Poem Of The Day: Amsterdam

Seeing Double. Some people think Amsterdam is a city of sin. But it is actually a city of freedom, and in freedom most people find sin.

*How to read this Amsterdam poem: “Seeing Double” can be read in the left column alone, the right column alone, and from left to right as an entire poem. The left side is centered on a park musician statue photo, and the right side is centered on a woman working in the red light district.

Amsterdam. PHOTO Amanda Dettmann

                                                                        red lights like Great Gatsby eyes

Amsterdam bathes in leaves

                                                                        opens 10 am, black curtains crawling

yellowing like book pages

                                                                        people behind glass

everything is falling out of trees

                                                                        a woman’s fingernails beckoning

onto the bronze man’s scalp

                                                                        window display turned human, moving

he plays on

                                                                        when does she sleep

best bass player in town

                                                                        when does she go home

he knows

                                                                        liberty in a single strand of hair brushed sideways

spinning his instrument like a paintbrush

                                                                        swaying her hips to her own whistling

Van Gogh sitting in the park audience

                                                                        in her own maroon world

right along with him

                                                                        a heel four inches off the ground

singing in Dutch           

                                                                        no waver in her undressed silence

red hair tapping the wind like a foot pressing a piano pedal:

                                                                        “play on, risky city, play on”
Amanda Dettmann


Amanda is an avid traveler who calls Maine her home, but her favorite places include Amsterdam's Christmas markets and Shakespeare's Globe in London. She is passionate about poetry, theatre, and teaching writing to kids and adults with disabilities. She thinks the best part of traveling is hearing strangers' incredible stories. Her ultimate mission? To find the tastiest cappuccino in the world.

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