12-09-17

Michael Ondaatje, James Frey, Chris van Geel, Louis MacNeice, Hannes Meinkema, Eduard Elias, Jan Willem Schulte Nordholt, Werner Dürrson, Gust Van Brussel

 

De Canadese dichter en schrijver Philip Michael Ondaatje werd op 12 september 1943 geboren in Colombo, Ceylon (nu Sri Lanka). Zie ook mijn blog van 12 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Michael Ondaantje op dit blog

 

Wells II

The last Sinhala word I lost
was vatura.
The word for water.
Forest water. The water in a kiss. The tears
I gave to my ayah Rosalin on leaving
the first home of my life.

More water for her than any other
that fled my eyes again
this year, remembering her,
a lost almost-mother in those years
of thirsty love.

No photograph of her, no meeting
since the age of eleven,
not even knowledge of her grave.

Who abandoned who, I wonder now.

 

 

What were the names of the towns

What were the names of the towns
we drove into and through

stunned lost

having drunk our way
up vineyards
and then Hot Springs
boiling out the drunkenness

What were the names
I slept through
my head
on your thigh
hundreds of miles
of blackness entering the car

All this
darkness and stars
but now
under the Napa Valley night
a star arch of dashboard
the ripe grape moon
we are together
and I love this muscle

I love this muscle
that tenses

and joins
the accelerator
to my cheek

 

 

Kissing the stomach

Kissing the stomach
kissing your scarred
skin boat. History
is what you've travelled on
and take with you

We've each had our stomachs
kissed by strangers
to the other

and as for me
I bless everyone
who kissed you here

 

 
Michael Ondaatje (Colombo, 12 september 1943)

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12-09-16

Dolce far niente, Vachel Lindsay, Michael Ondaatje, James Frey, Louis MacNeice, Hannes Meinkema, Eduard Elias, Jan Willem Schulte Nordholt

 

Dolce far niente

 

Indian Summer in the White Mountains door Sanford Gifford, 1862

 

 

An Indian Summer Day on the Prarie

(In The Beginning)

THE sun is a huntress young,
The sun is a red, red joy,
The sun is an indian girl,
Of the tribe of the Illinois.

(Mid-Morning)

The sun is a smouldering fire,
That creeps through the high gray plain,
And leaves not a bush of cloud
To blossom with flowers of rain.

(Noon)

The sun is a wounded deer,
That treads pale grass in the skies,
Shaking his golden horns,
Flashing his baleful eyes.

(Sunset)

The sun is an eagle old,
There in the windless west.
Atop of the spirit-cliffs
He builds him a crimson nest.

 


Vachel Lindsay (10 november 1879 - 5 december 1931)
Springfield. Vachel Lindsay werd geboren in Springfield.

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12-09-15

Michael Ondaatje, James Frey, Louis MacNeice, Hannes Meinkema, Eduard Elias, Jan Willem Schulte Nordholt

 

De Canadese dichter en schrijver Philip Michael Ondaatje werd op 12 september 1943 geboren in Colombo, Ceylon (nu Sri Lanka). Zie ook mijn blog van 12 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Michael Ondaantje op dit blog.

Uit: The English Patient

“There are stories the man recites quietly into the room which slip from level to level like a hawk. He wakes in the painted arbour that surrounds him with its spilling flowers, arms of great trees. He remembers picnics, a woman who kissed parts of his body that now are burned into the colour of aubergine.
I have spent weeks in the desert, forgetting to look at the moon, he says, as a married man may spend days never looking into the face of his wife. These are not sins of omission but signs of preoccupation.
His eyes lock onto the young woman’s face. If she moves her head, his stare will travel alongside her into the wall. She leans forward. How were you burned?
It is late afternoon. His hands play with a piece of sheet, the back of his fingers caressing it.
I fell burning into the desert.
They found my body and made me a boat of sticks and dragged me across the desert. We were in the Sand Sea, now and then crossing dry riverbeds. Nomads, you see. Bedouin. I flew down and the sand itself caught fire. They saw me stand up naked out of it. The leather helmet on my head in flames. They strapped me onto a cradle, a carcass boat, and feet thud­ded along as they ran with me. I had broken the spareness of the desert.
The Bedouin knew about fire. They knew about planes that since 1939 had been falling out of the sky. Some of their tools and utensik were made from the metal of crashed planes and tanks. It was the time of the war in heaven. They could recognize the drone of a wounded plane, they knew how to pick their way through such shipwrecks. A small bolt from a cockpit became jewellery. I was perhaps the first one to stand up alive out of a burning machine. A man whose head was on fire. They didn’t know my name. I didn’t know their tribe.
Who are you?
I don’t know. You keep asking me.
You said you were English.”

