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  CARDINAL POINTS: THE CURRENT ISSUE
Guy Jean
NO WIND
Translated from French by Ilya Kaminsky  and the author

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Guy Jean
   Guy Jean
An old man licks anger...

An old man licks anger
in the wind, at passers-by
holds up a hand, on the handout,
clenches a fist

In the park children laugh at puppets. Furious puppets.

Morning sun.
His guts aching for booze.

(an old man in the wind, furious with puppets).


He has left his mother buried in the day...

He has left his mother buried in the day, shut in the
secrets of each day. His mother, in each day. He has
left.

He scratches in his skin her words, her betrayals. His
nail scratches in his skin her words.

He is returning to his sister, to his wife, to his
daughter. He flees the ramblings of the flags. Flags,
a heavy virtue. Flags, of a murderous honor. He flees.

Know this: he will lift his arms and legs, dancing to
the rhythm of breathings of his animals. He will
baptize himself with the mockery of gargoyles. He
will pay cash on the nail. Cash, the price of his
love. Of his days, dollars.


A fence. As far as the eye can see...

A fence. As far as the eye can see. A fence. The
traveling gypsy, performs as she walks along it, she
juggles. Her legs opened, partly. To invite the
dreamer.

Flags along the fence. They walk. November. Gray wind.
Crevice between November and January, atonement for
excesses of the fruits in harvest. For the forgetting
for the labors. A generous forgetting.

A generous forgetting. To invite the dreamer, as he
walks.

As he walks, he puts on the face of Sundays, his mask;
he roams through the city streets, sets fire to his
loved one's apartment. A heart there-does it beat
still? It beats.

He calms. His mourning ploughs the winter. He calms.
The snow drops on his steps as his legs lift and fall.

It beats. With his eyes he wants to touch the earth.
He does not see in a wood fire, what he wants to
touch. He does not see it in a woman in heat, what he
wants to touch. That coolness, a loss of sight. He
wants. As far as the eye can see.


Dance in the street. Till you lose your North. Dance...

Dance in the street. Till you lose your North. Dance.
At the top of your voice. Dance. With flowers in each
arm. Jump over the hole in your head. Dance.

Crash the door of your garden. Blood on the astilbes.
Crash the door. Slap it.

" Tragedy is a crime of passion. "

Three bullets in the head. A rope around the neck in a
larder.

" Tragedy is a crime of passion. "

We have lost ourselves in a metaphor, in a winter's
nucleus at the end of a finger.

Between earth and us, a paper of rice.

Translated from French by Ilya Kaminsky  and the author



© Copyright Guy Jean
© Copyright Ilya Kaminsky, translation from French
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