The Week of the Festival: Literatur & Wein in Krems

I love you, Frans Poelstra

A Poem

/ by Christoph Szalay

I sincerely do.


I don’t know though,

If you know me,


If this love is mutual.


I wish.

I hope so.


But whichever way it is,

I had to tell you anyways,

No matter what.


I couldn’t keep it for myself

Any longer,


Secrets make me sick.


My love for you was a secret.


No one knew.

Even I didn’t for a long time.

It wasn’t until spring, of course, that I found out.


The day of the Studio Sessions,

In one of the performer’s studios,

Close to the city’s big Turkish market,


He was talking about creating a communal

Spirit of caring & caressing,


You remember?


You came early.


So did I.


I made this a habit.

Because I am scared of

Missing Something.


Or worse,


Disturbing the routine of a performance

A play,

People’s experience

& excitement.




You immediately started talking to

The girl who was doing the cash desk,

I suppose you knew her, since you’ve

Been working with the very same people

For quite a while know.


(I was also quite sure, that you’d know the performer too,

Which you did, of course)


I realized that while you kept talking to her,

You were noticeable giving me looks.


I am not sure,

If those were looks

Checking me out


Simply just saying




I remember you.

We met once or twice.

You are a friend of Veza’s, right.

Didn’t I see you at one of last year’s

Festival pieces with her, the one maybe

With Cards scattered across the floor,

All of them reading different scores

And poetry,

Like for example


my sensations feel different from yours


Or maybe I remember it wrong,

And it was somewhere else.


However meant,

It was giving me shivers.


Making me feel uncomfortable

And attracted at the same time.


I started searching for something

To say, something that would get me

Into a conversation with you,

Something that would bring me even

Closer to your attention.


But I would let every chance you gave me

Pass by.


I still don’t know why.



Maybe I was scared of messing it up.

Maybe that people would immediately know

(which would have made me feel embarrassed)

Maybe that you’d find any of the things I’d say

inappropriate, out of context or simply just stupid.


By the time I had thought all the different scenarios

Through, the chance was already long gone.


We were invited into the studio,

Everyone could take a seat

And at least I did that.

Right beside you.


We were already a bit into the discussion,

When I had my moment of awakening.


(I can’t put it any other way. This is truly how it felt.

So why not use the big guns?!)


This is when I fell in love with you,

Frans Poelstra.






can I call you Frans?


(or should I call you someone else?)


I think of you every morning.


I think of waking up

Right beside you,

Still watching you sleep,

My hands covering your chest,

As if trying to keep you safe,



Trying to keep myself safe,




I don’t wanna let you go,


I don’t wanna let go,











I am writing you every morning.


I am trying to make it a routine,


just like it had been in New York.


But it’s not a novel.


This is not a novel.


We are not a novel.



Christoph Szalay

, born 1987 in Graz. studied German (Language & Literature) at Karl-Franzens University Graz and Art in Context at University of Arts Berlin. writer, performer, curator. last: SPACE=WOW (BUT I STILL MISS YOU, EARTH), publication at Spacecraft Press 2017 as well as a performed piece at Minoriten Graz and Musiktheatertage Wien, Werk X, 2017 / When I think of Palace, threepart lecture at Forum Stadtpark&Steirischer Herbst 2016 / Re-Considering Trieste or OH, HOW I WANTED TO BE YOUR BABY (but you wouldn't let me), limited publication of 100 pieces for the AiR Trieste 2016 / Alex&der Mond, children's book with drawings by Lisa-Maria Wagner, Luftschacht 2016.