each day brings its calm
a dull murmur that flows through the cloakroom of history
each day unravels itself in the effervescent little pangs
of a metal strip dissolved in a glass of soda water
in which are reflected escalators and well-oiled turnstiles
for a man who doesn’t exist
we are fragile off-cuts of spools
restored reels of melancholic films
flooding an empty hall with a tang of bitter loneliness
the scratched records that a master of ceremonies insists
on having crackle under the diamond of a star
so as to rediscover the thread of unfinished rites
the harmonies of despair
the cracked plates that twirl on nimble sticks
like the gouged eyes of a mad god
in the disenchanted night
we stir our little patch of sky with the twisted
spoon of yesterday’s feasts in the rain of stone gardens
harried by builders’ catapults
a hail of small coins
it’s hardly as if the chorus of the dead
begging for silence can make itself heard
shall we find the patience this evening
to make some ashes speak
to break through our network of moles thirsty for meaning
into the vitreous entrails of the leviathan
to seduce language
with our crumbled images and our vague thrills
to propose a memory for these thankless times
when a first thought settles
like a butterfly afire
on the thong of the dead stripper
suffocating in her pyramid of cream puffs (33)

Translation by Roger Little