Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Erik Lindner

18 SEPTEMBER 1994

1.      All that is born can disappear.

How on a boiling day a low bench
receives shade from seven olive trees.
How one’s bottom goes clammy in contact
with massive and age-old stone.

How the tramontana breaks the sea’s plane
and through penetrating light of a lazy sun
picks up and twirls the water’s surface
in hurricanes yellow, blue, ochre, sand, water.

Vertigo can dissolve, directionless.

Swallows that dive like bats do
along the steep cliff behind the bench
where the path winds its way through three bays
but still points only to France.


2.      Nothing dies willingly in Port Bou.

The girl from Aragon on the beach
takes her skirt off and lopes like an antilope
through the surf while her leather bag
holds a writing case with ironwork,
She’s here only for this Sunday
that is like a nameless history.

An empty pedestal on a steel plateau.
Front garden of desolate customs post.
A rock that almost slides into the sea.
Give it designations colourblind
play of tramontana, wind as strong
as lofty mountains, makes you shiver in the sun.


3.      All that is born can disappear.

The free provision of penicillin
and morphine. In the old pension room
two beds stand between a wall
of disease. You and I, who is the male one?

What is being a male? The scraping
of a blade across an inflamed throat,
how it feels to be shaved
one last time, for a party

you won’t attend. Or how
a child laughing throws sand
at the sun. Falling and no
shame till you rise again.


4.      All that is not born can also disappear.

Sand, roots, helm grass, tracks that never
ran here. The inhabitants who gaze after
the traveller but do not give his description.
Their gait still disturbed after the building

of a monument. Now, as the tramontana
licks at your body and picks up you and your glasses,
carries them along. Where the passage brings
the churchyard to the edge of the abyss above the surf.

Details of it only the short-sighted can find.
How it got here? Fifty years ago. To for-
get such a thing is barbaric. Even the defacing
of an artwork is a cultural expression.

I did this. Unscrupulous. Today. Date.

18 september 1994

18 september 1994

1.      Alles wat ontstaan is kan verdwijnen.

Hoe op een hete dag een lange bank
schaduw ontvangt van zeven olijfbomen.
Hoe het zitvlak verklamt in aanraking
met massief en eeuwenoud steen.

Hoe de tramontane de zeespiegel breekt
en door indringend licht van een lome zon
het wateroppervlak oppikt en ronddraait
in orkanen geel, blauw, oker, zand, water.

Hoogtevrees kan oplossen, richtingloos.

Zwaluwen die als vleermuizen duiken
Langs de steile rotswand achter de bank
Waar het pad drie baaien doorslingert
Maar nog slechts naar Frankrijk wijst.


2.      Niets sterft vrijwillig in Port Bou.

Het meisje uit Aragon op het strand
doet haar rok uit en loopt antilopig
door de branding terwijl haar leren tas
een schrijfmap bewaart met ijzerwerk.
Ze is hier alleen voor deze zondag
Die gelijk een naamloze geschiedenis is.

Een lege sokkel op een stalen plateau.
De voortuin van een verlaten douanepost.
Een rots die haast wegglijdt in de zee.
Geef het daar kleurenblind benamingen
Spel van tramontane, wind met kracht
Van hoge bergen, doet rillen in de zon.


3.      Alles wat ontstaan is kan verdwijnen.

Het vrijelijk verstrekken van peniciline
en morfine. In de oude pensionkamer
staan twee bedden tussen een muur
van ziekte. Jij en ik, wie is mannelijk?

Wat is mannelijkheid? Het schrapen
van een mesje over de ontstoken keel,
hoe het voelt te worden geschoren
de laatste keer, voor een feest waar

je niet meer bij zal zijn. Of hoe
een kind lachend zand gooit
naar de zon. Vallen en pas
schaamte bij het opstaan.


4.      Ook wat niet ontstaan is kan verdwijnen.

Zand, wortels, helmgras, sporen die hier
nimmer liepen. De inwoners die de reiziger
nastaren maar zijn signalement niet geven.
Hun gang nog verstoord na het bouwen

van een monument. Nu, als de tramontane
aan je lichaam likt en jou en je bril oppikt,
die meevoert. Waar de passage het kerkhof
brengt tot aan de afgrond boven de branding.

