Uit: Against the Day
“July Fourth started hot and grew hotter, early light on the peaks descending, occupying, the few clouds bright and shapely and unpromising of rain, nitro beginning to ooze out of dynamite sticks well before the sun had cleared the ridge. Among stockmen and rodeo riders, today was known as “Cowboy’s Christmas,” but to Webb Traverse it was more like Dynamite’s National Holiday, though you found many of the Catholic faith liked to argue that that ought to be the Fourth of December, feast of St Barbara, patron saint of artillerymen, gunsmiths, and by not that big of a stretch, dynamiters too.
Everybody today, drovers and barkeeps, office clerks and hardcases, gentle elderly folks and openmouth reckless youth, would be seized sooner or later by the dynamitic mania prevailing. They would take little fractions of a stick, attach cap and fuse, light them up and throw them at each other, drop it in reservoirs and have all-day fish fries, blast picturesque patterns in the landscape that’d be all but gone next day, put it lit into empty beer barrels to be rolled down mountainsides, and take bets on how close to town before it all blew to bits – a perfect day all round for some of that good Propaganda of the Deed stuff, which would just blend right in with all the other percussion.
Webb staggered up out of his bedroll after one of those nights when he did not so much sleep as become intermittently conscious of time. Already warm-up blasts could be heard up and down the valley. Today’s would be a fairly routine job, and Webb was looking forward to a little saloon time at the end of it. Zarzuela was out by the fence waiting, having known Webb long enough to have an idea that whatever the day held in store, it would include explosion, which the colt was used to and even looked forward to.”
Thomas Pynchon (Glen Cove, 8 mei 1937)
Uit: Paddy Clarke ha ha ha
“Today, we were coming home from the building site. We’d got a load of six-inch nails and a few bits of plank for making boats, and we’d been pushing bricks into a trench full of wet cement when Aidan started running away. We could hear his asthma, and we all ran as well. We were being chased. I had to wait for Sinbad. I looked back and there was no one after us but I didn’t say anything. I grabbed Sinbad’s hand and ran and caught up with the rest of them. We stopped when we got out of the fields onto the end of the road. We laughed. We roared through the gap in the hedge. We got into the gap and looked to see if there was anyone coming to get us. Sinbad’s sleeve was caught in the thorns.
-The man’s coming! said Kevin, and he slid through the gap.
We left Sinbad stuck in the hedge and pretended we’d run away.
We heard him snivelling. We crouched behind the gate pillars of the last house before the road stopped at the hedge, O’Driscoll’s.
– Patrick…., Sinbad whinged.
– Sin-bahhhd…., said Kevin.
Aidan had his knuckles in his mouth. Liam threw a stone at the hedge.
– I’m telling Mammy, said Sinbad.
I gave up. I got Sinbad out of the hedge and made him wipe his nose on my sleeve. We were going home for our dinner; shepherd’s pie on a Tuesday.”
Roddy Doyle (Dublin, 8 mei 1958)
Uit: The Ghost Road
“In deck-chairs all along the front the bald pink knees of Bradford businessmen nuzzled the sun.
Blly Prior leant on the sea-wall. Ten or twelve feet below him a family was gathering its things together for the trek back to boarding-house or railway station. A fat, middle-aged woman, swollen feet bulging over lace-up shoes, a man with a lobster-coloured tonsure -my God, he’d be regretting it tomorrow -and a small child, a boy, being towelled dry by a young woman. His little tassel wobbled as he stood, square-mouthed with pain, howling, ‘Ma-a-am.’ Wet sand was the problem. It always was, Prior remembered. However carefully you tiptoed back from that final paddle, your legs got coated all over again, and the towel always hurt.
The child wriggled and his mother slapped him hard, leaving red prints on his chubby buttocks. He stopped screaming, gulped with shock, then settled down to a persistent grizzle. The older woman protested, ‘Hey, our Louie, there’s no need for that.’ She grabbed the towel. ‘C’mon, give it here, you’ve no bloody patience, you.’
The girl-but she was not a girl, she was a woman of twenty-five or twenty-six, perhaps -retreated, resentful but also relieved. You could see her problem. Married, but the war, whether by widowing her or simply by taking her husband away, had reduced her to a position of tutelage in her mother’s house, and then what was the point? Hot spunk trickling down the thigh, the months of heaviness, the child born on a gush of blood -if all that didn’t entitle you to the status and independence of a woman, what did? Oh, and she’d be frustrated too. Her old single bed back, or perhaps a double bed with the child, listening to snores and creaks and farts from her parents’ bed on the other side of the wall.”
Pat Barker (Thornaby-on-Tees, op 8 mei 1943)
For Lew Welch In A Snowfall
Snowfall in March:
I sit in the white glow reading a thesis
About you. Your poems, your life.
The author’s my student,
He even quotes me.
Forty years since we joked in a kitchen in Portland
Twenty since you disappeared.
All those years and their moments—
Crackling bacon, slamming car doors,
Poems tried out on friends,
Will be one more archive,
One more shaky text.
But life continues in the kitchen
Where we still laugh and cook,
There Are Those Who Love To Get Dirty
There are those who love to get dirty
and fix things.
They drink coffee at dawn,
beer after work,
And those who stay clean,
just appreciate things,
At breakfast they have milk
and juice at night.
There are those who do both,
they drink tea.
Gary Snyder (San Francisco, 8 mei 1930)
Als student Aziatische cultuur en talen in 1956
Uit: Der Tabakgarten
„Dann jedoch trat ein, woran sich jeder erinnern wird, der damals einen Garten oder ein Feld zu bestellen hatte: in einer Reihe trockener Sommer war jener Sommer der trockenste. Zu allen anderen Plagen kam die Plage der Dürre über unser Land. Wochenlang fiel kein Regen, über den halbzerstörten Städten kochte die Hitze. Jeden Nachmittag erhob sich ein glühender Wind, er trieb den roten Ziegelstaub von den Trümmerstätten hoch, der Staub quälte unsere Kehlen und unsere Lungen. Die Brunnen versiegten, und die Behörden gaben den Erlaß heraus, daß Gärten und Rasen – bei hoher Strafe – nicht mehr aus den nur noch unergiebig fließenden Leitungen besprengt werden dürften.
Wir Gartenleute trauerten. Der eine oder andere ließ es sich nicht nehmen, ein Tönnchen voll Wasser aus dem Fluß heraufzukarren. Den meisten war das zuviel Mühe. Sie, die kühleren Köpfe, rechneten richtig, wenn sie sagten, sie könnten so viel Kraft nicht an das lumpige Grünzeug vergeuden. So müsse es eben verdorren.”
Gertrud Fussenegger (8 mei 1912 – 19 maart 2009)
Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 8e mei ook mijn blog van 8 mei 2012 deel 2.