Marlene Dumas

Beaches ain’t what they used to be

(The Tourist meets the Fugitives)

As the newspapers inform us
daily immigrants are washed ashore
on the coast of Southern Spain.
Illegal African immigrants trying to get to Europe,
Dead bodies on the beach,
arriving in the promised land.
Bystanders trying to reanimate a body
on a beach in Southern Sicily.
The European Union is worried.
The Italian Minister of Reform said
‘After the third warning, just shoot.
Otherwise, this is a problem of which
we will never get rid off.’

Beaches ain’t what they used to be. Written for (together with Homage to the Polaroid, Measuring your own Grave, Framing and Naming, Southern Comfort, North Africa (Woman of Algiers), and Expiring Dates) and first published in Marlene Dumas, Measuring your own Grave, (cat.), The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2008, p.34; and included in Marlene Dumas, Sweet Nothings. Notes and Texts, second edition (revised and expanded) Koenig Books London, 2014.