Mitch Cullin, Gary Whitehead, Yōko Tawada, Steven Saylor, Nils-Aslak Valkeapää

De Amerikaanse schrijver Mitch Cullin werd geboren op 23 maart 1968 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Zie ook mijn blog van 23 maart 2007 en ook mijn blog van 23 maart 2008 en ook mijn blog van 23 maart 2009 en ook mijn blog van 23 maart 2010.


Uit: The Post-War Dream 


„That serpentine formation of listless souls wound back into the darkness-the shapes of children, men and women, mothers cradling infants, the elderly-coming from where the cows had been headed, drawing nearer while never quite reaching him. But it was the gas mask each one wore which disturbed him the most-such cumbersome equipment obscuring their faces, too large for the heads of small children and practically consuming the entire bodies of the infants, giving the group a uniform, superficial appearance not unlike that of cattle. Even so, he perceived their determined movements as a kind of miserable retreat, a retrogression toward the past and, indeed, toward the living-where, upon arriving at their destination, he imagined the masks would be cast aside and all of them would inhale freely once more.

Yet every step of their bare feet was now preceded by labored breath, a collective exhalation delivered in unison and released as a muted, staccato gasp through chemical air filters-while their paper-thin skin contracted around pronounced rib cages, and many of their arms hung like broken branches at their sides. As the ragged column advanced steadily in the moonlight, he realized the physical condition of the people had deteriorated badly since he’d first seen them decades ago. Their clothing was either reduced to shreds or had fallen away, their ankles and feet were covered with sores, their hair was so long that it ran the length of their backsides, and the men’s thick beards jutted from beneath their masks. In that stream of pale, dirty bodies only their protruding bones shone clearly as they marched one after the other.

“Where are you going?” he had once asked them without speaking. “What is it you’re looking for? What do you want?”


Mitch Cullin (Santa Fe, 23 maart 1968)



De Amerikaanse dichter Gary Joseph Whitehead werd geboren op 23 maart 1965 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Zie ook mijn blog van 23 maart 2007 en ook mijn blog van 23 maart 2008 en ook mijn blog van 23 maart 2009 en ook mijn blog van 23 maart 2010.

First Year Teacher to His Students

Go now into summer, into the backs of cars,

into the black maws of your own changing,

onto the boardwalks of a thousand splinters,

onto the beaches of a hundred fond memories

in wait, where the sea in all its indefatigability

stammers at the invitation. Go to your vacation,


to the late morning cool of your basement rooms,

the honeysuckle evening of the first kiss, the first

dip and pivot, swivel and twist. Go to where

the clipper ships sail far upriver, where the salmon

swim in the clean, cool pools just to spawn.

Wake to what the spider unspools into a silver


dawn dripping with light. Sleep in sleeping bags,

sleep in sand, sleep at someone else’s house

in a land you’ve never been, where the dreamers

dream in a language you only half understand.

Slip beneath the sheets, slide toward the plate,

swing beneath the bandstand where the secret


things await. Be glad, or be sad if you want,

but be, and be a part of all that marches past

like a parade, and wade through it or swim in it

or dive in it with your eyes open and your mind

open to wind, rain, long days of sun and longer

nights of city lights mixing on wet streets like paint.


Stay up so late that you forget day-of-the-week,

week-of-the-month, month-of-the-year of what

might be the best summer, the summer

best remembered by the scar, or by the taste

you’ll never now forget of someone’s lips,

and the trips you took—there, there, there,


where snow still slept atop some alpine peak,

or where the moon rose so low you could see

its tranquil seas…and all your life it’ll be like

some familiar body that stayed with you one night,

one summer, one year, when you were young,

and how everywhere you walked, it followed.


Gary Whitehead (Pawtucket,  23 maart 1965)




De Japanse schrijfster Yōko Tawada werd geboren op 23 maart 1960 in Tokyo. Zie ook mijn blog van 23 maart 2007 en ook mijn blog van 23 maart 2008 en ook mijn blog van 23 maart 2009 en ook mijn blog van 23 maart 2010.

