Memoirs

Poem By Paul Snoek

How could it be?
Originally I had hoped
to go through the house unnoticed,
disguised and redundant as a man
amongst the houses and their inhabitants.

And carry my grief as a commonplace
till it grew as translucent
and bearable as daylight.

I thought it was sufficient
to sob all night in a long, thick bed
and cry one time to the heart's core.
But no.

I'm used to crying in the first person
and alone.
So I pretend I'm smiling
and live in my body with all my limbs.

How could it be
I did not know that my grief
of love smooths out the fierce contrast
and that life is not an ultimate
but a standstill.

Even so it's a pity
there is no secret language
a convenient code
that I can stealthily write in
about the phenomenon nostalgia
and pretend I'm writing about the moon
yes, writing fat books
about the so-called moonlight.

But in reality
about the house I lived in
yet left,
with the warmth of so much future regret
in my marrow.

My skin turns white from it
and whiter yet my trembling,
when I read in bright mirrors
the ancient texts about the eye.

The eye turned porcelain.

When I see how clear are the traces
my shadow leaves in my past.
My shadow, people,
that is so lonely it
no more maintains, no more recognizes
its bearer's body.

A language, as I said,
that I can write with
about the heart and its thermic inertia.

About love
in the empty house of my memory.

About my life,
whose future I vaguely remember.

Translated by James S. Holmes

From: A quarter century of poetry from Belgium

Comments about Memoirs

There is no comment submitted by members.


Rating Card

5 out of 5
0 total ratings

Other poems of SNOEK

My heels on the cool tiles of the waters

My heels on the cool tiles of the waters
and the moon obscured through my auricle,
so I dare rest in the groove of glass hills
where the night reflects me as a sigh,

No. I don't speak, for I breathe in exultation.

No. I don't speak, for I breathe in exultation.
I don't draw near in the thrifty pelt of daylight,
but I find far off in the iron eyes of the nights the ore.

No one knows why I work slenderly on the horizon

No one knows why I work slenderly on the horizon,
why my word builds its nest in the grooves of light.
All this is my silver-slicing secret.

Why do I melt silver in my poems?

Why do I melt silver in my poems?
Why do I nobly conjure on the vertebrae of beauty?
See, this is the breaking key.

Georgia

1

the day swung open
like an oyster shell
I saw the white pearl