239 Things

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239 Things

Miek Zwamborn (1974, Schiedam) is poet, writer, translator and visual artist who works and lives in Amsterdam. She graduated at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (Amsterdam) at the department Fine Arts and also followed an education Jewelry at the trade school Schoonhoven.

Earlier work made it to the longlist of the AKO Literatuurprijs (de roman Oploper) and the longlist of the Libris Literatuurprijs (de roman Vallend hout). Zwamborn also teached at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and is editor at literary magazine Terras.

Underneath the roots of trees, under the pillars that carry the cities, under the lake in which the tower drowned, we crawl away, no one to watch us, no one to see us down here, loose, loose, we’re loose, we’ve lured the beast within, we’ve chased it down to here, for we hunt, banish the sun and the door clatters on behind nine waterfalls the rainbows rise in spatters, dome under which we were grown, silence still as stone solidified and soundless quests, dust hovers over the glowing gravel above the underground creek, we light the fire, gnaw the bones, bring out the ochre skulls and count the ages time has scattered on the floor, damply trapped in dank from cool chalk chambers to spots that grew into columns, walls that watch over the drawn out rains.

Outside the sun curls, waters gush, fields flame, but we abstain from light, pound pins into stone, climb, not up, but down past the loose ladders, the waterfall where bat once flew, no black figures hung upside down against the wet vault of this thousand year old cave now, home of the bear, house of the olm and auroch, the cries of our voices hollow from the hearth of our blood brothers, giant shadow of the fire, we continue crawling on the same knees as they through almond-shaped corridors and wander deep, deeply we arrive, we’re pricked by rock splinters, don’t wash ourselves, assume the colour of stone, there’s enough room to sharpen the axes, collecting lard for torches, tanning leather until late, blind the entrance with hands like claws, flatten the feathers on our arms and grope forwards in the dark, cast off time, we touch one another and taste the void at the back of our tongues from when we did not yet speak.