Uit: Abenteuer der deutschen Grammatik


1. Wortstellung


Das Verb spielt die zweite Geige

Wenn die Melodie zitiert ist

hat es den letzten Ton

An einem gewöhnlichen Tag steht das Subjekt vorne

Jeder kann anfangen aber wer steht am Ende

Wenn ein anderer den Kopf macht

muss das Subjekt

nach hinten rücken

Die Reihenfolge und die Hierarchie sind zweierlei

Der Rhythmus kennt keine Korruption



2. Passé Composé


Ein Kompott

Für uns alle dasselbe

Für mich für dich für ihn für sie denn

Es ist gegessen und vergessen.

Nur die Haltung des Habens unterscheidet sich 

Zwischen mir und ihm und ihr und sie und uns

Bitte nicht zu viel „und“!

Und das Haben zeigt bei jedem ein anderes Ende

Ich bleibe eher offen

Du bis streng verschlossen

Er und sie haben Hüte auf dem Kopf

Gemeinsam sind die eingeatmete Luft und

Die durchgemachte Nacht

Wir lasen nie das gleiche Buch, aber

Gelesen haben wir alle oder

Ich „gelese”, du „gelesest”?

Das perfekt Vergangene ist durchkomponiert und vereinfacht

Warum sind wir aber so vielfältig in der Gegenwart?



Yōko Tawada (Tokyo, 23 maart 1960)




De Amerikaanse schrijver Steven Saylor werd geboren op 23 maart 1956 in Port Lavaca Texas. Zie ook mijn blog van 23 maart 2008 en ook mijn blog van 23 maart 2009 en ook mijn blog van 23 maart 2010..


Uit: A Murder on the Appian Way


“Papa! Wake up!”

A hand gripped my shoulder and shook me gently. I pulled away and felt cold air on the back of my neck as the blanket slid away. I snatched it back and snuggled against it, burrowing for warmth. I reached for Bethesda, but found only a warm vacancy where she should have been.

“Really, Papa, you’d better wake up.” Eco shook me again, not quite so gently.

“Yes, husband,” said Bethesda. “Get up!”

What sleep is as deep as the sleep of a cold Januarius night, when the sky is a blanket of lowering clouds and the earth shivers below? Even with my son and wife yammering at me, I slipped back into the arms of Morpheus as easily as a boy slipping into a bottomless, downy bed of goose feathers. It seemed to me that two magpies were chattering absurdly in a tree nearby, calling me “Papa” and “Husband.” They swooped down, fluttered their wings, pecked me with their beaks. I groaned and waved my arms to fend them off. After a brief battle they retreated into the frosty clouds, leaving me to dream in peace.

The frosty clouds burst open. Cold water splashed my face.

I sat upright, sputtering and blinking. With a satisfied nod, Bethesda placed an empty cup beside a flickering lamp on a little table against the wall. Eco stood at the foot of the bed, gathering up the blanket he had just pulled off me. I shivered in my sleeping gown and hugged myself.

“Blanket thief!” I mumbled grimly. At that moment it seemed the foulest crime imaginable. “Stealing an old man’s rest!”

Eco remained impassive. Bethesda crossed her arms and arched an eyebrow. By the dim lamplight the two of them still looked suspiciously like magpies.

I closed my eyes. “Have pity!” I sighed, thinking an appeal to mercy might gain me just one more blissful moment of sleep.



Steven Saylor (Port Lavaca, 23 maart 1956)




De Samische dichter, schilder, musicus en fotograaf  Nils-Aslak Valkeapää werd geboren op 23 maart 1943 in Palonjoensuu nabij Enontekiö. Zie ook mijn blog van 23 maart 2009 en ook mijn blog van 23 maart 2010.


Uit: Trekways of the Wind


For a moment I was with you

rested for a while


And now my friend, my dear bird

it is time to leave again

It is always like that towards the end


And I take out the white reindeer fur coat

not so new any more

but not worn either

And I take out the mottled fur shoes

new shoe strings

nice dark fur leggings

the silver belt the gákti

the silk scarf the cap

the fur gloves

And the food pack


I leave

to arrive

go away

to be closer


To the space of your thoughts

to your heart

I crawl

into the heart


I journey

on the sea of time


the tracks of the wind


Nils-Aslak Valkeapää
(23 maart 1943 – 26 november 2001)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 23e maart ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.