Sunday, July 02, 2006

jeroen nieuwland


Other words have given way,
beneath the ones you read.
Were not in the right place,
had come with too few,
anyhow; became obsolete.

The paper unsuccessfully attempts
to shake the words that made it on
by pressing others through.

The word is not to blame,
its inkless form,
sometimes resists
its distilled form

but ultimately
speaks only when
on the page that
with its whiteness
immobilizes it;

muted interpreter
of some meddlesome
reader     period     context     syntax

Just beneath the surface
the word attempts
to accustom to
its new unchosen home

favouring its previous meaning.
Between all objects.
Bouncing off all objects.
The colour of objects
that angels in movies only guess at.

to pass and turn my head at you
have sat and said nothing with you

to share the arrival at a certain same place
with such frequent variations that they

the arrivals     or      the place

began to mirror general truths (like
ones that some have thought successfully

to describe with the language of their time
you know the ones you think of as you read)

when you were kind to mirror them for me
so I was able to adjust myself to them

with varying accomplishment resulting in no
more than shifting mental attitudes

to kiss with them the impossible centre of my belly

and always in approach my translucent hands
arranged themselves along your solid forms

tried to fit on a realm of shimmering reality that with
its flicker seemed at least more constant than

the outlined promise of my hands
Would they remain folded into themselves

you would have told me who you were
had I not used your body and your mind

to try the words that thereby faltered well
before I let you

tell me all about yourself.

jeroen nieuwland. writing a PhD on social commitment in modern Hindi poetry (in Leiden, Netherlands). editor of poetry magazines and poetry stage Perdu in Amsterdam.