Monday, January 15, 2007

Such Is Life

Treasure silly days over your rubble. Spring is haunted and your life was crowded with beautiful fallen words like emeralds. Across the centuries I turn myself in and begin a conversation. The leaves themselves, an autumn army of maps, sing childhood promises. No is the word that winds.


At the time of the prose poem's emergence, French poetry was dominated by the Alexandrine, an extremely strict and demanding form that poets such as Aloysius Bertrand and Charles Baudelaire wanted to rebel against. Further proponents of the prose poem included other French poets such as Arthur Rimbaud and Stéphane Mallarmé. The prose poem continued to be written in France and found profound expression, in the mid-20th century, in the prose poems of Francis Ponge.


My Life

The city to take is in a room. The enemy's plunder is not heavy and the enemy won't take it away because he doesn't need money since it's a story and only a story. The city has ramparts of painted wood: we will cut them out so we can glue them to our book. There are two chapters or parts. Here is a red king with a gold crown mounting a saw: that's chapter II. I don't remember chapter I anymore.

Superior Degeneracy

The balloon rises. It is bright and has a point that is even brighter. Neither the oblique sun which casts its bolt like a wicked monster casts a spell, nor the cries of the crowd--nothing will stop it from rising. No! The sky and the balloon are but one soul: for it alone does the sky open. But, oh, balloon, be careful! Shadows are stirring in your gondola, oh unlucky balloon! The aeronauts are drunk.

Mystery of the Sky

Returning from the bal, I sat at the window contemplating the sky. It seemed that the clouds were immense heads of old men sitting at a table, and that someone was bringing them a white bird adorned with its feathers. A huge river traversed the sky. One of the old men lowered his eyes towards me. He was even going to speak to me when the enchantment dissipated, leaving the pure twinkling stars.

—Max Jacob

Cool Places on Pillowcases

Looking for cool places on pillowcases on a summer night! No Columbus ever set out on a more perilous exploration; no Astronaut ever set out on a more difficult mission—as my fellow insomniacs especially, will doubtless agree. Consider for example the fate of would-be summer sleepers who, while looking for cool places on pillowcases on a summer night, fall out of bed—and who then find themselves lying on the floor, with bruises on their heads and shoulders; and who end up with feet in the air, lying there completely upside-down.

—Michael Benedikt

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