You believe that you are
in a ray of sunlight,
You are alone.
the succession of days,
The sandwich-men of the true faith
the forty-eight remaining cards,
the monsters in their Sunday best,
the slyboots, the old boys.
the same imperfect circle in the sand,
the addresses, the telephone numbers,
The cracks in the ceiling
The hand on to your coat tails,
The dead hours,
the faith healers, the enlightened,
The monster with their big families,
the black stumps
the tap on the landing,
the covered markets rotting away,
the cares, the stations, the metro,
the smiles and the voices.
the public urinals,
the flight of shadows and light.
the scraggy widows who protect pets.
the sinuous lines of a thin crack
the poverty, the need,
the flakes, the stains,
the thousand and one detours
the one on whom history
the spots where it is attached to the flesh;
the limpid, the transparent one.
the actions you have eschewed:
The faint chugging of a stationary
the rats, the cats, and the monsters.
the sad chansonniers out
the walls, as if they were
the cries of joy,
the blocks of flats
the flow of time,
The smoke from your cigarette,
the bustle and the forgetting.
the days and the seasons.
the trees, the water, the stones,
the weeks, the seasons slip by,
the indigestible chore of tucking into
the rising and falling of your rib-cage,
the monster crowd.
the wallpaper of which
the equestrian statues,
the deaf-mutes with their berets
the stream of traffic,
the breath in your face.
the lines around your eyes,
the pathetic champions
The heat in your room,
the lobbies of the grand hotels,
the same amputated gesture,
the dripping tap on the landing,
the abused orphans selling table-mats,
the first cigarette,
the patterns in the tiling,
the same journeys that lead nowhere?
the revelers on a binge,
the fat men and the forever young,
the sounds never quite cease altogether,
the gaze of others.
The old lunatics, the old lushes,
the whistle of his kettle.
The parks whose railings imprison you,
the old bags in their furs who try
the heaviness of your limbs,
the monstrous factory gates.
the dotards who clear their throats and
The sun beats on the
the self-satisfied, who think they know,
the fleeting reflections
the local cinema which
the after that,
the peasants lost in the big city,
the approach of night.
the narrow bed in search of an ashtray,
the public gardens, the museums,
the bed and the bookshelf,
the dripping tap on the landing,
the noises that your neighbour makes,
the bitterness in your Nescafe.
the clouds that form
the avenues, drifting through the city,
the East and west by Rue Saint-Honore.
The snare: the dangerous
the neutral moments,
the night in which, alone amidst
the fences, the water’s edge.
the six socks, indolent sharks,
the shame that has become inexorably
the changing traffic lights
the pipe laying,
the robust joys of illiteracy,
the Brylcreem-boys, the stinking rich,
the petrified dustbins, the vacant
the incessant murmur of the city.
The old school teachers who have
the shelf, your knees,
the moment when the four cleared spaces
the key left under the mat
the same sanctuaries:
the washbasin that is so tiny it
the festering swamps near the sewer outlets,
the harmless monsters
the fifty-two cards on your narrow bed. The monsters in their tens,
the entrance to the Catacombs,
the predictable drop from
the shelved books:
the bridges between you and the world.
the narrow bed where
the tilt remains insensitive