Extracts from the Life of a Beetle


Actually, there were several of them.  Two, most of the time.  And always absorbed in somewhat peculiar, let’s say almost silent, conversations.

— Watch you don’t slip.
— Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.

Will we ever be done with clouds?

A kind of message had been sent to us, certainly.  We would never know by whom.  We could never reduce it to nothing.  It would never return to the lips of the world from whence it came.

Sometimes, he had noticed, the moon could change into a thought and come to plant itself firmly in a skull.

He said:  “What is now penetrating your ears without being heard will surely take root inside of you for quite some time.  Only, it will, occasionally, rise back to the surface without you really knowing what to say.  Except for the thing itself, of course, which will then speak through your mouth.  And you alone will believe that this water-lily is only a voice.”

Any beach was also the bride of death.

He chanted his lists:  “Hidden burns, invigorating frights, overly red masks, comparison of unrelated things.”

Dream, one morning maybe: no more body which breaks.  Or wears out.

He wondered whether there were any flowers which would open when called by name.

And the peacock, once again, started to strut.

Even if war cast the world in darkness.

He also said:  “There are still strangers within you.  They have had more than enough time to visit the house.  Some even grabbed a room there, on the sly.  But now they simply must go.”

Or the fly warming itself on the lampshade, having spotted the garden.  Then, suddenly, it flew towards the window, which was closed. And three seconds later it had become acquainted with the extreme reality of the invisible.

Dream, maybe one night: no more time.

For the lead of purity too, flowed and swayed, in everyone’s veins.


Franck André Jamme
from Extracts from the Life of a Beetle, Black Square, 2000
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