Boekenbeurs

Links van mij: de dichteres Sylvie Marie. Rechts? De poëten Max Temmerman en Bart Van der Straeten. Op tafel: een mozaïek aan bundels, een geplastificeerd naamkaartje, een vulpen en volle glazen witte wijn.

Waar ik ben? De boekenbeurs in Antwerpen, op het signeerstandje van uitgeverij Vrijdag. Wachtend op bewonderaars, liefhebbers en minnaars van binnenrijm en amechtige alliteraties.

Vooral wachten dus op familie en vrienden, die me de vernedering willen besparen.

Want vóór mij, vóór mijn tafel? Het grote niets. Een gapende stilte. De totale afwezigheid van aanwezigheid. Mensen passeren, werpen wel een blik op mijn verwaaide kop, op de oranje kaft, maar stappen dan gewoon verder. Stoppen en even een nieuwsgierig praatje slaan? Volgend jaar misschien. Of nooit. Best mogelijk.

Want poëzie, is dat niet iets voor halfgare, verwijfde zielen? Voor semidepressieve sukkels, die dichten in plaats van naar een psycholoog te gaan? Voor mislukte schrijvers met dyslexie en de onhebbelijke neiging om zinnen in het midden af te kappen?

Dichters? Dutsen, ja.

En toch. Ik vind het gezellig, zo schaamteloos uitgestald worden. Mijn eerste keer ook.

Tot plots een lezer aanschuift. Met een boekje in zijn handen. Hij angstig, ik angstig. Het rijmpje immers indachtig: ‘De dichter signeert/hij zoekt een pen/en dan een woord/en schrijft dan de naam van de fan verkeerd’.

 

(Verscheen eerder in De Standaard)

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