It takes forever to read a book of poetry
and twice that long to read a single poem.
Poems’ words are more than vehicles for stories.
They work – or don’t – on levels and dimensions
the poet may wish but they themselves decide.
This poem is for Manuel van Loggem
who gave me pleasure with his meagre book
Letternijen that I read in from time to time
even some evenings before he died.
I liked his provoke-verbs, his sour tales,
his animals, and his japes at literature.
While they survive him in his book, perhaps some Where
exists where Manuel learns whether curse or prayer
worked better. As to which, I wish him well.
Manuel van Loggem in his 28-page book Aforismen en andere letternijen, uitgever, Deventer, Ypse-Fecit, 1989, 300 numbered copies:
‘Ik: Is er een leven na de dood?
God: Kom maar, dan kun je het zelf zien.’
1. Me: Is there life after death? / God: Come on, you can see for yourself.
2. Yo: ¿Hay vida después de la muerte? / Dios: ¡Vamos, usted puede ver por sí mismo.