from The Manifestations of the Voyage: “my house’s stairway is seized”

my house’s stairway is seized

with vertigo.
Matter having forsaken its laws,
we land in hell,
ascending to heaven.


Shadows move along ladders
under the silence of ordinary things
there is another silence:
it belongs neither to the leaves nor to the

with a crown of birds circling
a child is running in an abandoned
the stairway takes the measure of
its own emptiness

I myself am the stairway that
Time has used in its
funeral course

wheels lift water in the
gardens of Hama
and come down
not waiting for the river
to put out the fire

Here we are left with
the river Seine and Paris’s poisons.
I prefer gardens where
linden trees get ready for
a lunar voyage

The stairway that separates my
room from my memory
whispers in my ear . . .

I am not at the mercy of men
since trees live in my fantasies
men and trees long for fire
and call for the rain
I love rains which carry desires

Between one airplane and
space is disoriented
stars sneak into holes and brides
go naked to wells

their innocence wanes under
our eyes
You and I are made from a
worm-eaten wood

The Word has sunk
we are left with no cry gesture
or gaze
silence to us is forbidden.

We are threatened neither by life
nor by death
nor forced to admire the Spring

I found earth-castles on the edge
of the desert’s torrents
I took their marble stairs
but could not find my way either
up or down
then I understood that I was
in a state of non-reason
and non-madness
and that the gardens of Andalusia
were standing
ready to die.


Two cities Two tears
Let insanity keep between
its skirts
within its black eyes
the fright of my adolescence
and the nocturnal walk on the hills:
which hill?
I mean the kingdom that a man carries
in his gut when
his love’s fulfilled.

Two cities which are neither Beirut
nor Damascus
two tears: neither of alcohol nor of
Yes there has been a truck
and a blue-eyed woman
from Russia
—grey olive tree—
I was a butterfly caught by
a fire:
neither the day’s not the night’s
but the
incandescence that radiates
from the body like a
receding sickness,
Let tombs stay open!


The stairway which leads to my
borrows its metals from Babylon
The Prophet’s Ascension
had two movements
we fell into whirlpools
of mud
and the wind followed his horse
A tempest went after
the sun’s steps
The Prophet swam through waves
of clouds
a river of gold carried his
and away from the sun he reached Paradise
a Paradise made of light.

The stairway which leads to my room
leads to an observatory
I own two telescopes
to observe stars and black holes
and take mechanized stairs
which advance with no advance

my hair spins with


Illegitimate is this linden tree
which shakes by my door

let us get ready for Hell!


Cursed be messengers
tossing about water’s tranquility
and building forest fences

Oh that the wind go quicker than us!
that we be smothered by light!

This linden tree standing by my door
weights heavy on my days
I will finally marry it
and we shall bring children
condemned to terror

this tree looks at me
with insistence:
It will be kept waiting
until Time’s end.

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