vendredi 30 septembre 2011

i wish (but it's all in vain)

i wish (i wish i wish i wish)
i wish (i wish i wish)
but it's all in vain (it's all it's all in vain in vain)

Morning by Edvard Munch

i wish i could see troy davis
sitting at the right hand of the father
encompassed in a hallowed light
while angels at his shoulders
sing the hallelujah chorus
and all the little beasts of burden
throng at his sandaled feet

i wish i could see jews and arabs from
all the great lands of the middle east
hand each other olive branches
and call each other auntie cousin niece
as tears stream down their cheeks
in a moment of great reconciliation
with acts of heroic forgiveness

i wish (in vain perhaps)
that western powers would donate
one meal a day from each of its citizens
and that such a simple act would lessen
the body fat of overweight americans
and end the hunger pangs of
continental africa and everyone else

i wish someone would tell us
what those planes crisscrossing
the blue skies are spraying and why
i wish i could stop thinking about it
and watch the old cloud forms roll by
as sweet winds cool the summer heat
and rains fall down to cleanse the earth

i wish they would discover
the cause of my disease
and i could experience a day again
without this pain and misery
may no one else live 15 years 
with perpetual pain and zero care
and the disbelief of ignorant doctors

i wish we would destroy
every weapon in our arsenals
all the guns of china and russia
pakistan israel columbia
india libya united states france
every weapon yes the end of wmd
talk to everyone and live in peace

this fragile peace does not exist
not peace but cold wars
cold wars turned to hot wars
violated women innocent children
begging dinars at car doors
and at the end of the fumes
an iraqi sunset and the bitter dregs of war

i wish i wish i wish
but it's all in vain but it's all in vain
i wish i wish i wish
but it's all but it's all but it's all
in vain in vain ...

Video by moineau

dimanche 25 septembre 2011

je suis francophile

i want a croissant
biftek poulet alain bashung
i want a new language
a post cinema verité
an avant garde nouvel roman
i want a song about lyon
or strasbourg or toulouse
i want to be pédé in gay paris
or bi- in bretagne
I want to sit in an old theatre
and drink in bérénice
then go home and 
write poetry à la ferré
i want to be risqué
i want to be un grand
i want an old barn for maison
and a terrace sur la seine
i want to take a train to cannes
and try this poem over again
i want to say "je vous aime"
like a true patriot
for once in my life
i want to say "vive la france"
without the guilt
and throw off the shackles
i've felt since i was twelve
this American nightmare
adieu vietnam
bienvenu afghanistan
an endless maladie
tying me to a couch
with pills and pain
year after year after foutu year
my heart bursting with desire
my soul longing to speak
but the words are always foreign
always à la français
so no one gets the poems
even if my accent is good

6 avril 2008

dimanche 18 septembre 2011

the dregs of nightmares

Edvard Munch, L'enfant malade (1882)


the world is different today
since she woke from that nightmare
a hostile place where
two crows chase an osprey
high into the sky
taking turns diving up at it
across miles of treeline

a place where a sick person
abandoned with a child
cannot rise to the occasion
doesn't have the ability
to go out and take the bus
figure out where the schools are
or go grocery shopping

meanwhile the guilt
of being a total burden
hangs like bitter fruit
and while all these thoughts
are deafening in her head
everything seems to synthesize
into a blinding blankness

what to do what to do
with all this nothingness
her body throbs with pain
as the incessant september rain
returns to oregon and
pounds down whatever is left
of intelligent consciousness

there is always sleep
temporary or eternal
one precluding the other as
her heavy eyes and slack jaw
drift down to the keyboard
and the roar of cars through water
becomes a hymn for her hopelessness

vendredi 16 septembre 2011

Bel hommage à Alain Bashung

tu vas toujours continuer dans nos cœurs, tous les mots sont les tiens, tu es partout...

Hommage - Alain Bashung by Muse-iciens

jeudi 15 septembre 2011

before the fall

Pieter the Elder Bruegel, The Fall of the Rebel Angels (1562)

if i learn one lesson
let it be this
there is a tripwire
in my consciousness
and in front of it is a pit
that is endless

once my foot gets caught
and i begin to fall
my eyes will be blinded
by sand and rock
and my ears shall erupt
in the rapid tumbling

my mouth will utter
bits of jumbled tongue
and i won't know what
i am saying anymore
as the centuries rush past
ringed with corpses

and all because another
injured my pride
and all because my ego
was brushed and bruised
and who am i and who are you
on this battlefield

if i am to remain true
let me finish in beauty
my life on this planet
and let me ne'er forget
that we were one person
before we were two

dimanche 11 septembre 2011

conversation with my dead husband

a stream of consciousness remembrance...

