Iemand loopt op de brand-trap


Editor: Zirimiri press (Dutch)
Year: 2013
ISBN: 978-94-90042-05-9
Pages: 192

Translated by: Luk Van Mensel + Henrike Olasolo
Foreword by: Xabier Mendiguren

From the Basque original: Norbait dabil sute-eskaileran. Also available in Spanish Polish


I am Jean Michel Basquiat:
black artist, black-balled and
marginalized by blacks and whites,
I who stuck my finger
in the eye of good taste
and up the ass of blonde singers,
I who painted the doors and curtains of my house,
I whose friends stole my painted refrigerator when I died
to sell it cheap,
I whose four hundred-pound door they stole
from a mechanic on Third Avenue when I died
because I had painted graffiti on it.
I am Jean Michel Basquiat,
I who drank coffee on my canvases, ate on them,
got angry, happy, desperate, slept on them
when they left me,
I who wrote girlfriends’ telephone numbers on my canvases
and wiped them out when I got angry with them;
the best and only way
to make things stand out and
to make people pay attention
is to wipe them all out.
I am Basquiat,
I who boxed Warhol and won.
I am he.
I who made love to all the so-called trendy white girls
of downtown New York,
I who sold at the same price paintings done
in two weeks or ten seconds
because my whole life was contained
in the quivering wrist of those ten seconds.
I am Basquiat:
problem child
rasta-haired youth who wanted to live life to the fullest
swallowed whole by the market
whatever you want, now that I’m dead.
I am he,
I who slept in Washington Square
when broke or
when my dealer didn’t show up,
I who painted with two televisions
and two gramophones turned up high
coronated king
mother and grandmother of failure
son of success and rasta-haired great-grandson.
I with the sadness of a gagged child clear
in the depths of my eyes,
and of course I who died of an overdose at age twenty-seven.
I who want to reach out my arm from beneath the earth
to paint my gravestone with a final brushstroke,
to write down or wipe out
a last telephone number.
I who lie
in this Brooklyn cemetery
and in every one of my paintings.
I am Basquiat.

Translated by: Kristin Addis