 

 
Michael Ondaatje (Colombo, 12 september 1943)
Willem Dafoe als David Caravaggio en Juliette Binoche als Hana
in de gelijknamige film uit 1996

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12-09-14

Michael Ondaatje, James Frey, Louis MacNeice, Hannes Meinkema, Eduard Elias, Jan Willem Schulte Nordholt

 

De Canadese dichter en schrijver Philip Michael Ondaatje werd op 12 september 1943 geboren in Colombo, Ceylon (nu Sri Lanka). Zieook mijn blog van 12 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Michael Ondaantje op dit blog.

Uit: The English Patient

She stands up in the garden where she has been working and looks into the distance. She has sensed a shift in the weather. There is another gust of wind, a buckle of noise in the air, and the tall cypresses sway. She turns and moves uphill toward the house, climbing over a low wall, feeling the first drops of rain on her bare arms. She crosses the loggia and quickly enters the house.
In the kitchen she doesn't pause but goes through it and climbs the stairs which are in darkness and then continues along the long hall, at the end of which is a wedge of light from an open door.
She turns into the room which is another garden--this one made up of trees and bowers painted over its walls and ceiling. The man lies on the bed, his body exposed to the breeze, and he turns his head slowly towards her as she enters.
Every four days she washes his black body, beginning at the destroyed feet. She wets a washcloth and holding it above his ankles squeezes the water onto him, looking up as he murmurs, seeing his smile.
Above the shins the burns are worst. Beyond purple. Bone.
She has nursed him for months and she knows the body well, the penis sleeping like a sea horse, the thin tight hips. Hipbones of Christ, she thinks. He is her despairing saint. He lies flat on his back, no pillow, looking up at the foliage painted onto the ceiling, its canopy of branches, and above that, blue sky.
She pours calamine in stripes across his chest where he is less burned, where she can touch him. She loves the hollow below the lowest rib, its cliff of skin. Reaching his shoulders she blows cool air onto his neck, and he mutters.
What? she asks, coming out of her concentration.
He turns his dark face with its gray eyes towards her. She puts her hand into her pocket. She unskins the plum with her teeth, withdraws the stone and passes the flesh of the fruit into his mouth.
He whispers again, dragging the listening heart of the young nurse beside him to wherever his mind is, into that well of memory he kept plunging into during those months before he died.“

 

 
Michael Ondaatje (Colombo, 12 september 1943)

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12-09-13

Michael Ondaatje, James Frey, Louis MacNeice, Hannes Meinkema, Eduard Elias

 

De Canadese dichter en schrijver Philip Michael Ondaatje werd op 12 september 1943 geboren in Colombo, Ceylon (nu Sri Lanka). Zieook mijn blog van 12 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Michael Ondaantje op dit blog.

 

 

Notes For The Legend Of Salad Woman

 

Since my wife was born
she must have eaten
the equivalent of two-thirds
of the original garden of Eden.
Not the dripping lush fruit
or the meat in the ribs of animals
but the green salad gardens of that place.
The whole arena of green
would have been eradicated
as if the right filter had been removed
leaving only the skeleton of coarse brightness.

