John Grisham, Elizabeth Bishop, Neal Cassady, Henry Roth, Eva Strittmatter, Gert Jonke
Uit: The Pelican Brief
“He seemed incapable of creating such chaos, but much of what he saw below could be blamed on him. And that was fine. He was ninety-one, paralyzed, strapped in a wheelchair and hooked to oxygen. His second stroke seven years ago had almost finished him off, but Abraham Rosenberg was still alive and even with tubes in his nose his legal stick was bigger than the other eight. He was the only legend remaining on the Court, and the fact that he was still breathing irritated most of the mob below.
He sat in a small wheelchair in an office on the main floor of the Supreme Court Building. His feet touched the edge of the window, and he strained forward as the noise increased. He hated cops, but the sight of them standing in thick, neat lines was somewhat comforting. They stood straight and held ground as the mob of at least fifty thousand screamed for blood.
“Biggest crowd ever!” Rosenberg yelled at the window. He was almost deaf. Jason Kline, his senior law clerk, stood behind him. It was the first Monday in October, the opening day of the new term, and this had become a traditional celebration of the First Amendment. A glorious celebration. Rosenberg was thrilled. To him, freedom of speech meant freedom to riot.
“Are the Indians out there?” he asked loudly.
Jason Kline leaned closer to his right ear. “Yes!”
“With war paint?”
“Yes! In full battle dress.”
“Are they dancing?”
The Indians, the blacks, whites, browns, women, gays, tree lovers, Christians, abortion activists, Aryans, Nazis, atheists, hunters, animal lovers, white supremacists, black supremacists, tax protestors, loggers, farmers–it was a massive sea of protest. And the riot police gripped their black sticks.
“The Indians should love me!”
“I’m sure they do.” Kline nodded and smiled at the frail little man with clenched fists. His ideology was simple; government over business, the individual over government, the environment over everything. And the Indians, give them whatever they want.“
John Grisham (Jonesboro, 8 februari 1955)
September rain falls on the house.
In the failing light, the old grandmother
sits in the kitchen with the child
beside the Little Marvel Stove,
reading the jokes from the almanac,
laughing and talking to hide her tears.
She thinks that her equinoctial tears
and the rain that beats on the roof of the house
were both foretold by the almanac,
but only known to a grandmother.
The iron kettle sings on the stove.
She cuts some bread and says to the child,
It's time for tea now; but the child
is watching the teakettle's small hard tears
dance like mad on the hot black stove,
the way the rain must dance on the house.
Tidying up, the old grandmother
hangs up the clever almanac
on its string. Birdlike, the almanac
hovers half open above the child,
hovers above the old grandmother
and her teacup full of dark brown tears.
She shivers and says she thinks the house
feels chilly, and puts more wood in the stove.
It was to be, says the Marvel Stove.
I know what I know, says the almanac.
With crayons the child draws a rigid house
and a winding pathway. Then the child
puts in a man with buttons like tears
and shows it proudly to the grandmother.
But secretly, while the grandmother
busies herself about the stove,
the little moons fall down like tears
from between the pages of the almanac
into the flower bed the child
has carefully placed in the front of the house.
Time to plant tears, says the almanac.
The grandmother sings to the marvelous stove
and the child draws another inscrutable house.
Elizabeth Bishop (8 februari 1911 – 6 oktober 1979)
Uit: Relax, Man. The Gay Love Letters of Neal Cassady to Allen Ginsberg
March 30, 1947.
. . . I don't know how to say this, but you've hit the nail on the head. No more sacrament, no more directing my efforts in the nervous, stupid, neurosis you have outlined so well. I understand perfectly Allen and by god, you're right! Man, from here on out it'll be a breeze. Really, the formulation you gave is just what I needed. I'm overwhelmed with joy, I feel a sense of relief, I almost know peace again! All of this just thru understanding and agreeing with you. . . .
