Fragments

book

I

At the foot of dark walls, beating the skinny dogs,

II

Oh ! as true as the bells are bronze,

our hearts are full of despair !

In June, eighteen seventy-one,

massacred by black being,

We Jean Baudry, we Jean Balouche,

having accomplished our wishes,

died in this ambiguous belfry,

[firm in our] loathing [of] Desdouets !…

III

Behind [his waistcoat] jumped up and down in grotesque hiccups

a swallowed rose in the porter’s belly.

IV

Dark-haired, she was sixteen when they married her.

dots

For she is on love with her seventeen-year-old son.

V

[The Complaint of the Old Monarchists to

M. Henri Perrin, a Republican Journalist]

dots

You have lied,

on my thigh bone ! you have lied,

tawny apostle ! You want to turn us into

ruined men ? You’d like to skin our bald heads ?

But I have tow thighbones, twisted and embossed !

Because everyday at school you sweat enough

on your suit collars to fry a fritter;

because you’re [as false as] a dentist’s disguise,

a bald riding-school horse frothing at the mouth

and long in the tooth as well, you think to wipe out

my forty years of office!

I have my thighbone ! I have my thighbone ! I have my thighbone !

That’s what I have been twisting for forty years

on the edge of my well-loved hard walnut chair;

the imprint of the wood stays always on it ;

and I, when I behold your impure organ,

all your subscribers, buffoon, all your subscribers,

handling that sloppy organ in their hands,

dots

I shall touch them, for all tomorrows to come,

with this thighbone which has been worked on forty years !

VI

[The Complaint of the Grocers]

Let him enter the shop when the moon

is reflected in its blue panes,

let him seize under our noses tins of chicory

VII

dotsIs it

[casks?]

being staved in?

dotsNo!

It is a cook-chef snoring like a bassoon.

 VIII

Among the gold and quartz and porcelain objects,

a common chamber-pot, unseemly reliquary

of old Ladies of the Manor, round its

shameful sides on the royal mahogany.

IX

Oh! the eternal vignettes!

X

And the poet, drunk, stormed at the Universe.

XI

LINES FOR PLACES

Of this seat, so badly shaped that it

ties our bowels in knots,

the hole must have been botched

by some genuine blackguards.

 

When the famous Tropmann

destroyed Henri Kink, the murdered

must have sat upon this seat;

for the Badingue and Hanry V,

the cunts, are truly very worthy

of a seat in this state [or, this state of seige].

XII

It is raining softly on the town.

XIII

See to it, O my absent life!

XIV

The moonlight, as church clock was striking twelve…


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