miércoles, mayo 30, 2007

Three Poems From Jason Heroux

On This Street

In the morning the mirror glows
like a brush after grooming the sun.

But at night it wanders off
like a horse unhitched
from the room’s wagon.

On this street the houses
are fussy eaters.
Windows spit out the light
and feed it
to the dog under the table.

The tiny stars
reflected in puddles
look dirty as vitamins
fallen under the fridge.

Unemployed trees
pick their own pockets.
Statues with stomach ulcers
cough up other people’s blood.

On this street it’s hard to tell
if it’s day or night.

When it gets dark
the light bulbs hatch
in the lampshade’s nest
and cry until they’re fed.

Little Nails

We’re like little nails sticking out of the wall.
And the wall is a field of freshly fallen snow.
We’ve only taken one step and we’re already
lost in the woods.
We don’t know what hangs upon us.
We don’t know what needs us to be ourselves.


Today arrived
on trembling crutches
of birdsongs looking
for some place to rest.

It arrived carrying
the sky under its arm.

Like a broken suitcase
tied shut with a string
of chimney smoke.

Jason Heroux lives in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. His poems were selected for Breathing Fire 2: Canada's New Poets and he is the author of a poetry collection titled Memoirs of an Alias. His novella, Hello In There, is scheduled to appear in Particle and Wave: A Mansfield Omnibus of Electro-Magnetic Fiction later this year.

jueves, mayo 17, 2007

New Poetry From Nicolas Bourbaki




… in the refusal

To balance on a ledger – the declining

Of a challenge to step

The tip-tied tight-rope

Rope of pleasure

Deep in a warmthening pigpan

Or tight between four walls of tight dominion

Like an egg-shell speckled loosely in an egg:

If, high above the spigot of a fountain, floating

Like a ping-pong ball, one should fall –

But I’d rather, in all honesty, grow a tail

Than pull the strings that pull together in a thought.

Let words hang in the air

Between us

Like a wet tongue, nameless

While I fix myself to sleep… I know thy works,

That thou art neither cold nor hot. I would

That thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm,

And neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth!


I, hikikomori, high on moratory

Like black pine curtains at last cold light

In the tattered light

Of winter –

Ah, this would the divinities

In draped sheltering of them,

Cottoning the carriage of empty bottlesAh,

Forever the divinity’s undrowning of them –

If solitude descended in suchly ways.

Like slow-hanging stars hung on wires above deserts!

In flip-books of hat-wearing monks in high forests,

The unassembled armies of Tokyo, Berlin, and Paris

Marching in slippers down air-conditioned halls

In satiety behind unbuilded walls and windows –

The empty mountain, no one seen

Sunset, light enters the deep forest

Shines across green moss.

If solitude descended

In suchly ways.

If solitude descended in such-like luxuriancies

Telegenic, irreversible, then the emperor

Might return at nectar’s exhaustion, day’s end

With his heading and beheading behind him,

And with his high bed be heading

To sleep. But finally it does not,

Finally it comes down, stripped,

Like a drop of water breaking in the heat

Pulled to the surface

Of an electric range.


A Memory of My Youth

“Come one and come all, my young ones, my children,

Hold your folding legs on blackboard chairs, on folded wings,

Come and see through morning thickness the many things

Caught in the moment when a music stops,

And each chair must find a dancer, more or less willing,

To settle down under. Come and see the intermittence

In the spectacle, circulating in these morning halls

Like the unwashed breath and pinkish fingers

Of a thousand spotted feathers… Come,

Together we can gather in the paintchips, you and me…

Well let me see – there once was a shadow –

Of a young hirondelle – not yet a podium –

Waiting on a steel branch – for her parole.

Living on scalded shins with scalded hands

And when I remember I wait for the end – which is to say

There once was a copy of a hirondelle

Waiting by a lectern for a tabula rasa,

Whiling away the hours with a game of hearts.

Meals for one, good with names, overfrozen –

Yes, spare me your syphilitic moonshine.

I have seen you trotting the fields with silver cane

And I can smell your pine-tar medicines.

