To Samuel Beckett

Nothing is clear but night in league against
lightning sand from now on which I chew and discover woman
by my proton-armed eyelids. Nothing is clear
but a red-ant night and its gridlock of fleas

Its erased eyes coo and leech me
Its head hanging from my liver old javelin
Skimpy dirty fetid and truer but less sure
To sour the flight of a gull sold off as an eel
Pure alone needle-pierced dense but force-fed
Holding a bag of lovely terrors Throwing away
everything which is soul sob child world all of Man
But very proliferate very like a peat-bog
Since it was cheated by my skills night unfolds
on dawn’s eye smoked then fastened down
Since there’s nothing clear but the suicidal night
and the black glass brain born of my respect
Its erased eyes coo and leech me

Roar shout dance denounce kill what is only clear
In the newspaper spread out over my faith
Strips streaked with lives stirring in the retina
Trees mutilated by the grease of numbers
By all the mirrors of memory they are dark dark
On the forgetful stone and the sea which lifts it
Up to those eyes which coo and leech
Kill shout dance denounce cross out what is only clear

And I grovel in splinters and I transmute and I dispute
And like a millipede I eat the images sawed from sound
Myself fortunately in the dampest wrinkles
And I take off on a laugh a burst of shadows and customs swift
To split in two if not glum at least enraged
The machine gun between my eye and my exile
And I grovel in splinters on your body of water desperate
For the great book to open and for Earth to erase itself
For the Terror Spikes of Thought erect against and across
Your History shut into the white which is killing me
To sign the book opened to the black and grey stars
There is really nothing clear but the sky growing breathless
On your hair and your layers of mascara
And I grovel in splinters and I transmute and I dispute
Chanted by the gluttonous lightning and the torrents of silence
Collected by the thistle-asteroids and the Pure
Ink which creates my night with the ossuaries
The Lachaises the Baudelaires and the stormy air
With a Commune which laps the shore grovels and disputes

World Is it World your pesticide norm War
With no guitars no real hate but silent like
A ladder made out of Ramses’ green teeth
Whose sob-sand scents black-ochre-gold-blue-on-white
The fetish mummy-wrapping which massacre the Tribe
Your portrait hoisted on backs scourged with shame
Reaper Burier smudging over the wounds
Of this world from which I draw my brown-skinned bitterness
Until my lungs burst where God’s eye breathes
Swimming in the peoples’ pus and petrifying
Legible eyes which cover my eyes with a red film
World Is it World the song which goes workilling
With its words and its daggers with
Its statistics and its black-market hearts
And the Cadaver sold and resold by the priests
World Is it World your pesticide norm War

Nothing is clear but night in league against
lightning sand from now on which I chew and discover woman
by my proton-armed eyelids. Nothing is clear
but a red-ant night and its gridlock of fleas



Translated from the French by Marilyn Hacker

from the collection ‘Ce Maroc!’, Editions Seuil, Paris, 1975.