Mantra of Anxieties and Five Nuisances



It was merely their story,

certainly another life.

She thought about her steps
through the corridors
of memory.

The rain,
the scraping of her nails
on the earth and skin,
even the wings on her ankles:

that strange sensation,
when she moved,
of practically never seeing her
touch the ground.

Almost flying.

Another life.




First stop.


He had advanced,

not far:

I can no longer let myself be carried away
except by certain visions,

which, each time, give rise
to an almost drunken observation,

of this 

and that, 

actually, if possible: 

of everything.





at the end of a room
without the smallest window,
at the bottom of a round box
like a tiny arena,
near a large white fortress,
full of oranges and rust.

So far away.

everything rose
to the surface of the eye:

a mere infant,
no bigger than the hand,
carried off for a few coins.

So far away.

No going back.


Second pause.



He continued:

An almost drunken observation
of this and that.

Of those beings, for example,
that now entered
the room,
for some impossible ordeal,
some mystery.


A blank.


And who, suddenly, appeared


So stunned
that their faces suddenly seemed
mere pebbles.

That they were naught
but in pure expectation,
in hope
for a gesture yet to come
of what however they didn’t have
the slightest idea, 

so that one would have to be invented. 

Another life.


Franck André Jamme
from Mantra of Anxieties and of Five Nuisances, Le Préau des Collines
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