Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Bernke Klein Zandvoort

THE OTHER

there is a night within the night and when I wake up there

I wonder where I live when my eyes bring me nothing

and find myself in the mere flare-up of a battery

somewhere at the back of the room and in my heartbeat

from years ago


in a bed beside the railway line where in the day

every fifteen minutes trains raced a silence through our conversations

                                                                        we were geared to it

nonetheless, each time, in that silence the other person appeared as an other

afraid I would no longer be able to translate the other into my mother

I polished the enigma away by focusing on the curtains

and by waiting

                                                    seconds          lasted                         years

until, last week, in my room I asked two people

to keep looking at each other

and tied a string round their forefingers

which they had to move once they no longer recognised the other

                                                and in the face an animal emerges

that a face becomes so forsaken
that you're left with your own looking

DE ANDER

DE ANDER

er is een nacht in de nacht en als ik daarin wakker word

vraag ik me af waar ik woon als mijn ogen me niets komen brengen

vind mezelf alleen in het opflitsen van een accu

ergens achter in de kamer en in mijn hartslag

van jaren terug

in een bed naast de spoorlijn waar treinen overdag

elk kwartier een stilte raasden door onze gesprekken
      daar waren we op gestemd
toch werd in die stilte elke keer de ander als een ander zichtbaar

bang dat ik de ander niet meer naar mijn moeder zou kunnen vertalen

poetste ik het raadsel weg door scherp te stellen op de gordijnen
en
te wachten
     seconden  duurden
tot ik vorige week twee mensen in mijn kamer vroeg

om naar elkaar te blijven kijken

en een touwtje om hun wijsvinger bond

die ze moesten bewegen als ze de ander niet meer herkenden
    er in het gezicht een dier loskomt
dat een gezicht zó verlaten wordt
dat je overblijft met je eigen kijken





jaren

Close

THE OTHER

there is a night within the night and when I wake up there

I wonder where I live when my eyes bring me nothing

and find myself in the mere flare-up of a battery

somewhere at the back of the room and in my heartbeat

from years ago


in a bed beside the railway line where in the day

every fifteen minutes trains raced a silence through our conversations

                                                                        we were geared to it

nonetheless, each time, in that silence the other person appeared as an other

afraid I would no longer be able to translate the other into my mother

I polished the enigma away by focusing on the curtains

and by waiting

                                                    seconds          lasted                         years

until, last week, in my room I asked two people

to keep looking at each other

and tied a string round their forefingers

which they had to move once they no longer recognised the other

                                                and in the face an animal emerges

that a face becomes so forsaken
that you're left with your own looking

THE OTHER

there is a night within the night and when I wake up there

I wonder where I live when my eyes bring me nothing

and find myself in the mere flare-up of a battery

somewhere at the back of the room and in my heartbeat

from years ago


in a bed beside the railway line where in the day

every fifteen minutes trains raced a silence through our conversations

                                                                        we were geared to it

nonetheless, each time, in that silence the other person appeared as an other

afraid I would no longer be able to translate the other into my mother

I polished the enigma away by focusing on the curtains

and by waiting

                                                    seconds          lasted                         years

until, last week, in my room I asked two people

to keep looking at each other

and tied a string round their forefingers

which they had to move once they no longer recognised the other

                                                and in the face an animal emerges

that a face becomes so forsaken
that you're left with your own looking

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