Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Andriy Bondar

Genes

I have very good genes
my great-great-grandfather lived to be 119 and died with dignity
simply walked into his house lied down and died
having said before this “well now I will die” and my granny and his granddaughter
(when I hear this story for the umpteenth time I can’t stop laughing)
even calms him down “no grandpa it’s still far too early”

perhaps my granny isn’t telling the truth
and perhaps she’s telling the truth but not the whole truth
after all I can’t dare say she is lying you can’t say that about your elders
but sometimes it seems to me granny embellishes things just a bit
119 years is too much even for the early 20th century
but who knows? no one counted those peasants anyway
nor did anyone issue them any documents

but all the same, I have fantastic genes
whatever you say
I have all the chances of making it to eighty and if gerontology
will advance in its scholarly pursuits and they invent
some new pills from old age then one can live on
even to ninety

my present lifestyle and the way I test my health
is an altogether different question
how we all fuck up and shit over our health
inhale tobacco smoke drink chlorinated water
keep sleepless nights get up at noon suffer from stress
wives betray us we betray our wives
every single day we die from jealousy
shepherd our property hold on to our wallets on the bus
sit in front of computers for hours

on the one hand ads call us to healthy living
to healthy sex and cheer us up in various ways
on the other it’s so hard to put on a condom
already at 29 it’s so hard to put on a condom
it would be easier to put in on a foot no I am not saying that I have erection problems
few people have erection problems at 29
but if I keep my laptop on top of my balls for another month
no spanish fly yohimbe  or even viagra would save me

but I can’t do otherwise
I will continue keeping my laptop on top of my balls and
writing my hopeless verse which people increasingly often call stories
one aging lady, a sister of a slovene poet
who has been waiting in line for the nobel prize for several years now
said precisely this, “and why do you call THIS poetry?”

no I wanted to answer her don’t you worry
I am not going to compete with your brother
I am still too young for the nobel prize
I’ve a laptop on top of my balls and besides
I am not personally acquainted with john ashbery
and don’t have english translations
so stay cool old lady don’t you worry about your brother

I will go on keeping my laptop on top of my balls because
I can’t do otherwise it just doesn’t work out
if you like call this stuff stories or call it dogshit
I can’t do otherwise

I can no longer let myself write in metaphors
play with the tradition and write about snails
perhaps you are right and poetry died inside me
(good God a metaphor again) and I am no poet any more
even less a poet of culture or a poet of nature

I’m a poet who keeps his laptop on top of his balls
simply call me thus,
“Andriy Bondar, a poet who keeps his laptop on top of his balls”

you can’t pay me a better compliment

should I explain to you what a laptop is?

GENES

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Genes

I have very good genes
my great-great-grandfather lived to be 119 and died with dignity
simply walked into his house lied down and died
having said before this “well now I will die” and my granny and his granddaughter
(when I hear this story for the umpteenth time I can’t stop laughing)
even calms him down “no grandpa it’s still far too early”

perhaps my granny isn’t telling the truth
and perhaps she’s telling the truth but not the whole truth
after all I can’t dare say she is lying you can’t say that about your elders
but sometimes it seems to me granny embellishes things just a bit
119 years is too much even for the early 20th century
but who knows? no one counted those peasants anyway
nor did anyone issue them any documents

but all the same, I have fantastic genes
whatever you say
I have all the chances of making it to eighty and if gerontology
will advance in its scholarly pursuits and they invent
some new pills from old age then one can live on
even to ninety

my present lifestyle and the way I test my health
is an altogether different question
how we all fuck up and shit over our health
inhale tobacco smoke drink chlorinated water
keep sleepless nights get up at noon suffer from stress
wives betray us we betray our wives
every single day we die from jealousy
shepherd our property hold on to our wallets on the bus
sit in front of computers for hours

on the one hand ads call us to healthy living
to healthy sex and cheer us up in various ways
on the other it’s so hard to put on a condom
already at 29 it’s so hard to put on a condom
it would be easier to put in on a foot no I am not saying that I have erection problems
few people have erection problems at 29
but if I keep my laptop on top of my balls for another month
no spanish fly yohimbe  or even viagra would save me

but I can’t do otherwise
I will continue keeping my laptop on top of my balls and
writing my hopeless verse which people increasingly often call stories
one aging lady, a sister of a slovene poet
who has been waiting in line for the nobel prize for several years now
said precisely this, “and why do you call THIS poetry?”

