Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

25 March 2011

Do Not Close Your Eyes Yet

I remember also it was a day softer than a woman
I remember you image of sin
frail solitude you tried to conquer all the childhoods of landscapes
you alone failed to answer the astral summons
I remember a clock which cut off heads to tell the hours
those that wait at the crossroads the lonely ones
in each lonely passerby is torn one day the crossroads of a day
and as the hour of love comes from air returns to air
each crossroad finds itself in another calm waiting
with the melody sung in the distance
childhood more and more distant


your words equipped with sails reach all the ports of memory the
ferryboat links our two hands that seek each other in the hay of dream
hand—opened diadem of the heart opened to the crowns of fruits
gentle word resting in my hand magic freshness
in the cormorant concealed in its breast flying in a turn of astral sign
the light expressed loses its petals

flock of towns and villages grazing in the shade of an herbivorous god
a god no larger than an oak leaf
no heavier than a cricket's chirp
no richer than a nosegay of buttercups
no larger than a diamond's setting
and how many useless sufferings on this flower of archipelagoes and islets
fallen with a few drops of water noiselessly in the azure
the world the continents the oceans the hulks

a scattering of gold between the forests and the lakes
bad instincts dozing in the lazy depth of pitchers
no enough of this peace
I want the battle I want to feel the burning of the fate stamped on my heart by a carnival god
to feel the hot breath body to body the injustice the battle
to throw off the heavy obsession—laden with so many obscure links
face to face and to clear my way across satanic outlines of mustiness
and sly temptations seasoning the tumor that so many others have mouthed before me
the unknown

This is from Tristan Tzara's Approximate Man, which is a giant, 100-page poem that is, in a word, extraordinary.