In a manner of biography


My name is Erik. I was born on a peculiar day.

 

My parents wanted to call me Jean-quelquechose. A lot of parents in Holland called their kids Jean-quelquechose at the time I was born. I think they liked France. But my uncle Vincent said to my parents: don’t call him Jean-quelquechose. Call him Erik.

 

Erik is a sort of viking-name. The Brittish find it too Anglo-Saxion.

 

My uncle Vincent was an actor. He wasn’t really an actor. He acted a bit, and than he became the boyfriend of another actor. Later he took over a bar where actors went to drink.

At the end of his life uncle Vincent walked with a stick. When we saw him we shouted: "hey, uncle stick!" He would wave with his stick and smile.

 

I write poetry. My father wrote poetry. My grandfather wrote poetry. My grandfather published a bit. My father only wrote poetry when he drank whiskey. Now he has diabetis and doesn’t drink whiskey or write poetry anymore. I don’t drink whiskey when I write poetry.

 

I tried to live in Paris for a while, but I missed the language in which I write.

 

Perhaps my uncle was only joking.

 

My mother told me that on the night I was born, there was something on the tv about men on the moon. But the men were on the moon in 1969, not in 1968. My father and my grandfather were playing chess. My grandfather was a docter, and calculated that I was born a month too late. Nobody knows if his calculation was a mistake.

 

I published a few books by now. In English translation, fragments of my work appeared in Leviathan Quarterly, The Amsterdam Review and in Poetry Review, too.

In made a French book with the Centre Internationale de Poésie Marseille. It was 40 pages and called Terrain, that is for sure.

 

Often I have a feeling that I don’t understand what I hear.

 

My name is Erik, and usely I don’t think about my name.


(This text is written in broken English as an answer to Nathalie Cousin, who compiles a book about all living Erics and Erik-ken that are writing in these times.)