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I.M. Menno Wigman


In Conclusion


I know the melancholy of copy centres,
of hollow men with yellowed papers,
bespectacled mothers with new addresses,

the smell of letters, of old bank statements,
of income tax returns and tenancy agreements,
demeaning ink that says that we exist.

And I have seen new suburbs, fresh and dead,
where people do their best to seem like people,
the street a fair impression of a street.

Who are they copying? Who am I?
A father, mother, world, some DNA,
you stand there with that shining name of yours,

your head crammed full of cribbed and clever hopes
of peace, promotion, kids and piles of cash.
And I’m a dog that’s kennelled in its cantos

and howls for something new, something to say.
Light. Heaven. Love and death. Decay.
I know the melancholy of copy centres.

Menno Wigman, 1966–2018
translated by David Colmer

photo © ANP

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All the wrong notes are right

All the wrong notes are right
                         Charles Ives


ik, die in deze bundel woon als een rat in de val
Ik, die met bossen ruis en, meisje, lach
ik, die op drek / aas
ik, die altijd dichter ben
ik, die toegeef van niets anders verstand te hebben dan van Eroos
ik die heerlijk door dees’ tijd kom zweven
Ik die schouw het lief dat danst


I, who live in this collection caught like a rat in the trap
I, who rustle with the woods and, girl, laugh
I, who feed on / filth
I, who am a poet always
I, who admit to know about nothing else but Eros
I who come floating with delight through these times
I who behold the dancing sweetheart


moi, qui vis dans ce recueil comme un rat dans le piège
Moi, qui bruisse avec les bois et, ma fille, ris
moi, qui me nourris de / merde
moi, qui suis toujours poète
moi, qui avoue ne connaître rien d’autre qu’Éros
moi qui viens planer superbement à travers ces temps
Moi qui contemple la chérie danser


Quoting lines by the following Dutch poets:

Dèr Mouw, Kloos, Lucebert, Van Ostaijen, Verwey, and Socrates by the mouth of Boutens,

though not necessarely in that order (and one of them twice).


T o u t e s  l e s  f a u s s e s  n o t e s  s o n t  v r a i e s