Did I then come to Malaga
To end a love I took to be eternal
As well as end myself in suicide.
Yet – ‘t is what occurred:

That love did break,
And having left her vast hotel room,
My mind lost all its poise.
The self thus barely balanced,
The suitcase weighing in one hand,
And battered pride, so heavy, weighing in the other.

And so:

I ended up in yonder station,
Seemingly still normal,
But contemplating my own end:
A forlorn ladder,
High up there and mighty empty,
Left there by window cleaners,
Having their smoke outside.
Stretching so celestial – up the Milky Way.

Climb up there, man, and jump!
Either down, into the pit;
Or straight into the bliss of heaven.
Or would I still be saved in that last minute,
And, like Old Ludwig,
push away those useless steps,
My naked feet glued to the bird’s,
And rescued by our antipodal gravity,
Suspended in mid-air – face down.

Perhaps even survive my lonesomeness.

Sierksma, November 2016


Author: rjsiersk

Sierksma was born in Friesland, a 'county' in the northern part of the Netherlands with its own language which he does not speak and with an obstinate population to which he both belongs and does not belong. A retired Professor of Social Philosophy and Aesthetics, as a Harkness fellow he taught at Rutgers and Berkeley Universities in the USA, and at GUAmsterdam and TUDelft in the Netherlands. In 1991 he was awarded his PhD from Leiden University on the subject of 'Surveillance and Task: Labour Discipline between Utilitarianism and Pragmatism'. His books include Minima Memoria (1993), Lost View (2002 with Jan van Geest), and Litter Scent (2013). He has published poems and articles in Te Elfder Ure, Nynade, Oasis and the Architectural Annual. Half the year he lives in Haarlem, the other half he spends in la France Profonde, living ‘in his own words’ as the house out there was bought with the winnings from his essay Eternal Sin, written for the ECI Essay Prize (1993). In this blog, Sierksma's Sequences, written in English, he is peeping round his own and other people’s perspectives. Not easily satisfied with answers nor with questions, he turns his wry wit to a number of philosophical and historical issues. His aim in writing: to make parts of the world light up in his perspective - not my will, thine! Not being a thief, he has no cook, one wife, some children, one lover and three cats.

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