Whether I know my real name? My old name? Did I like smoking drinking fucking that kind of stuff? Do people look up to me nowadays? Am I afraid of the enemy? Or should I ask: did people look up to me? Would I harm myself for the sake of something greater? Something sublime? Do I like pizza or do I prefer kebab? Why not both? Do I speak my languages? Do I have a final message for my friends? Do I know people in need? Do I narrowly escape death a couple of times a day? Are those sirens I can hear? At this time of day? Can I handle loss? Do I still have a while or do I need to hang up now? Will everything be alright? Like in the Disney films? What I think? I don’t have time to think right now.

INVESTIGATION

Life is wonderful here. Where is ‘here’? Have I changed? Why don’t I shake hands? Is that important? Did anyone call for me? Do I miss the wonderful buildings in my home country? Can I explain everything? What is there to explain? Do I have all the mod cons? Could I walk along the street without getting hassled back then? Whether I know my real name? My old name? Did I like smoking drinking fucking that kind of stuff? Do people look up to me nowadays? Am I afraid of the enemy? Or should I ask: did people look up to me? Would I harm myself for the sake of something greater? Something sublime? Do I like pizza or do I prefer kebab? Why not both? Do I speak my languages? Do I have a final message for my friends? Do I know people in need? Do I narrowly escape death a couple of times a day? Are those sirens I can hear? At this time of day? Can I handle loss? Do I still have a while or do I need to hang up now? Will everything be alright? Like in the Disney films? What I think? I don’t have time to think right now.
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
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère