Applied Prose


I will now be a little more open with you than before.

I think of famous people a lot.

Especially singers. It’s not the songs, the costumes, but the choreography. How pop stars go through the motions, half gods on a stage. I watch YouTube, sound on mute.

We don’t need lovers. We have evolved into polygamous divas, performers. All of us.

Oh, how we seduce, how we cease to commit.

But should it happen. Should someone suddenly say to you: ‘you look like a superb bird, let us commit to fruit and to each other from now on. Let us be romantic in a very modern way.’

Should it happen, there are some rules. Anarchy never really worked.

Lovers will write songs about you.

When in love, we become something else, something much closer to dramatic animals.

Once we are animals, we will be hunted. Hiding skills are important.

When attractive, barons will try to claim you.

When captured, barons will cut of your feet and use you solely for decoration.

Never stand still. Dance, so you can’t be captured. Be capricious.

‘We are not birds.’ George Clooney gives a presentation on life. I cough and fly up from my seat.

Open the windows, this story must be told. Show your colors, because no one will believe it. Open windows with a knife, if necessary. Cut out the pane and start showing.

With all this change and growth going on, I might need a new name. That’s good for hiding, too.

Birds always show their armpits when they fly. Big shameless armpits. Little sluts.

It’s a lot bigger than it seems. Just like the internet.

And the old man said: ‘Dance. Read books, but more importantly: dance. Dance, your best will be good enough. Everything becomes a song as soon as you’ll dance. Everything a party. So, dance and make me proud.’

A squeezebox unfolding. Closed, silent. Opened, fills itself with air, releases its’ colorful sighs. Not syrupy, but sudden, skittishly.

Birds can’t see what’s in front of them, so they move their head back and forth when they walk. That’s why birds look so nervous.

Just as much air above you as below. The other animals are jealous, of course. But you think, what a superficial world. You’re a crow who wanted more for himself and you found it. Feathers for hiding and showing. Sometimes you stretch them, to make your story longer. You keep swinging air around, clapping wings, singing in a far away language. Until no one recognizes you, the air, the fog.

You feel it. The wind rushes it. Cyndi Lauper sang it.

‘All the world’s a stage!’

Fantasies have a rhythm, too. Processes of nature controlling the happenings of this world.

I will now be a little more closed with you.

Originally published in Paradisaea, by Nadine Hensel

Text by Maurits de Bruijn
Graphic Design of the book by Denny Backhaus