THIS SOFT WHITE PAGE
We read cerebral light pollution, streetlights
on a world gone mad, with photons jumping from this black-on-white
colliding with the dark side, it takes no longer than 150 milliseconds
to read a word (which word? – this word: word).
Each line of every letter fits each cortex perfectly, meaning
is burned into our brain – but poetry makes nothing happen
someone said who knew he was lying even before this poem
lit up intelligently connected sections of the brain on the scan.
Even analogue we’re binary: now the epic stories were declared dead
all that’s small gains meaning. This poem is also a biological incident
with possibly far-reaching consequences. We shifted our orbits
but are still no closer. Words continue to count
in contracts, laws, on borders, on everyday paper crude deaths
occur for want of the applicable stamp. Only poetry
fortunately makes nothing happen.
Translated by Willem Groenewegen