High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Johan Marc Baeten: Graffiti
Friday Verses

Johan Marc Baeten: Graffiti

This week's Friday Verses are written by Johan Marc Baeten. We translated Graffiti. This poem first appeared in Dutch in Het Liegend Konijn, a magazine for contemporary Dutch-language poetry.

Johan Marc Baeten (Genk, b. 1997) is a writer and journalist. He obtained a Master’s degree in Literature and Intermediality from the Free University of Brussels in 2020. Baeten has published poems in Het Liegend Konijn and is currently working on a prose project.


we are the young men who bring her money
we are venturing ourselves into table philosophy
but in the morning preferably without sugar or milk

we add ourselves motionlessly to each other’s lives
we twist every innocence into arbitrariness
but wipe the floor with verbal baring of souls

we whine about ineffable statistics
we eat each other’s incompleteness
but never vomit more than is considered sufficient

we have still not read enough far too much
we shoot up just steam dust grit gall filth and piss
but don’t ask me for the meaning

(Dutch version below the photo)


wij zijn de jonge mannen die haar geld brengen
wij wagen onszelf aan tafelfilosofie
maar in de ochtend liefst zonder suiker noch melk

wij voegen ons roerloos toe aan elkaars leven
wij vervormen elke onschuld tot willekeur
maar vegen de vloer met verbale zielsblootheid

wij zagen om onzeglijke statistieken
wij eten van elkaars onvolledigheden
maar braken nooit meer dan voldoende geacht wordt

wij hebben nog niet genoeg veel te veel gelezen
wij spuiten enkel stoom stof gruis gal drek en pis
maar vraag mij niet naar de betekenis

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