Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Erik Lindner

TO ACEDIA

1. She is where she saw him.
(A sideways glance
at the oncoming traffic.)

The suitcase by his right foot.
A coat over his arm.

He asks: was her hand here?
He sits down on the upright case.

A hand burns on her belly
and a hand burns above
the car tyre turning in the sun.

She wipes saliva from her lips.
Her fingers brush the sunlight off his suit.


2. Once a filter cigarette is wedged
into the slide of a matchbox on her knee,
she slides her hand into the V of her sweater.
Fingertips on her collarbone.

A pin on his suit. (Milk from the spotlight.)
Finely-striped socks. The edge of a thumb under a brooch.
A smile clenched to a yawn in a handkerchief.

Nothing escapes her.
No-one escapes her.


A tea-towel without a pattern.
A loaf without an oven.


3. It wouldn't be a proper boat trip without those birds
she says and on the guardrail
her hand covers the graffiti.

She has a skirt round her neck.
She’s wearing yesterday's makeup.
A gust of wind frees her earlobe.

His mouth seldom tastes 
of the cage in the hull.
Birds tap against the frame.

Naar Acedia

Naar Acedia

1. Ze is daar waar zij hem heeft gezien.
(Zijdelings een oogopslag
in de tegengestelde rijrichting.)

De koffer aan zijn rechtervoet.
Een jas over de arm.

Hij vraagt: is haar hand hier geweest?
Hij neemt plaats op de staande koffer.

Een hand brandt op haar onderbuik
en een hand brandt boven
de draaiende autoband in de zon.

Ze veegt speeksel van haar lippen.
Ze slaat het zonlicht van zijn pak.


2. Als op haar knie een filtersigaret
in de opening van een lucifersdoos steekt,
steekt ze een hand in de v-hals van haar trui.
De vingertoppen op het sleutelbeen.

Een speld op zijn kostuum. (Melk uit de schijnwerper.)
Sokken met fijne strepen. De duimrand onder een broche.
Een glimlach in een zakdoek gekneed tot een geeuw.

Niets ontgaat haar.
Niemand ontgaat haar.


Een theedoek zonder motief.
Een brood zonder oven.


3. Bij zo’n boottocht vind ik die vogels toch wel passen
zegt ze en op de reling
bedekt haar hand de graffiti.

Ze heeft een jurk om haar hals.
De make-up is van de vorige dag.
In een windvlaag komt haar oorlel vrij.

Zelden smaakt zijn mond
naar de kooi in de romp.
Vogels tikken tegen de lijst.
Close

TO ACEDIA

1. She is where she saw him.
(A sideways glance
at the oncoming traffic.)

The suitcase by his right foot.
A coat over his arm.

He asks: was her hand here?
He sits down on the upright case.

A hand burns on her belly
and a hand burns above
the car tyre turning in the sun.

She wipes saliva from her lips.
Her fingers brush the sunlight off his suit.


2. Once a filter cigarette is wedged
into the slide of a matchbox on her knee,
she slides her hand into the V of her sweater.
Fingertips on her collarbone.

A pin on his suit. (Milk from the spotlight.)
Finely-striped socks. The edge of a thumb under a brooch.
A smile clenched to a yawn in a handkerchief.

Nothing escapes her.
No-one escapes her.


A tea-towel without a pattern.
A loaf without an oven.


3. It wouldn't be a proper boat trip without those birds
she says and on the guardrail
her hand covers the graffiti.

She has a skirt round her neck.
She’s wearing yesterday's makeup.
A gust of wind frees her earlobe.

His mouth seldom tastes 
of the cage in the hull.
Birds tap against the frame.

TO ACEDIA

1. She is where she saw him.
(A sideways glance
at the oncoming traffic.)

The suitcase by his right foot.
A coat over his arm.

He asks: was her hand here?
He sits down on the upright case.

A hand burns on her belly
and a hand burns above
the car tyre turning in the sun.

She wipes saliva from her lips.
Her fingers brush the sunlight off his suit.


2. Once a filter cigarette is wedged
into the slide of a matchbox on her knee,
she slides her hand into the V of her sweater.
Fingertips on her collarbone.

A pin on his suit. (Milk from the spotlight.)
Finely-striped socks. The edge of a thumb under a brooch.
A smile clenched to a yawn in a handkerchief.

Nothing escapes her.
No-one escapes her.


A tea-towel without a pattern.
A loaf without an oven.


3. It wouldn't be a proper boat trip without those birds
she says and on the guardrail
her hand covers the graffiti.

She has a skirt round her neck.
She’s wearing yesterday's makeup.
A gust of wind frees her earlobe.

His mouth seldom tastes 
of the cage in the hull.
Birds tap against the frame.
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