there's a lot of love in there, in that big heart of yours. i don't want to let it go, i want to keep it all right here next to me on the bed to sing about when i'm dying. i want to sing about all the love i knew now and then, love for you, before you, and after you too. love when i was cracking up after we split, love when i was getting back my health after the abandonment, love when our child moves through the world without knowing what it meant. it meant everything, our marriage.

some love goes on even when two people separate after years of fighting. it goes on every time the other person walks into a room as i walked into your hospital room two years ago not knowing that i was seeing you for the very last time. there were no goodbyes, just see you soons, and though the prognosis was not good, they told me at the beginning of summer that you could live a year or more. they were wrong: a heart can give out sooner because it's invisible, no one can see what's happening on the interior. you were tired, that's for certain. no one worked harder than you did.

i don't believe in an ever-after, i believe in the now of your memory, and even if i idealize who you were, no one will ever know because you're not here to show them, not standing in front us with your redundant talk about selling stuff and getting rich or your childhood baggage or your corrosive jealousy. no, you're here as a ghost and i'm just remembering how i felt when i came home from work and you were already stirring chicken dumplings at the stove. you'd been on a tar roof in the hot sun all day and yet there you were, standing in the steam. you even went to the store first to get the ingredients. you did things like that all the time. i used to talk about equal relationships but you lived them.

remembering you is easy now and i can even allow myself to feel angry at you without any guilt. it's easier to have bad feelings about someone when they live. it takes honesty to say i'm still mad at you. and it takes even more to say that i never stopped loving you for so many years after we split and even then, i loved you as an old friend. you were the father of my child, you were the plague of my existence, you abandoned me when i was at the height of my love for you and you know what? i wasn't a saint either, i wasn't miss perfect. i was cold sometimes and tired from overwork, i was ambitious. but you loved me tirelessly until you stopped believing in my fidelty but i swear one more time to you alive and dead, I was always faithful. it had to be psychosis to make you doubt that. it had to be the terrible lack of self esteem from when you were sent away to boarding school at 4. i've thought about it until i'm dizzy with rationalizations. but it doesn't matter now. just believe me when i say i loved you and only you for all the years we lived together.

tell our son that his mother needs him. i remember how when he came to live with you when he was 10 and as he grew into a young man, you used to tell him to call his mother. he needs you to remind him again. he wants absolute freedom from some dim memory of me as a rotten mama. he never knew the back story and even when he did, he chose not to believe it. i wanted that absolute freedom once too, but now i know something about needing another person because when you get ill, you no longer have a choice: you're dependent or you die, it's that simple. well, i chose life, richard, and you did too. you chose to make your death heroic, and i was privileged to be a part of it.

please just tell him to call me. we're all we have left now that you're still dead. remind him that it wasn't all that terrible. help him remember i-hop and bowling, candyland and kung fu. help him remember blanquette of chicken and genoise cakes. help him remember massages all night long when his legs hurt. help him remember how proud he used to be of me and of us. help him trust that again.

now go on and be dead, as i'm sure you're used to it by now. we never quite arrive at the same comfort zone. no, we miss having you in the world. xoxoxoxo

samedi 10 septembre 2011

cruel mistress, lazy doctors

Roberto Matta Echaurren (1911-2002)

she's back with her weaving web
into the synapses of my insula
stimulating my shrinking adrenal glands
and i can't keep up

her frenzied lightworks
assume the better part of me
as she stuffs her ever youthful hand
deep into my gray matter

this ghost of pain past and present
burns through complex networks
and all the birds stop singing
when they hear my agonizing cries

yet nothing emerges from this throat
but small yelps of helplessness
there are pills that could save me now
but my doctors won't give them to me

they cannot feel her sink into my skin
my lymph, bones and intestines
they do not have the courage to look
past the invisible into the neural

she is there in black and white
with over twenty years of scholarship
yet they will not take the time
to enter search words in a browser

and so i am left with her foot
poised ever harder on my erratic heart
as blinking lights of the autonomic
flash their warning signals

heat rises, lights go brighter
sounds swell, smells nauseate
and the pain is so great i must keep vigil
at the gates of sleep and wakefulness

narcotics will not kill her
but they diminish her all-consuming flames
they will let me wait in relative safety
until the research comes to save me

jeudi 8 septembre 2011

Stand now and remember

On the 10th anniversary of one such September 11th... inspired by a segment of "Democracy Now",
featuring Ariel Dorfman:

For all the dead of all our September 11ths,
for India, South Africa and Attica,
for Chile, Haiti, and NYC, my birthplace:

Know that our resistance shall be infinite
and the lies of the purveyors of violence
shall be lit up by sunshine glinting off our tears.