He placed his hands in my hair and I heard nothing

But my breath, wanted nothing.

The obstinacy of forgotten music.

On the fourth day I opened my mouth to scream

The mute wail of a carhorn

Splitting the night in three. There is a crease

By my eye that will not go away.

I pull the threads around me

Each in a separate direction,

A separate sense –”


Remembered ads, remembered temptations,

Abandoned hopes for haircream medications…

To sleep the sleep of names,

Sleeps of ambrosial anesthesia and lost hours,

Hours recorded in neon by reluctant clocks

Or bulging like fruitflies in summer airs

Lying on the fat and ripened pears

Of rotten days. To be once more enthroned

In the middles of quiet festivals

In the middling of the stalls

While the tattoos snake across my walls

Like starry frescoes… I wake, I feed, I sleep,

Huis clos, in the canicular summer heat

And the flickering that rubs across my eyes

Is like vaseline across my lids

A headlight through the glass

As it rolls above the grating

Through the milkcloud of steam.

In the crepuscular sunrise, the blue asshole of regret,

I drift around the ceiling like a nodding silhouette.


Let us go, you said, and meant –

but meant instead:

Diverse languages, and horrible jargons,

words of dolour, accents of rage,

loud voices, raucous, noises of hands with them,

made a whirling fracas

always, in this eternally somber air,

like the sand where blows a whirlwind.

And me, with my head surrounded by shadow,

I said: “Master, what do I hear?

who are these people so undone by suffering?”

And him to me: “This miserable state

is that of the spiteful souls of the humans

who lived without infamy and without praise.

They are mixed among the low choir of the angels

who were neither rebels to God

nor faithful, and who were only for themselves.

The heavens chased them out, for not being less beautiful,

and the profound inferno wanted none of them,

because the damned would have more glory from a soul.”

Now an old man cursing the sidewalk.

Now a scarecrow

Cast out from huddled fields.


I know what I mean to say

And said what I meant to mean:

I’ve held my belly leaking at the seams

When the sentier of sing-song

Was incapable of dreams;

When the abundance

Of sickness in the air

Or dew-like

Resting on the skin

Enjoined a struggle with oxygen –

O Quasimodo, mon amour,

Like the receptive apex

Of the pistil of a flower

Disfigured by a stem

There are no words for you.

Though blue-dyed bluish green

And vaccinated in turpentine

I could hear the skinheads stomping

In the vacant hollow walls

And the hollowed Walla halls

Beating a vagrant

Wailing beneath my window.

I know the look of joy, the look of fear,

Have seen the forced contortions in the mirror –

Seen bodies sprawled on sidewalks

And understood desire, still breathing.

Leaves withered from lack of light

To quiet the shaking of a bed.

The face of an opposed building

To wonder…

Until you are

Again, in the pith path of memory.

There, in the yellow loudness of a hallway waiting,

Far from the crowd, on a winter night excursion

I felt you leaning back like a small green sapling

Your twisting arms extending

Like thin young branches into space…

You dried your hands with several paper towels

Between the tagged genitals, the porcelain,

The eternal melody… on the Boulevard Saint-Germain

A greasy film of paper

Clenched in a swollen hand.

In the sunlit four o’clock morning

Still traces rolled behind me

Of an unmistakable scent

Nipping at my back in public corridors

Pawing at my heels

In the late-night backs

Of overlit convenience stores

Until I returned for the silent observance

At the counter

At the door –

Unmistakable, still embarrassing,

The transaction will take place

With minimal harassing.


You were unrecognized blood on a tissue

In the dryness of Sunday mornings.

A glory in a mirror in the redness of eyes

When out of the cinders

A flag did rise…

At the end of the line

The back of the cellar

The busy signal swallowed

With half a glassful of water:

Dead voices shuffle leaves

In whispered rhythm.

Maybe next fall they’ll set off another nuclear bomb.

Dr Nicolas Bourbaki is a poet and philosopher living in Guatemala. He is currently writing a literary Choose-Your-Own-Adventure novel.