sees: bitter law (of gravity?),
Cap of silk moiré, little wand of ivory,
Clothes very dark.
Paul watches the cupboard,
sticks out little tongue at pear,
Prepares, gives a poke, and squitters.
Al Godillot, Gambier, Galopeau,
Wolf-Pleyel – O Robinets! –
Menier, – O Chirsts! – Leperdriel!
Kinck, Jacob, Bonbonnel!
Veuillot, Tropmann, Augier!
Gill, Mendes, Manuel, Guido Gonin! –
Basket of the Graces! L’Herisse!
Old loaves, spirits!
Blind men! –
but then who knows? –
Beadles, Enghien. –
In one’s own home!
Let’s be Christian!
The Old Guard
To the emperor’s peasants!
To the peasants’ emperor!
To the sons of mars,
to the glorious 18 March!
When heaven blessed
the guts of Eugene!
(Seen in Rome)
There is in Rome at the Sistine,
covered with Christian emblems,
a little scarlet skullcap in which
ancient noses lie drying:
noses of Thebaid ascetics,
noses of canons of the Holy Grail,
in which leaded-hued night coagulated,
and the old sepulchral plainchant.
In their mystic desiccation every morning
there is poured schimatic filth
reduced to a fine powder.
Scapin tickles a rabbit under his coat.
who got fucked –
Do, mi – strums
On the rabbit’s eye which soon,
losing control, gets tipsy.
The Accursed Cherub
Bluish roofs and white doors
As on nocturnal Sundays,
At the town’s end,
the road without Sound is white,
and it is night.
The street has strange houses
With shutters of angels.
But look how he runs towards a Boundary-stone,
evil and shivering, A dark cherub who staggers,
Having eaten too many jububes.
He does a cack : then disappears :
But his cursed cack appears,
Under the holy empty moon,
A slight cesspool of dirty blood !
O see-saws! O Lilies!
Enemas of silver!
Disdainful of labours,
disdainful of famines!
Dawn fills you with
a [wound-searching,] cleansing love!
A heavenly sweetness
butters your stamens!
Humanity was lacing…
Humanity was lacing the shoes of the vast infant Progress.
Louis-Xavier de Ricard
Memories of Feeble-minded Old Man
When I was young, at country fairs, I sought, not the dull shooting gallery where every shot wins, but the place full of shouts where donkeys, with weary flanks, display that long bloody tube which I still do not understand!
… And then my mother… whose shift had a bitter odour although it was ragged at the hem and yellow as a fruit; my mother, who climbed into bed with a noise – which was, all the same, a son of toil – my mother with her ripe woman’s thigh, with her fat rump where the linen makes a fold – gave me heats of the kind one does not talk about.
A cruder and calmer shame was when my little sister, coming back from school, having worn her clogs down for a long time one the ice, would piss, and watch escaping from her nether lip, tight and pink, a fragile thread of urine…!
O forgiveness!… I used to think of my father sometimes: in the evening, the card game, and the bawdiest words; our neighbour, and myself whom they thrust aside; things seen … – for a father is disturbing! – and things imagined! … His knee, sometimes apt to fondle; his trousers whose fly my finger wanted to open… – Oh no! – To have the thick dark hard bit of my father, whose hairy hand rocked me!…
I don’t want to speak of the pot, the dish with the handle, glimpsed in the attic; the almanacs covered with red, and the basket of lint, and the Bible, and the latrines, and the servant girl; the Holy Virgin and the crucifix…
Oh! no on was so often disturbed, as if astounded! And now, so that forgiveness may be granted me: since the infected senses have made me their victims, I make my confession of the crimes of my youth!…
And besides! – may I be permitted to speak to the Lord! – why puberty tardily come, and why the pain of the obstinate and too-much-consulted glans? Why the shadow so slow at the base of the belly? and these numberless terrors which bury joy as if under black gravel?
Myself, I have always been stupefied! What is there to know?
Forgiven? … kneel again on the blue hassock, Father. O that childhood! … – and let us jerk our tails off!
On summer evenings, under the
burning eye of the shopfronts, when the sap
simmers under the dark gratings
which radiate form the foot
of the slender chestnut trees;
outside those dark groups of
joyful or home-loving people,
suckers of cutty pipes or kissers of cigars,
in the narrow kiosk half of the stone
into which I stray – while above me glows
an Ibled advertisement
– I muse how winter will congeal Tibet
with sounding clean water,
lulling the human swell
– and how the bitter north wind
spares not one vein.
To the bedside books, books of serene art;
Obermann and Genlis, Vert-vert and
the Lectern, I hope, when old age
at last has come, and I am indifferent
to boring preposterous novelties,
to ass the treatise of Doctor Venetti.
Disillusioned [,then] with stupefied public,
I shall be able to appreciate the
old-fashioned charm of the illustrations.
Writer and engravers have gilded
the sexual miseries, and it is stimulating,
is it not: DR VENETTI, Treatise on Conjugal Love.
I was occupying a third-class carriage:
an old priest took out a cutty pipe and
put his very calm forehead with
faded hairs out of the window, towards the breezes.
Then this Christian, braving impolite jests,
turning, made the energetic and
at the same time sad request to me
of a little pinch of caporal
– having once been chaplain-in-chief
to a royal scion condemned for the second time
– in order to ease the boredom of a tunnel,
dark vein which opens to travellers
at pré-Soissons, a town in Aisne.
I prefer without a doubt in the spring
the suburban cafe, where the branches
of the dwarf chestnut trees break into leaf
towards the narrow common, in the month of May.
Young dogs, often scolded,
come near the Drinkers to trample down
the hyacinths of the flower-bed.
And until the hyacinth evenings,
on the slate table where in the year 1720
a deacon engraved his Latin nickname,
thin as an inscription on a church window,
there’s the splutter of the black bottles
that never makes them drunk.
State of Siege
The poor omnibus driver under the tin canopy,
warming a huge chilblain inside his glove,
follows his heavy omnibus along the left bank,
and from his inflated groin thrusts away the moneybag.
And while [in the] soft shadow
where there are policemen,
the respectable interior of the bus looks at the moon
in the deep sky rocking
among its green cotton wool,
in spite of the Edict
and the still delicate hour,
and the fact that the bus is
returning to the Odeon,
the lewd wanton utters piercing cries
at the darkened square!
The year when the imperial Prince was born
has left me a generously comforting memory
of a limpid Paris where N’s of gold and
snow at the palace gates and on the
mounting-blocks burst out,
beribboned in tricolour.
In the swirl of crowds, and the songs
of old workmen in the dining-rooms;
on the strewn shawls the Emperor walks,
neat and black, with the Sanctified
Spanish-woman, in the evening.
The ball-boy, the Prepubescent, in whose veins…