Een avond in poëzie door Jochem Naafs

1 maart 2017

The future is watching the present*
Jochem Naafs

The future is reading these words
While she sits in front of me
And I’m not sure she knows English
But I am sure she understands me

The future stares friendly and smiles
The future talks with the past
The past may be her mother
And it is not sure if it lasts

While I am writing these thoughts
And try to be present and here
She’s distracted and gets off
And decides the future is near

And I fall, I roll, I run, I call, I enter the hall

When I enter, there is a disco ball
Creating the form of phi
A future fireplace to warm me
To take the panic away
White lit singing
To disturb the familiar feeling of home

I cry, I cry
I cry my pop music
And create glass structures
And ritualized burning
I cry little compromises
The smoke slowly rises
And nature revises
My gaze

A future that’s here to stay
And simultaneously walks away

Keep being curious
Or we all die
But don’t we all die anyway?
While we move towards the future
Well, at least we could postpone it
While we are sitting here

Postpone the future by moving
Postpone the future with care
And gently lie down on his body
Lie down
And get up
Dive slowly into the floor
Feel its presence, its body
You are not here alone

You may think it’s just the two of you
Pushing and pulling
Limps and heads
And curls and noses
Are you okay?
In preparing
Are you all right?
In a fall

Two hands, four feet and the floor
Four feet that are trying to crawl
How do we get ourselves where
Where a future is present
Where our bodies lay bare
Keep in touch, throw away
Come to me, make me stay
Where is our future?

Where is our future?
Is it a digital drawing?
Slowly appearing in front of our eyes
As a microsoft paint sketch
From the past

Clenched polished nails
Openly closed
Closely opened
Openly opened
And smiling

As a red dot on the tip of the nose
Searching for playful narratives
Of dancing and jumping
Of swimming
Of all the animals I remember
From my past experiences
And present memories

The expectation that will last
For six minutes
While I listen to past sounds
That predict the future
Of what I will see
While we think back of well-fitting
Trousers in various colours
And a not so well drawn
Dog or cat or whatever it was

There she is, blinded by eyelids
Doing what she rehearsed in the past
In the present
Exactly resembling a resemblance
Exactly resembling, reassembling a balloon
Into the not so well drawn
Dog or cat or whatever it was
Whatever it was to you in the past

Whenever I close my eyes
She is wearing a belt
And dances like a bird
Jolly hop to 5th!
But first she stands on her right leg
Holding her left with two hands, aligned
Pointing towards our common past
Pointing forwards to her you: me
Nice and easy
To the next
Objective affair
To the next
Disappearing photo
Slowly appearing in front of our eyes
Of a non-caring dog or cat
Or something grant, or something blank
Or a flamingo

Asleep
When you sleep there is not future
No past
And when the lights tick away
You awake to a
Of past reality
And future streams
Into your current being
Alone, asleep
Together in a stream
Of unconsciousness

Your feet get up before you want to
As they realize your fear before you do
As they know your thoughts before you do
When you finally get up
You’re already caught
Caught in an act that is beyond you
As if your future controls your present state
You’re caught in between the light
In some kind of liminal gate

A quietness, a togetherness
Searching for a path in the raw
The response is blue and sculptured
The effect is a reconfigured law
Where someone could actually leave
The present of what we just saw 

* This poem is inspired by the opening night of Moving Futures Rotterdam 2017 on Thursday February 23rd. While getting to Rotterdam I was sitting in front of a little girl wearing a pink woollen hat. She was looking at me while I was writing. This became the starting point for this poem on the relation between future, present and past. The performances that inspired the remainder of the poem were: Geisha’s Miracle by Jija Sohn, Nautural by Aida Guirro Salinas and Jefta Tanate, BLANKS by Ingrid Berger Myhre and SHANGO TRIO by Guilherme Miotto.

Jochem Naafs – foto: asmallproductioncompany