All green ends up eventually
churning in her left cheek.
Her mouth is a laundromat of spinning drowning herbs.
She is never in fields
but is sucking the pith out of grass.
I have noticed the very leaves from flower decorations
grow sparse in their week long performance in our house.
The garden is a dust bowl.

On our last day in Eden as we walked out
she nibbled the leaves at her breasts and crotch.
But there's none to touch
none to equal
the Chlorophyll Kiss

 

 

 

 

Michael Ondaatje (Colombo, 12 september 1943)

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12-09-12

Michael Ondaatje, James Frey, Louis MacNeice, Hannes Meinkema, Gust Van Brussel

 

De Canadese dichter en schrijver Philip Michael Ondaatje werd op 12 september 1943 geboren in Colombo, Ceylon (nu Sri Lanka). Zieook mijn blog van 12 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Michael Ondaantje op dit blog.

 

 

Application For A Driving License

 

Two birds loved
in a flurry of red feathers
like a burst cottonball,
continuing while I drove over them.
I am a good driver, nothing shocks me.

 

 

 

Bearhug

 

Griffin calls to come and kiss him goodnight
I yell ok. Finish something I'm doing,
then something else, walk slowly round
the corner to my son's room.
He is standing arms outstretched
waiting for a bearhug. Grinning.

Why do I give my emotion an animal's name,
give it that dark squeeze of death?
This is the hug which collects
all his small bones and his warm neck against me.
The thin tough body under the pyjamas
locks to me like a magnet of blood.

How long was he standing there
like that, before I came?

 

 

 

Michael Ondaatje (Colombo, 12 september 1943)

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12-09-11

Michael Ondaatje, Werner Dürrson, James Frey, Louis MacNeice, Eduard Elias

 

De Canadese dichter en schrijver Philip Michael Ondaatje werd op 12 september 1943 geboren in Colombo, Ceylon (nu Sri Lanka). Zie ook mijn blog van 12 september 2009 en ook mijn blog van 12 september 2010

 

 

(Inner Tube)

 

On the warm July river
head back

upside down river
for a roof

slowly paddling
towards an estuary between trees

there's a dog
learning to swim near me
friends on shore

my head
dips
back to the eyebrow
I'm the prow
on an ancient vessel,
this afternoon
I'm going down to Peru
soul between my teeth

a blue heron
with its awkward
broken backed flap
upside down

one of us is wrong

he
his blue grey thud
thinking he knows
the blue way
out of here

or me

 

 

 

 

The Time Around Scars

 

A girl whom I've not spoken to
or shared coffee with for several years
writes of an old scar.
On her wrist it sleeps, smooth and white,
the size of a leech.
I gave it to her
brandishing a new Italian penknife.
Look, I said turning,
and blood spat onto her shirt.

My wife has scars like spread raindrops
on knees and ankles,
she talks of broken greenhouse panes
and yet, apart from imagining red feet,
(a nymph out of Chagall)
I bring little to that scene.
We remember the time around scars,
they freeze irrelevant emotions
and divide us from present friends.
I remember this girl's face,
the widening rise of surprise.

And would she
moving with lover or husband
conceal or flaunt it,
or keep it at her wrist
a mysterious watch.
And this scar I then remember
is a medallion of no emotion.

I would meet you now
and I would wish this scar
to have been given with
all the love
that never occurred between us.

 

 

 

Michael Ondaatje (Colombo, 12 september 1943)

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12-09-10

Michael Ondaatje, Werner Dürrson, James Frey, Louis MacNeice, Eduard Elias, Hannes Meinkema, Gust Van Brussel, Stanislaw Lem, Marya Zaturenska, Elsa Triolet

 

Zie voor de volgende schrijvers van de 12e september mijn blog bij seniorennet.be 

  

Michael Ondaatje, Werner Dürrson, James Frey, Louis MacNeice, Eduard Elias

 

Zie voor de volgende schrijvers van de 12e september ook bij seniorennet.be mijn vorige blog van vandaag.  

 

Hannes Meinkema, Gust Van Brussel, Stanislaw Lem, Marya Zaturenska, Elsa Triolet