no I wanted to answer her don’t you worry
I am not going to compete with your brother
I am still too young for the nobel prize
I’ve a laptop on top of my balls and besides
I am not personally acquainted with john ashbery
and don’t have english translations
so stay cool old lady don’t you worry about your brother

I will go on keeping my laptop on top of my balls because
I can’t do otherwise it just doesn’t work out
if you like call this stuff stories or call it dogshit
I can’t do otherwise

I can no longer let myself write in metaphors
play with the tradition and write about snails
perhaps you are right and poetry died inside me
(good God a metaphor again) and I am no poet any more
even less a poet of culture or a poet of nature

I’m a poet who keeps his laptop on top of his balls
simply call me thus,
“Andriy Bondar, a poet who keeps his laptop on top of his balls”

you can’t pay me a better compliment

should I explain to you what a laptop is?

Genes

I have very good genes
my great-great-grandfather lived to be 119 and died with dignity
simply walked into his house lied down and died
having said before this “well now I will die” and my granny and his granddaughter
(when I hear this story for the umpteenth time I can’t stop laughing)
even calms him down “no grandpa it’s still far too early”

perhaps my granny isn’t telling the truth
and perhaps she’s telling the truth but not the whole truth
after all I can’t dare say she is lying you can’t say that about your elders
but sometimes it seems to me granny embellishes things just a bit
119 years is too much even for the early 20th century
but who knows? no one counted those peasants anyway
nor did anyone issue them any documents

but all the same, I have fantastic genes
whatever you say
I have all the chances of making it to eighty and if gerontology
will advance in its scholarly pursuits and they invent
some new pills from old age then one can live on
even to ninety

my present lifestyle and the way I test my health
is an altogether different question
how we all fuck up and shit over our health
inhale tobacco smoke drink chlorinated water
keep sleepless nights get up at noon suffer from stress
wives betray us we betray our wives
every single day we die from jealousy
shepherd our property hold on to our wallets on the bus
sit in front of computers for hours

on the one hand ads call us to healthy living
to healthy sex and cheer us up in various ways
on the other it’s so hard to put on a condom
already at 29 it’s so hard to put on a condom
it would be easier to put in on a foot no I am not saying that I have erection problems
few people have erection problems at 29
but if I keep my laptop on top of my balls for another month
no spanish fly yohimbe  or even viagra would save me

but I can’t do otherwise
I will continue keeping my laptop on top of my balls and
writing my hopeless verse which people increasingly often call stories
one aging lady, a sister of a slovene poet
who has been waiting in line for the nobel prize for several years now
said precisely this, “and why do you call THIS poetry?”

no I wanted to answer her don’t you worry
I am not going to compete with your brother
I am still too young for the nobel prize
I’ve a laptop on top of my balls and besides
I am not personally acquainted with john ashbery
and don’t have english translations
so stay cool old lady don’t you worry about your brother

I will go on keeping my laptop on top of my balls because
I can’t do otherwise it just doesn’t work out
if you like call this stuff stories or call it dogshit
I can’t do otherwise

I can no longer let myself write in metaphors
play with the tradition and write about snails
perhaps you are right and poetry died inside me
(good God a metaphor again) and I am no poet any more
even less a poet of culture or a poet of nature

I’m a poet who keeps his laptop on top of his balls
simply call me thus,
“Andriy Bondar, a poet who keeps his laptop on top of his balls”

you can’t pay me a better compliment

should I explain to you what a laptop is?
Sponsors
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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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