High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Philip Hoorne: And Then There’s Cake
Friday Verses

Philip Hoorne: And Then There’s Cake

This week's Friday Verses are written by Philip Hoorne. We translated En dan is er taart (And Then There’s Cake). This poem was first published in Dutch in Het Liegend Konijn, a magazine for contemporary Dutch-language poetry.

Philip Hoorne (b. 1964, Kortrijk) has published seven volumes of poetry. The most recent, Het dikke meisje en de ziener (The Fat Girl and the Visionary) in 2019. In addition he wrote a book of stories and compiled a number of poetry anthologies. A monograph on his life and work appeared under the title Wachten is het hele leven (Life is Nothing but Waiting).

The poems of Philip Hoorne are sometimes called Hoornian, because there is no similar voice in the Dutch-language poetic landscape. The humour in Hoorne’s work is quite often the superlative stage of seriousness. If the reader cuts through the light-hearted tone and the simple words, he will encounter a wonderful world of drama and tragedy.

Philip Hoorne gives occasional poetry courses for Wisper and is the founder, mentor and inspirer of Poëzieatelier Brugge. In 2019 he obtained his Photographer’s Certificate.

And Then There’s Cake

there’s no point in pretending
we don’t know what we know
I know every muscle in your back and every toe
and I see what you don’t see but know very well
you have an ace in your arse
although I don’t like surprises
unless they involve cake
but I can’t see any cake
I only see your arse
and that ace sticking out

in situations like that I imagine
I’m watching a film
a slow Bulgarian B film
containing a lengthy scene with a woman
lying on a bed with an ace in her arse
then someone calls cut
and that ace in your arse never existed
you wear panties
and there’s cake
just for me

(Dutch version below the photo)

En dan is er taart

het heeft geen zin om te doen alsof
we niet weten wat we weten
ik ken elke spier op je rug en elke teen
en ik zie wat jij niet ziet maar best wel weet
je houdt een aas in je reet
hoewel ik niet van verrassingen houd
behalve als er taart mee gemoeid is
maar ik zie geen taart
ik zie alleen je reet
en die uitstekende aas

in dergelijke situaties stel ik me voor
dat ik in een film zit
een trage Bulgaarse B-film
waarin een langgerekte scène van een vrouw
die op bed ligt met een aas in haar reet
dan roept er iemand cut
en die aas in je reet is er nooit geweest
jij draagt een broek
en er is taart
voor mij alleen

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