Skip to content
Give readers a window on the world. Click to donate.
from the October 2004 issue


It is bitter, each Passover, to read,
in the luxury and voluptuousness of being

The solitude of the four boards
from the palm slapped over the cheek
the morning tear
urged against the abandonment of oneself
and the shoe of the clown inside your brain
-this is how he began each of his holidays,
my friend, Mynheer.
They say that in olden days
bitter herbs saved him
while his own skin was his tent
and the vinegar from the clay burned
the entrails severed from the psalms.
Good man, my friend Mynheer . . .
Banished one day far from home
he told himself that in fact he had always been a wanderer
and again raised his tent made of his own skin,
dried bitter herbs
for yet another banishment
for another slap,
my friend, Mynheer.
Now he lives within himself,
he cuts wood for a longer winter
and not in order to warm himself.
It is the custom of this country of selfdom
never to care about the last journey,
to venerate the olive tree
and its bristly parchment.

Only sometimes at night
he fingers his grown weariness
but doesn't lament its hump

He smiles deeply and serenely in his beard,
He swallows and writes

My friend, Mynheer

Read more from the October 2004 issue
Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.