High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Lieke Marsman: Belated Parliamentary Questions
© Simone Peek
© Simone Peek © Simone Peek

Lieke Marsman: Belated Parliamentary Questions

More than sixty Flemish and Dutch artists provide an artistic response to the corona crisis with deBuren's multimedia project, Besmette Stad (Contaminated City). They were inspired by the internationally renowned collection of poetry, Bezette Stad (Occupied City), by the Flemish writer Paul van Ostaijen, in which he looks back on the First World War. Lieke Marsman found inspiration in his poem ‘Abandoned Fortresses’.

Belated Parliamentary Questions

a tailback of ambulances
near Moscow
a cortège of army jeeps
near Bergamo
from Guangzhou
to Wisconsin
they’re dancing
a macabre
on the balcony
closer to home
the rhythmical
of a brilliant spring
that floats away
out of the grip
of our daily routines
and leaves us
with the business pages
on which the graphs
take root
the economy
with its highs and lows
which it presents as patterns
was still surprised
by the oil policy
of Saudi Arabia
and a prickly virus
the difference
between bodies
and corpses
is the difference
between your granny Lambertus
in Sunny Rest Home
and the Bengali tailor
who is no longer required
to sew polyester swimsuits
thanks for your good work
but the summer
is just as lost
as the cultural season
in Moria a girl
a flapping tent canvas
as a ventilator
though we had been promised
that children would not
this time
you say morality
is again
got lost
thanks to the reality
of surgical masks at 9 euros
was quick off the mark
KLM linked bonuses
to state support
it won’t be long
before the first air-raid shelters
on Airbnb
while one theatre
after another collapses
that we will
later see a video
series on them
but won’t go
to see a play of theirs
is in the meantime clear
we thought
that love
was the most important thing
in life, it turns out
staying alive is
is the most important thing
in life
is the minister familiar
with these reports
and prepared to confirm them
in word or by decree?

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