There’s a pleasant ambiguity
when ‘dead’ follows ‘me’.
There’s a threat on the horizon. On the horizon, a threat.
The ambiguity of skyline, ship, drilling rig.
The skyline’s ambiguity.
The wind that carries the gulls that make the wind.
There: somewhere. There: here.
The pleasant substance of everything beckons,
The perfect happiness,
lacking only duration,
which was imperfect,
shot through the house, screamed,
worked its way to the door, broke out
causing everything, the bright morning,
It was spring and it was early, and you
were at your most beautiful then.
Birds swelled with the music
that issued from somewhere.
The sky lies like a block across the land,
solid and invisible.
You dress in the colour of your hair,
your eyes, your footsteps and your words.
You’re here and elsewhere. I trail after you
and shudder. You’re too big perhaps,
or too close. Your unapproachability
is unforgiveable. If I could be a bird –
but I lack the accuracy
and the trust. I look at you
and shudder. Talk to me in my silence
tolerate my stranglehold, tolerate
the awkwardness, tolerate me, love.
Mark Boog (b. 1970) is a prolific poet and novelist who has won both the C. Buddingh’ prize for a debut collection and the prestigious VSB prize for the best Dutch-language volume of poetry for De encyclopedie van de grote woorden (‘The Encyclopaedia of Big Words’). In his most recent book he combined the genres to produce Rotonde (‘Roundabout’) a novel in verse.
The original of ‘Love’ is in De encyclopedie van de grote woorden, Cossee, Amsterdam, 2005
The originals of ‘A Threat’ and ‘Perfection’ are in Maar zingend, Cossee, Amsterdam, 2013.