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Keep Forgiving

Het prachtige slotstuk waarin Levi the Poet je bij de strot grijpt en hoop biedt

Op deze eerste Paasdag deelt Renco een hoopvol en ingetogen nummer van Levi the Poet. Op het album Cataracts is het het slotstuk, volgend op een tirade. Kippenvel.
| Renco Schoemaker

Levi the Poet kan zaken verwoorden op onnavolgbare wijze. Zijn werk kwam de afgelopen tien jaren meermalen voorbij. En op deze Paasochtend deel ik graag het (mij) immer kippenvel bezorgende en hoopvolle nummer Keep Forgiving. Wat een prachtig nummer om een album mee af te sluiten. Ik luister het vaak. Probeer je het ook eens? Het is een zeer ingetogen nummer.

Aangrijpende tirade of zalvend epos

Voor degene die al lang meeleest hier op is het geen nieuws dat de woorden van Levi the Poet mij regelmatig weten te raken. Een kleine tien jaar geleden kwam hij voorbij in het thematisch loodzware nummer ‘Review Memories‘ over de dood van zijn vader. Ook kwam hij voorbij in het nummer ‘Violence’ van Sleeping Giant. Een jaar later schreef ik een heuse ‘fanboy post‘. In januari 2018 was daar single Carl Sagan’s Smoking Chair en album Cataracts dat zowel een aangrijpende tirade als een zalvend epos bleek te zijn. Het album stond aan toen het hier lastig was, en dan vooral ‘As Far as the East is from the (Navel) West‘. En nu is het, 5 jaar later, wederom Pasen. Tijd voor vergeving en zalving na de tirade.

Keep forgiving as forgiven. Toepasselijk bij Pasen. Van Levi deelde ik al eerder nummers rond Goede Vrijdag (Tetelestai) en Pasen (Joy Seekers). Hij weet juist dan en daar met woorden iets te raken. Kennelijk.

Keep Forgiving


“Keep forgiving When the memories of what was threaten to shut your heart down And the laughter that you can still hear from the mouths of friends who are no longer around make you wish that you could change the channel If you write for everybody, you write for no one, so this will be for you.”


Keep forgiving
When all is not what you thought it was
When the lynch mob pulls back the curtain to reveal all that is ferocious and majestical
Well we are each of us small men to varying degrees
Projecting the great and powerful Oz with booming voices so much louder than we are confident

Keep forgiving
If you grow to hate what you loved
Well I don’t want to be a pendulum swinging from one ivory tower to another
Not everyone is competition
I pray for you on the days that I pray for my enemies
(The same days that I pray for myself)
Life tends to beat the binaries out of you
It’s healthy when you and I become we, but we have got to keep forgiving

If you write for everybody, you write for no one, so I write for my friends
I’ve watched all of them grope for understanding like a pipe dream
Heard every word that they haven’t said through eyes watering
Wondering if God really hates them as much as they think that he does in the deafening, inarticulable silence
Their lips are all sealed the same, not because they have nothing to say but because none of them know how to say it
And neither do I
Maybe you can relate

Keep forgiving
That goes for yourself as much as anyone
Keep forgiving
When pledged allegiances poison the body
And civil war breaks out between limbs and you tuck your children into bed at night, remembering the way that you treated their mother as somehow less than
Though you are the product of woman, without the power to multiply and you would not be here without her, and neither would they
Perspective, perspective
And the last shall be first and she’ll deserve every trophy that God has for her after being your trophy for so long, I’m sorry

Keep forgiving me
This goes both ways
With fingers for pistols firing indictments and blame at celebrities as machines I made, the bullets –
Sometimes – stand to temporarily tame the bitterness
But it’s still self-medicated anger
And the gun shot residue only fans the flames
I heard you say that fostering the festering pain was a match struck in the forest
And the faintest whisper enough of a gust to set it ablaze

Keep forgiving
Did it set your skin to fire as a boy trying to reconcile how a father could possibly treat you like that?
I used the past like funeral pyre thinking I could burn it away (And tie you to the stake while i’m at it)
I wanted to be the broken link in the chain, but when i set the torch to timber
It was I who found myself burning from the inside out
And I see how hell is as here and now as it is anywhere else

Keep forgiving
Have pity
Is there a drop of water for my tongue?
I used scissors to fork it and spoke blood
Spoke blood and tinctured the saliva to serve on a sponge
Called it compassion, called it death by love
Well, no wonder we’re so hellbent on hanging someone

Keep forgiving
When the disconnect seems to beat the poetry out of you
And the joy isn’t quite there but you can’t quite remember where or why it went
And the lenses protecting your vision continue to cloud
And spread reflecting eyes as opaque as the dimly lit mirror that they seem to be doubling up on just for the hell of it
Well, it was never just for the hell of it
But who really believes that in the midst of the dispersion
Or setting a broken bone?
The bloodletting felt like murder, but you had to get the poison out of me

Keep forgiving
When we come brandishing swords for the ears of those who spoke to what they should have given over to silence
When I steal the right to vengeance
When i think that I am justified in my anger, like holding onto it is doing anything other than picking at wounds that I don’t have the scope to see as a cell block

Keep forgiving
When the memories of what was threaten to shut your heart down
And the laughter that you can still hear from the mouths of friends who are no longer around make you wish that you could change the channel
If you write for everybody, you write for no one, so this will be for you

Keep forgiving as forgiven
As every pointer finger bent backwards and broken like the moment all of my indictments returned to me
And the bullets ricochet straight back in on my gunsights
Well this is a small, narrow lens from which to view the world

Keep forgiving as forgiven
We don’t always get to wear the white hat
Pardon is not always preceded by repentance
In fact, i think it’s exactly the opposite
If it were not for love, i would have never, ever come back

Keep forgiving
You can’t unsee what you’ve seen, but the world is colorful
Ferocious and majestic, without small men or straw men or me to blow smoke and mirrors from our machinery
That toggle switch is reductionistic
Let the pin go

Hate is a prison
I’ve told my stories, but they are yours
You may never get your apology, and on the day that you do, it may not mean a thing

Keep forgiving

Iets meer over auteur Renco Schoemaker

Renco is krap 40 jaar, man en vader van twee. Hij is ouderling in zijn gemeente in Zwolle. Hij mag graag fietsen, hardlopen, tv series kijken en podcasts maken. Luistert tot slot graag naar harde christelijke herrie.


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