Gandhi knew that only nonviolence
and personal sacrifice could defeat
the stranglehold of the British masters.

Allende, the hope of the Chileans
knew that one day his countrymen and women
would reconstruct their own futures.

Mandela sat, studied and survived for freedom
and Aristide waited seven years in 
South Africa to return to his people.

The ghosts of the twin towers stand over us
begging more questions than answers about
how we will fashion the remainder of our years.

Each corpse in the street, each dead family
is awaiting a justice that must come and
will come when we wake up to who we are.

Those who need to massacre to keep power
to steal resources and make themselves fatter
shall find themselves at the back of the jailhouse.

People are starving for food and for love;
they are emerging from caves and snakepits
to pick up invisible arms of righteousness.

Only when we see ourselves in the other,
when we stand up for the weakest amongst us,
when we cherish and protect all our children,

will our calvacade toward September 11th stop
and each day for a moment we shall stand
and remember the end of corruption and violence.

Stand now and remember together:
Vow unto death not for revenge but for justice
and then go out and make it happen.

 8 septembre 2011

dimanche 4 septembre 2011

au pavillon des lauriers - bashung

An incredibly beautiful song with this amazing video by our friend, Filoutry (Fred)!

From the album "Fantaisie Militaire"

Words: Alain Bashung/Jean Fauque
Music: Alain Bashung

(as translated by Laura Tattoo)

Des toges me toisent
Men in togas sum me up
Des érudits m'abreuvent de leurs fioles

Erudites flood me with their flasks
À quoi c’est dû cette assiduité

To what is owed this assiduousness
À sillonner sans répit ma macédoine
To plow without respite my mixed vegetables
À quoi c’est dû

To what is it owed 

Au pavillon des lauriers
In the pavillion of laurels
Il est tard pour se demander

It is late to be asking oneself
À quoi c'est dû ces lauriers

To what is owed these laurels
À quoi c’est dû ces chaluts qui n’entravent que l’océan

To what is owed these trawlers that only impede the ocean 
Au pavillon des lauriers
In the pavillion of laurels
Il faut voir à ne célébrer

One must make sure to celebrate
Que l'insensé

Only the insensed  
Je veux rester fou
I want to stay crazy 

Derrière mes paupières
Behind my eyelids
Filent des régates
File the regattas
Mes années-lumière sont pas des lumières
My light years are not lights
Mais je veille
But I watch over
Sur un grain de toute beauté
A grain of complete beauty
Un grain de toute beauté
A grain of complete beauty

À quoi c’est dû
To what is it owed
Ces attributs
These attributes
À quoi c'est dû
To what is it owed
Ce duvet pachyderme
This pachydermal coverlet
Ces alizés camisolés
These camisoled trade winds
À quoi c'est dû
To what is it owed

Au pavillon des lauriers
In the pavillon of laurels
Il est tard pour se demander
It's a bit late to be asking
À quoi c'est dû ces corvées
To what is it owed these chores
À quoi c'est dû ces résidus d'amour aveugle
To what is it owed these residuals of blind love
Au pavillon des lauriers
In the pavillon of laurels
Il faut croire qu’on a savonné
One must believe to have lathered up
Je veux rester fou
I want to stay crazy

J'adresse aux rivières
I address the rivers
Des lettres de brume
The letters of fog
Les anniversaires j'ai l'air dans la lune
The anniversaries I have air on the moon
Mais je veille
But I watch over
Sur un grain de toute beauté
A grain of complete beauty
Un grain de toute beauté
A grain of complete beauty

À quoi c'est dû
To what is it owed
À quoi c'est dû
To what is it owed

je te suis

pour Zérélia 

j'aime tes mots que souvent je ne connais pas
mais tu me les enseignes avec tes visions macabres
la lune monte et sa lumière montre 
les choses qui par jour vont disparaître
les survivants qui posent dans les coins de ténèbres
attendant leurs proies dans leurs marches funèbres
leurs dernières marches comme les concélébrants
qui donnent la dernière cène à jesus christ
et voilà il n'y a plus dieu, il n'y a plus mal
il n'y a que la vie qui a faim énorme
pour la beauté de la mort, une vision céleste
de voir Morpheus descendre et mettre fin à ta peine
un sacré rêve réservé pour les adeptes
qui traversent les eaux de la rivière styx
c'est toi qui ouvres la marche et moi je vais te suivre
car de ma douleur sans fin je dois enfin enfuir