Daaromtrent kan enkel een bijziende vinden.
Hoe het hier komt? Vijftig jaar geleden. Zo-
Iets vergeten is barbaars. Zelfs de verminking
Van een kunstwerk is een uiting van cultuur.

Dit deed ik. Gewetenloos. Vandaag. Datum.
Close

18 SEPTEMBER 1994

1.      All that is born can disappear.

How on a boiling day a low bench
receives shade from seven olive trees.
How one’s bottom goes clammy in contact
with massive and age-old stone.

How the tramontana breaks the sea’s plane
and through penetrating light of a lazy sun
picks up and twirls the water’s surface
in hurricanes yellow, blue, ochre, sand, water.

Vertigo can dissolve, directionless.

Swallows that dive like bats do
along the steep cliff behind the bench
where the path winds its way through three bays
but still points only to France.


2.      Nothing dies willingly in Port Bou.

The girl from Aragon on the beach
takes her skirt off and lopes like an antilope
through the surf while her leather bag
holds a writing case with ironwork,
She’s here only for this Sunday
that is like a nameless history.

An empty pedestal on a steel plateau.
Front garden of desolate customs post.
A rock that almost slides into the sea.
Give it designations colourblind
play of tramontana, wind as strong
as lofty mountains, makes you shiver in the sun.


3.      All that is born can disappear.

The free provision of penicillin
and morphine. In the old pension room
two beds stand between a wall
of disease. You and I, who is the male one?

What is being a male? The scraping
of a blade across an inflamed throat,
how it feels to be shaved
one last time, for a party

you won’t attend. Or how
a child laughing throws sand
at the sun. Falling and no
shame till you rise again.


4.      All that is not born can also disappear.

Sand, roots, helm grass, tracks that never
ran here. The inhabitants who gaze after
the traveller but do not give his description.
Their gait still disturbed after the building

of a monument. Now, as the tramontana
licks at your body and picks up you and your glasses,
carries them along. Where the passage brings
the churchyard to the edge of the abyss above the surf.

Details of it only the short-sighted can find.
How it got here? Fifty years ago. To for-
get such a thing is barbaric. Even the defacing
of an artwork is a cultural expression.

I did this. Unscrupulous. Today. Date.

18 SEPTEMBER 1994

1.      All that is born can disappear.

How on a boiling day a low bench
receives shade from seven olive trees.
How one’s bottom goes clammy in contact
with massive and age-old stone.

How the tramontana breaks the sea’s plane
and through penetrating light of a lazy sun
picks up and twirls the water’s surface
in hurricanes yellow, blue, ochre, sand, water.

Vertigo can dissolve, directionless.

Swallows that dive like bats do
along the steep cliff behind the bench
where the path winds its way through three bays
but still points only to France.


2.      Nothing dies willingly in Port Bou.

The girl from Aragon on the beach
takes her skirt off and lopes like an antilope
through the surf while her leather bag
holds a writing case with ironwork,
She’s here only for this Sunday
that is like a nameless history.

An empty pedestal on a steel plateau.
Front garden of desolate customs post.
A rock that almost slides into the sea.
Give it designations colourblind
play of tramontana, wind as strong
as lofty mountains, makes you shiver in the sun.


3.      All that is born can disappear.

The free provision of penicillin
and morphine. In the old pension room
two beds stand between a wall
of disease. You and I, who is the male one?

What is being a male? The scraping
of a blade across an inflamed throat,
how it feels to be shaved
one last time, for a party

you won’t attend. Or how
a child laughing throws sand
at the sun. Falling and no
shame till you rise again.


4.      All that is not born can also disappear.

Sand, roots, helm grass, tracks that never
ran here. The inhabitants who gaze after
the traveller but do not give his description.
Their gait still disturbed after the building

of a monument. Now, as the tramontana
licks at your body and picks up you and your glasses,
carries them along. Where the passage brings
the churchyard to the edge of the abyss above the surf.

Details of it only the short-sighted can find.
How it got here? Fifty years ago. To for-
get such a thing is barbaric. Even the defacing
of an artwork is a cultural expression.

I did this. Unscrupulous. Today. Date.
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
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