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Voor Emmy

Zijn het pluimen of bladeren
die ontsnappen uit je binnenste hartkamer
of is het de gloed van de kleur van kloppend bloed
hunkerend naar de stilte van rimpelloos

Als haar handen vloeibaar worden
krijgt de piano vleugels op het doek
Een boom verbijt haar vergezicht
In de diepte luisteren wortels verrukt
naar de zachte braille van haar bestaan
Tuinen hangen van de wolken
omlaag, omhoog groeien vreemde bloemen
uit een ingebeelde notenbalk.

Guido Vermeulen
14 november 2011

Muziek bij de video: Claude Debussy

dinsdag 6 maart 2012

Urban Dream


I receive a letter from president ZUMA who is inviting me to come to South Africa and work for his government.
Based on my experiences in the Belgian Agency for Nuclear Control (BANC) he would like that I become manager of a nuclear housing estate.
The future of nuclear energy according to Zuma are mini nuke plants; the size of a house and such a house can produce enough electricity for a small town.
Would I be interested in living in such a house and managing it?
Of course I am! Main reason is to meet my (fe)mail artists in South Africa. So I start writing to Zuma, Cheryl, Lesley, Karin, Sue and a few others “that I am coming”.

I am picked up at the airport by an official who drives me to the house which is in the centre of a township. It is a weird construction. The centre of the house is the mini nuke installation; it is a huge rectangle, completely closed and surrounded by cooling water, also closed but with plexi glass. I can walk around it and it is like watching a permanent waterfall.
The first room is divided in 2 sections: a kitchen and an eating place and the door to the outside.
The second room in the back is also divided in 2 parts: a salon with giant TV screen and a bedroom.
Two halls connect both rooms along the plant. Both have 2 windows in double walls.
The windows have special glass. I can see outside but from the outside nobody can see the inside.
The nuclear power plant house is operated from the rooftop. Several tubes are on the rooftop that can be reached from the inside by a staircase in one of the halls. You have tubes for evaporation of steam and a huge one for feeding the reactor. On the rooftop is a small cabin for control and operation of the plant and for measuring the production and diffusion of the electricity. The diffusion happens underground. “My” house is connected in the earth with all other houses of the township.
If this is a success, the official says, it will turn South Africa to a major player on the energy market. The idea is to sell such houses all over the world. I react with enthusiasm, seeing already the downfall of these bastards of Electrabel, EDF, Westinghouse and Gazprom.
When I visit the bedroom I see a large bed but NO blankets!
Error of delivery but no worries, I can choose blankets in the supply office of the ANC.
We drive to that building and when I walk in a long long hall I suddenly see blankets on the floor. I am puzzled: these are my blankets I lost 30 years ago in a youth house in Brussels.
On this moment I suspect I am maybe dreaming…
I take the blankets “home”. There is already a party going on and a group of 10 mail artists are welcoming me: Hey, Guido!!! Don’t leave the door open, I ask, because the cats could run away. They have to adapt first to their new environment. Tarantino is hiding under the bed but Buzz in already purring in Cheryl’s lap. When Karin is closing the front door a giant ginger cat bursts into the room. Oh no, I say, that bastard has followed me from Brussels, how did he manage to do that? He wants to harm Buzz and Tarantino. So my friends push the ginger monster outside. He transforms into a man. Wait a minute, he looks like G.W. Bush.
Oh that criminal! We tie ginger Bush with ropes and decide to eliminate the former president of the USA by dropping him into the tube on the rooftop for the fuel rods.
I hear him screaming. Come on Georges, this is payback time for all the water boarding.
Let’s have more Zulu wine, I am singing in a jolly good mood.
I wake up in sweat and am back in my flat in Brussels with Buzz and T beside my feet.

Guido Vermeulen, 26 January 2011

Text by GV, Zulu wine bottle scanned by GV and
illustration by Lesley Magwood Fraser, South Africa

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