Poems by Jakob Zaaiman on Medium


A contemporary poem

Jakob Zaaiman
3 min readDec 21, 2023


Collage by the author.
Artwork by the author.

‘Degas was my favourite antisemite;
as were Pound and Eliot.’


Her daughter was in Mongolia, in the
capital city Ulan Bator in the late 1990s,
and the daughter said the country was
awash with alcohol; daughter needed to
get to the bank, so she left her hotel at
about 8.30 in the morning and set
out on quite a walk, and walking
along a wide, empty boulevard
(this was before people had cars)
leading to the city centre, she saw a
single taxi drifting along at about
10 miles an hour, so she waved at
it but it just trundled slowly past her,
the driver staring blankly ahead, so
she jogged alongside the cab and
knocked on the side window but the
driver did nothing, so she opened the
back door and the driver stopped; she
got in and asked the driver to go to the
bank and he, saying nothing, and not
even turning to acknowledge her,
briefly revved the engine and then took
off at about 5 miles an hour. After about
200 metres of steady steering a front
wheel started rubbing and scraping
against the concrete kerb — squeaking
and squealing as it did so — and then after
about another 50 metres the wheel
seemed to be sticking to the kerbside,
and the cab itself slowed to a halt.
The driver then rested his head against
the steering wheel…