Keeping my collection empty will only work through
collecting, naturally I am working on the collection
to end all collections, that is what they tell me
as if I don’t know what emptiness is, I like a drink of absolution
just give it a rest

Nobody wants to swap me for nought, but I obey
the rules, can’t I for once decide to drown when I want to?
I want to fall under those exchangeable
against an empty rate, the tailor who measures
his own suits, a dentist pulling his own teeth

Rid your mind of the collections every day
that creep up unnoticed just like ants
you can hardly blame them, as ants are like that
after all, especially those that have their misgivings
but it has little to do with nothing

                                          Translated by Willem Groenewegen




We acquit ourselves. We don’t return ourselves, get real.
There is still dog’s milk in the fridge, don’t forget
about it, we are such sin, suspending ourselves from
the dark-green day.

If there is nothing left, then we no longer regret that.
Wait, do also have a look in the blanket chest, it once contained
a deer. If it’s alive, it won’t like dog’s milk, only we know
how healthy that is, what would a deer know of this.
Just say we don’t know what it likes to
survive, then we can’t do anything about it.

Some will think that we live in the columns
of the trees, those who think so read too many yarns.
That is out of date.
And yes, we will return without ourselves.
Goodbye, you sky in cypress mourning. Goodbye you heavenly cypress.

                                           Translated by Willem Groenewegen





I was born of a dot at nine one morning
the first possible morning because it didn’t come
out of night, it coloured from a bright fuchsia to a sulphurous yellow
I still remember that.
The right one, right sharpness and size, made by
someone handed a 9H, briefly transfixed
they called her God apart from me.

A horrible first, but I finally stopped
being no one.  



I wore a swaddling cloth that would become a shroud
it’s impossible, yet it is so.
Not far from here I became a dot again, the only one

but a weaker one, perhaps made by a 9B by that same
person, she corked me back into myself, the cottons continuing to
give off scent in my wardrobe.



I believed things happened simultaneously.
Could be the species I had to put on, could be the movement
could be the happiness or craziness or both, rain with sunshine.

I believed it had to snow, thought behind it
and I grew into my own test card
deceptively identical, like any other’s.


Immediately I was good at living and predicted what would happen next.
When love came not even in the guise
of a young angel I forgot my dot and caught fire, yellow
a fuchsia heart.

Then I forgot about forgetting, naked like a single rose.


After that I took off my species, to see if I was empty
to see if I dared to, drained of blood I dared.

The others stared at the way I was, that there was nothing
left of me, should there be a remnant of me or something?



Immediately I was less good at living, you shouldn’t take off what
you can hardly get on, back into the cast became shapeless.


                                          Translated by Michele Hutchison




Just used words until today, but were forced
to stop that, the windows steaming up with our yeast

through the grabbling, the falling, the tender, the nauseous
the sweet, the fleshly, bluish dangling round each other’s neck.

We have sung us. We have us for the very first time.


                                          Translated by Michele Hutchison




The milk is boiling morning yellow over the enamel saucepan
its bottom as that of fresh black earth, that fear
does not belong to night-time criers, or to black bile, or the terminal
the malicious talus and its poppies.
What does it then belong to, little milk?

To deep gardens where aerial roots take your breath away
wood lice take shelter in your sheath, fingers burrow
out of your stomach. I shrug my shoulders, stir up the fire.
With the stalk against my midriff I can feel how little milk
is hotly mocking my hand, with fresh earth to bury it in.


                                          Translated by Willem Groenewegen



You wanted to see, what I had become.
Was it the children, they screamed
your dreams on stilts.
They were, but I let them play.
Aren’t you the sensitive one.
From now on only the cosmos, steppes and seas, without I.
Will you forget I?
Can I grab you all over one last time.
Grab me, grab me if you can.
But it isn’t I any longer, I am already covered in mud.
I am of the metallic rivers, the crimson earth.
Is it because of the others?
I am the others.                
It is because of the horniness.
It is because of the desire.
I won’t forget you.
Sssh, talk just feeds into delusion.
I loved him so much.
I couldn’t go without.
Can you see the world move faster around us?
No, I can sense a green-golden beetle                                      
in my breast, it leads me to confusion.
Is it driving you mad, dear.
Would you ham it up one last time.
No, I’ve had enough.
I take her off, my species.
She is yours, do what you want with it.
Say goodbye. I say goodbye.


                                          Translated by Willem Groenewegen



                              - For H.

Here where palm makes bayonets from leaflets, moist that night.

You know, in the broadness I hear what I know by heart
even the windows slide up smoothly, do not catch like they would otherwise.
But I am still off balance, this stroke is opening up more of what is open already.
The mood is set, would you like me to sing along or is that?

There is also something about old lovers tiptoeing around the room, the green
frayed halo spins its threads, its threads, threads.
That lamentation, cut it out, he’s not playing like the devil’s at his heels
just to see me sigh like a beginner, that’s not our arrangement, is it?

The ankle-height air on the land sways, while those hands
are prodding him from all sides, but make me get up to yes exactly
keep hearing that very first thing.
How does palm manage to stick, fan out, drop down, then clutch to skirt?

Beginners only recognise the new when old leaf
still hangs down, I hum along, but my bow, my beat
cuts through his harmonic tones, has me swear
not to think of love for once.

Here to the tune of Washingtonia filifera that postpones the morning.


                                          Translated by Willem Groenewegen
                                          Note: Benjamin Britten, suite for solo cello no.1, opus 72,
                                          canto primo sostenuto e largamente Sasja Janssen,
                                          for the cello biennale, 4th August, 2014