Poetry: “No. 22” by Lucas Hirsch
Lucas Hirsch is the author of two collections of poems, familie gebiedt (2006) and tastzin (2009). He is also a literary agent for the Flemish magazine DWB. In 2007, Lucas founded a small literary production company called ‘Kleine Revolutie Producties’ with which he organizes literary events around Haarlem. In 2011 he was artist-in-residence at Ledig House, Art Omi, New York.
Sampsonia Way is thrilled to share Hirsch’s previously unpublished poem “No. 22″ from his upcoming book Dolhuis: Natura Naturata (Madhouse: Natura Naturata) to be published by De Arbeiderspers. It was translated by Willem Groenewegen.
Can you starve in a city of millions
without anybody noticing?
Today I met somebody
who was licking his finger
I can’t remember him
I sing a song of la-da-dee-la-dee-da
And what about the birds, poet?
They never had anything to do with poetry
They only fly to be on the move
The rest is fabricated by poets
This way I don’t mistake the chemical nature of love
The sea is no more than a wet manipulator
To and fro, here nor there, ebb and flow
How did it get this dark?
I unscrewed the light from its socket and hid it
in the kitchen drawer under the sink
See, no poetry at all
The hunger stays
Hirsch and other Dutch poets came to Pittsburgh by invitation of City of Asylum Pittsburgh. The event was presented in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s “Distinctively Dutch” festival, the Consulate General of the Netherlands, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, Kleine Revolutie Producties, and Lira.
Watch Hirsch reading “No. 22” in Dutch at City of Asylum/Pittsburgh’s event.