The guillotine is the masterpiece of plastic art Its click Creates perpetual motion Everyone knows about Christopher Columbus’ egg Which was a flat egg, a fixed egg, the egg of an inventor Archipenko’s sculpture is the first ovoidal egg Held in intense equilibrium Like an immobile top On its animated point Speed It throws off Multicolored waves Color zones And turns in depth Nude. New. Total.
We present this work in honor of the poet’s 400th birthday.
Two lawyers to their cause so well adhered, A country justice quite confused appeared, By them the facts were rendered so obscure With which the truth remained he was not sure. At length, completely tired, two straws he sought Of diff’rent lengths, and to the parties brought. These in his hand he held:—the plaintiff drew (So fate decreed) the shortest of the two. On this the other homeward took his way, To boast how nicely he had gained the day.
The bench complained: the magistrate replied Don’t blame I pray—’tis nothing new I’ve tried; Courts often judge at hazard in the law, Without deciding by the longest straw.
We present this work in honor of the poet’s 200th birthday.
This life is a hospital where every patient is possessed with the desire to change beds; one man would like to suffer in front of the stove, and another believes that he would recover his health beside the window. It always seems to me that I should feel well in the place where I am not, and this question of removal is one which I discuss incessantly with my soul. ‘Tell me, my soul, poor chilled soul, what do you think of going to live in Lisbon? It must be warm there, and there you would invigorate yourself like a lizard. This city is on the sea-shore; they say that it is built of marble and that the people there have such a hatred of vegetation that they uproot all the trees. There you have a landscape that corresponds to your taste! a landscape made of light and mineral, and liquid to reflect them!’ My soul does not reply. ‘Since you are so fond of stillness, coupled with the show of movement, would you like to settle in Holland, that beatifying country? Perhaps you would find some diversion in that land whose image you have so often admired in the art galleries. What do you think of Rotterdam, you who love forests of masts, and ships moored at the foot of houses?’ My soul remains silent. ‘Perhaps Batavia attracts you more? There we should find, amongst other things, the spirit of Europe married to tropical beauty.’ Not a word. Could my soul be dead? ‘Is it then that you have reached such a degree of lethargy that you acquiesce in your sickness? If so, let us flee to lands that are analogues of death. I see how it is, poor soul! We shall pack our trunks for Tornio. Let us go farther still to the extreme end of the Baltic; or farther still from life, if that is possible; let us settle at the Pole. There the sun only grazes the earth obliquely, and the slow alternation of light and darkness suppresses variety and increases monotony, that half-nothingness. There we shall be able to take long baths of darkness, while for our amusement the aurora borealis shall send us its rose-coloured rays that are like the reflection of Hell’s own fireworks!’ At last my soul explodes, and wisely cries out to me: ‘No matter where! No matter where! As long as it’s out of the world!’
We present this work in honor of the poet’s 125th birthday.
Choose life instead of those prisms with no depth even if their colors are purer
Instead of this hour always hidden instead of these terrible vehicles of cold flame
Instead of these overripe stones
Choose this heart with its safety catch
Instead of that murmuring pool
And that white fabric singing in the air and the earth at the same time
Instead of that marriage blessing joining my forehead to total vanity’s
Choose life with its conspiratorial sheets
Its scars from escapes
Choose life choose that rose window on my tomb
The life of being here nothing but being here
Where one voice says Are you there where another answers Are you there
I’m hardly here at all alas
And even when we might be making fun of what we kill
Choose life choose life venerable Childhood
The ribbon coming out of a fakir
Resembles the playground slide of the world
Though the sun is only a shipwreck
Insofar as a woman’s body resembles it
You dream contemplating the whole length of its trajectory
Or only while closing your eyes on the adorable storm named your hand
Choose life with its waiting rooms
When you know you’ll never be shown in
Choose life instead of those health spas
Where you’re served by drudges
Choose life unfavorable and long
When the books close again here on less gentle shelves
And when over there the weather would be better than better it would be free yes
Choose life as the pit of scorn
With that head beautiful enough
Like the antidote to that perfection it summons and it fears
Life the makeup on God’s face
Life like a virgin passport
A little town like Pont-á-Mousson
And since everything’s already been said
Choose life instead