What you say on "Play" is honestly what I've been doing, or striving for, all my life, therein lies our, or my, confused sense of closeness. Also, I fear, therein lies our strength of tie to each other, I say I fear, for I really don't know how much I can be satisfied to love you, I mean bodily, you know I, somehow, dislike pricks & men & before you, had conciously forced myself to be homosexual, now, I'm not sure whether with you I was not just forceing myself unconciously, that is to say, any falsity on my part was all physical, in fact, any disturbance in our affair was because of this. You meant so much to me, I now feel I was forcing a desire for you bodily as a compansation to you for all you were giving me. This is a sad state and upsets me for I want to become nearer to you than any one & still I don't want to be unconciously insincere by passing over my non-queerness to please you. Allen, this is straight, what I truely want is to live with you from Sept. to June, have an apt., a girl, go to college, (just for French to sit in on classes etc.) see all and do all. . . . „
Neal Cassady (8 februari 1926 – 4 februari 1968)
Hier met Allen Ginsberg (links)
Uit: Call it Sleep
“The small white steamer, Peter Stuyvesant, that delivered the immigrants from the stench and throb of the steerage to the stench and the throb of New York tenements, rolled slightly on the water beside the stone quay in the ice of the weathered barracks and new brick buildings of Ellis Island. Her skipper was waiting for the last of the oflicials, laborers and guards to embark upon her before he cast ofl and started for Manhattan. Since this was Saturday afternoon and this the last trip she would make for the week-end, those left behind might have to stay over till Monday. Her whistle bellowed its hoarse warning. A few llgures in overalls sauntered from the high doors of the immigration quarters and down the grey pavement that led to the dock.
It was May of the year 1907, the year that was destined to bring the greatest number of immigrants to the shores of the United States. All that day, as on all the days since spring began, her decks had been thronged by hundreds upon hundreds of foreigners, natives from almost every land in the world, the jowled close-crapped Teuton. the full-bearded Russian, the scraggly-whisltered Jew, and among them Slovack peasants with docile faces, smooth-checked and swarthy Armenians, pimply Greeks, Dance with wrinkled eyelids. All day her decks had been colorful, a matrix of the vivid costumes of other lands, the speckled green-and-yellow aprons, the flowered kerchief. embroidered homespun, the silver-braided sheep-skin vest. the gaudy scarfa, yellow boots, fur caps, caftans, dull gabardines.”
Henry Roth (8 februari 1906 – 13 oktober 1995)
Was von mir bleiben wird
Von mir werden bleiben: Vier Söhne.
(Mein menschliches Alibi.)
Und vielleicht bleibt noch eine schöne
Mir ähnliche Fotografie.
Die zeigt mich, wie ich lache.
Mein lachendes Kindergesicht.
Das Gesicht, das ich weinend mache,
Zeige ich nicht.
Dann werden bleiben: Gedichte.
Vielleicht bleiben zwei oder drei
Etwas länger als andre im Lichte.
Dann ist auch das vorbei.
Merkwürdig: das zu wissen
Und doch wieder aufzustehn.
Und weiter leben zu müssen,
Als würde es ewig gehn.
Eva Strittmatter (8 februari 1930 – 3 januari 2011)
Ich bin Schriftsteller
Ich verwende meine Füllfeder als Aussichtsturm
den Aussichtsturm als Schiffsmast
den Schiffsmast aber als Uhrzeiger welcher
auch der zu Stein fossilierte Speer eines
Schwertfischs sein soll den man zwischen zwei
flügelförmige Himmelshälften gespannt hat um
mit deren Hilfe ordentlich diesen Tag zu
überqueren und hernach im Gasthaus zu verschwinden!
Am Scheitel dieser gebogenen Flugbahn
Klettere ich einen Morgen weiter
Des Nachwuchsdichters Kalkbrenner neues Gedicht
wird von Tyrannen
die Wahrheit wird
von notorischen Lügnern
und streng gehütete Geheimnisse werden
von verschwiegenen Verrätern
unter Verschluss gehalten
Gert Jonke (8 februari 1946 – 4 januari 2009)
Affiche voor de Gert-Jonke-Preis