we are in the dark

Jean Wahl by Avigdor Arikha

We are in the dark, unknown, ignorant,
Floating down the river of time,
Rooted in the fields of space,
And everything passes and nothing ceases
Except, soon, ourselves
When at grave’s edge
We will see that we lived in the great light
And never knew it.

Jean Wahl
tr. Michael Tweed
ill. Avigdor Arikha

(Nous sommes dans le noir, ignorés, ignorant,
Flottant sur le cours du temps,
Enracinés aux champs de l’espace,
Et tout passe et rien ne cesse
Que nous-mêmes bientôt
Quand au bord du tombeau
Nous verrons que nous vivions dans la grande lumière
Et ne le savions pas.)

Song of the Golden Tree by Claude Margat

One day
the mouth named
the never lifting mist
the wordless support
the imageless breath
how long ago
how long?

Then came
this other day
a thousand years of desire and sorrow
between sky and path
grass frozen beneath a white wind
and in the eyes
of long histories of the blind

an impeccable blue
let blood and sand trickle down
present past no matter
silk wall or golden leaves
if the murmur of things is broken
who will rediscover the melody?

The gaze goes
another in the heart of the same waits
the presence of the thing
replaces the thing
but does nothing

The whirling wind
that bears the soul
making dead leaves
fly into the corner of the old wall
is like today
the one twirling
in the hollow of your hand
it speaks
but who listens?

It is said that one day at some point
time stops going
but is it the going that time stops
or the coming?

Suddenly in the hearth
the fire flares up
in the heart of the blaze appears
the cave where
the immaculate Phoenix is born
every word like a cloud
advances between its shadow and its opposite
every living being
towards their own absence

In the distance
in the furthest depths
the hermetic memory frees itself
the foam of the wave where
the rock begins
to lean towards the pebble
the tree towards the air
the sky towards the earth
thought towards its own abeyance

One is well aware that it comes from afar
the powerful call
well aware that it comes from before
like a great gust of space and
there where it loses momentum and
turns back on itself
beats the right time
the time that animates the wing and bears
the light where nothing
is ever
played again.

from En marge d’une vie (L’atelier du Grand Tétras, 2016)
translated by mt

En marge d'une vie

New Publication


translated by Jean-Paul Auxeméry and Claude Margat


On One: The Writings of Roger Gilbert-Lecomte

Roger Gilbert-Lecomte

In Rain Taxi (winter 2015/16) Garrett Caples reviews my collection of writings by Roger Gilbert-Lecomte.

Review of The Book is a Ghost


To read Christopher Kelly’s review of The Book is a Ghost from The Spectacle click here.