translation: P.K. Brask, Patrick Friesen

Who I am for?
a manifesto

I am for those who spark with life,
who flee outside for a smoke
while the boss hands out awards.
Who just shrugs off the cold during the applau-
Him who cleans up after and arranges the
I do not agree with the chairman of the board.
A CEO gives me the cold shivers.
Don’t these people have any self respect?
The woman who bakes cookies for the hom-
I am all for ordinary decency.
The man who gets up in the dead of night
to bike around delivering newspapers
while fools and stragglers piss in his bag
and call him Paki.

People who cry in their sleep from lack
of the vitamins found only in love.
I’m for the woman collecting bottles,
who goes through other peoples’ trash
to give her granddaughter a trip to Rome.
The man who crosses the street to help
a dazed boy fallen too early out of his nest.
I am all for kindness.
For him who hides his poems
in the tool chest in his garage.
The failures - they are the most mysterious.
The man who sweeps his sidewalk and then a
Old people who lie dying alone in the hospitals.
I am all for him who’s misunderstood
every time he opens his mouth. The dumb
they walk around mumbling to themselves,
while they get some work done and take care
of a family.
Her who is always teased or bullied.
Him who can’t manage to maneuver his wheel-
and the bus driver who gets up and gives him
a hand.
I am for people who sing in traffic.
The guy making a fool of himself.
People who kick ass.
I am not for gang-related stockbrokers,
people who think they are the queen of hea-
Arrogant sneers.
The popes blocking people’s bank accounts.
The atmosphere in the courtroom.
I am all for courtesy, for bursting into tears
in the morning at Walmart, common hysteria,
care of pets, bewitching smiles in rush hour.
He who spends seven years building a gazebo
and then ends up smashing it to pieces
in an existential rage,
grieving over an empty heaven and a cold
It’s him I am for!

All my Umbrellas Were Bought
in Istanbul

All my umbrellas were bought in Istanbul
except the one I bought in Bursa.
Every time I go to Istanbul
I expect sunshine,
that’s how I feel about Istanbul.
I forgive her –
in my mind Istanbul is bathed in sunshine.
That’s why I end up standing in the rain
on Istiklal Caddesi
negotiating the price of an umbrella.
And the umbrella I bought in Bursa
I forgot in Istanbul.
There’s something mystical about this,
I love those umbrellas.

Niels Hav är en poet bosatt i Köpenhamn