Cors de Chasse

Our story is noble and tragic
As the face of a tyrant not fun not for everyone
No drama or magic
No detail of what we’ve done
Can make our love pathetic

And Thomas De Quincey drinking
Opium poison sweet and chaste
Went dreaming to his poor Ann and listened to his own eyelids blinking
Let it pass let it pass because everything will pass and be effaced
I will be back not yet erased

Are hunting horns whose sound dies in the breeze


The Musician of Saint-Merry

Finally I have a right to greet strangers
Who pass and gather a little ways off
What I see in them is unknown to me
Yet their hope is no less fierce than mine

I sing not of this world nor of other stars
I sing possibilities of myself beyond worlds and stars
I sing the joy in rambling and the pleasure of dying en route

21st day of the month of May in the year 1913
Trafficker of the dead and of death-dealing girls
And spread by the million a splendor of flies
Came a man with no eyes no ears no nose
Out of the Sébasto and onto the rue Aubry-le-Boucher
A young man brown with strawberry cheeks
Man O! Ariadne
He played a flute and the notes said where to go
He stopped when he reached the rue Saint-Martin
Playing this song that was written by me
The women on the sidewalks stopped to hear
They appeared from everywhere
Then all at once the bells of Saint-Merry struck
The musician quit playing and drank from the fountain
At the corner of the rue Simon-Le-Franc
Saint-Merry fell silent
Again the unknown man took up his flute
He retraced his steps, back to the rue de la Verrerie
Which he entered, the women behind him
They left their houses
They came out of side streets wild-eyed
Grasping after the player who enchanted them with his song
Who kept on blithely playing his song
It was terrible how he went on
Somewhere else
When’s the next train for Paris
At this moment
Pigeons in the Moluccas scatter nutmeg in their droppings
At the same time
Catholic mission of Boma what have you done with the sculptor

She crosses a bridge that links Bonn and Beuel and vanishes through Pützchen

At that moment
A young girl having fallen in love with the mayor

In another quarter, poet
You must vie with perfume labels

In sum you scoffers you haven’t profited much from humanity
You’ve barely squeezed a drop of fat from all that misery
Whereas we who are dying of living so far from each other
Hold out our arms and down these rails the freight cars run

You once cried beside me in a cab
And now
You look like me, sadly you really do

We resemble each other as in the architecture of the last century
Those high chimneys like towers

Now we are going higher no longer touching the ground

And as the world lived and changed
The line of women as long as a day without bread
Came down the rue de la Verrerie trailing after the happy musician
Cortèges ô cortèges As in the days when the king went to Vincennes
When the ambassadors entered Paris
When lean Suger made haste to the Seine
When the riot died away around Saint-Merry
Processions o processions
The women overflowed there were so many
Down the neighboring streets
And all of them made like a bullet
For the musician
Ah! Ariadne and you Pâquette and you Amine
And you Mia and you Simone and you Mavise
And you Colette and lovely Geneviève
They have passed by trembling and vain
Their light fleet steps obeying
The pastoral music that guides
Their avid ears

The unknown man pulled up before a house with a for-sale sign
An abandoned house
With broken glass in the windows
It is a sixteenth-century dwelling
The courtyard parking space for delivery trucks
This is where the musician went in
His music fading away grew slow
The women followed him into that empty house
Together as one band
With no regret for what they left behind
For all that they abandoned
With no regret for the day for life for memories
Until there was not a soul left on the rue de la Verrerie
Besides me and a priest of Saint-Merry
We entered the ancient house
We found no one inside

This is the night
In Saint-Merry the Angelus sounds
Processions o processions
As in the days when the king returned from Vincennes
There came a troop of milliners
There came sellers of bananas
There came soldiers of the Republican Guard
O night
Flocks of women’s heavy-lidded eyes
O night
You my grief and my pointless hope
I hear the sound of a distant flute as it dies