The sixth hour (and others poems)

Bruno Sourdin (photograph by Fidélise)

The sixth hour 
The road
I walk

The Old Beast shakes its head swearing
The Villains of Space couldn’t care less about me
                        with their oldbroken down old rats

It’s hell
The sixth hour by the clock
A door opens suddenly
Every eye looks up
I’m soaked
The Blue Kid bites his lips
Baron Saturday is unable to stand up
His heart leaps in his chest
He cries out frightened

Can we really dream on this planet ?
The pack of dogs is off again
Bird-men are still a little ahead
The Calypso Nymph utters no sound
The day is over
I buried my shoes
I’m sitting in a corner
I’m small and insignificant
I’m cold

Claude Pelieu has just passed away
The Blue Kid starts to bang on walls sobbing
Me, I would like to sleep but I can’t
I look at the sea
I look at the sky
The wind has stopped
Nothing more

The night crow flies above me
Nowhere to land
Help me brother of the night
We’re merely stardust
Stars are not eternal
And we all die
Without a sound
Watching the snow fall on the terminal screen
When the wind will have nothing more to murmur
(translated by Mary Beach)

Blues for Brautigan
Your telephone is still ringing
in the middle of the night
near the smashed-up jukebox
from North Beach.
Here we can still hear the gun
and noises of the war.
Baudelaire has closed his hamburger stand
on the Haight.
He doesn’t like going to danse at the Fillmore any longer
he looks like a bewildered man
he speaks with riddles
and his words get lost in the wind.
Ordinary pedestrians walk by
without seeing him
ripped in a time crease.
What do you want me to say ?
I’m in a deep blues, too
I’m sapped by loneliness
disdain and hassles
I can’t help it
and I’m looking a last time for the key
that will open the tomb
at the bottom of which you’ve learnt
all the secrets
that ravens know
I need it.
(translated by Eric Dejaeger)

Bloody Beach
No I don't want to die on this beach while all the flower shop girls in Roanoke sleep amid the roses and tulips dreaming of the sweetness of the waves on the pebbles of Normandy and while in the streets of Virginia all the doors are opened wide around midnight, no I haven't stopped hollering and gabbing without worrying about nothing, but I feel so lonely while all the horn players in jazz bands play their mouth on their saxophones and again I see our old wooden houses full of mystery, yes I hear the shouts of war slide through me, and yes I know what it is after so many days to wait ti shiver when in the distance a seagull sends us signals swallowed by the night.

No I don't want to die on this beach while all the girls in the bars in Roanoke walk with a light step amid the beer glasses dreaming of the patience of the waves on the boulders of Normandy and while in the streets of America all the taxis whirl around by midnight, no I haven't stopped drinking it up and running around, but I feel lousy while all the jazz singers inVirginia strike up their wild chorus and again I see those old dusty trains full of the tears of good-byes, yes I hear the screams of war rising through me, and yes I know what it is after for so many days to hope for one great morning when in the distance a sandpiper sends us crazy signs.

No I don't want to die on this beach while all the dressmakers in Roanoke walk balancing themselves in a doll's garden dreaming of the rumbling of the waves on the cliffs of Normandy and while in the streets of America all the lovers brush up against the stars around midnight, no I haven't stopped getting stinking drunk and day dreaming the time away, but I feel feverish while all the jazz drummers in Virginia whale on their skins, and again I see our full-voiced old hills that speak to us, yes I hear the cries of war pour through me, and yes I know what it is after so many days to spill tears when in the distance a cormorant crosses the void that is the world.

No I don't want to die on this beach while all the girls in the typing pool in Roanoke rattle their typewriters dreaming of the caress of the waves on the sand of Normandy and while in the streets of America all the windows are thrown open-wide around midnight, no I haven't topped rambling and seeing the sights, but I feel terrified while all the jazz pianists of Virginia swing nonchalantly and again I see our fiery old Chevies full of violence, and yes I hear the howls of war rise up through me,  yes I know what it is after so many days to be on the look-out for pale eternity when in the distance an oyster-catcher signals tho us, flying with the angels.

(A tribute to the veterans of the 29th Infantry Division, the ones who landed at Omaha Beach on June 6th 1944)

The pain, ah !
Starting awake
On a hospital bed 


Lying eyes wide open
Back slightly sore
What do the newspapers say ?


Suddenly at my window
A butterfly –
Already blown away by the wind

Everyone gets busy
A door slams –
What happiness on the platform


Nobody, everyone’s asleep
Rain slashes at the shutters

Switched off screens
There’s a wine bottle left
Evening loneliness 


Lying in bed
Closing my eyes –
I too can see the sea
(translated by Bertrand Agostini & Daniel Py)

Cocteau’s Breath
It doesn’t matter what day it is 

A tree ar the Royal Palace
Frantic conversation 

The aviator yawns
Someone gets excited with the ballerina
And the angel of sleep spits on the sleepers 

Yes we will become better
Tomorrow we will pick
All the herbs and I will perform a miracler 

Long live the kites

The Sea Cat
The sea cat eats potatoes
On the roof of the pigeon loft
At night he squabbles in the rain
With horses called Henry
From head to toe
Soaked to the skin
The Norman Athlete relives a childhood
The end of the world is certainly today

With The Family
Uncle Horse smokes a pipe in his hammock
The nightingale washes its teeth in the cigar box
Aunt Spider has a drink and scalps the piano professor
Cousin Blackbird cleans the sheriff
The concierge consults the stars wearing socks
Cousin Owl gets fat
The Dalai Lama dances the tango with the jazz band's drummer
Brother Dog gets angry wearing an Austrian overcoat
Before the newborn get stuffed

Winter Morning Blues
There is an admiral who snores in the trees
It is winter
The regiment gets washed
At noon the horses sneeze
The prodigious dreamer dances on an electric wire
Today his skin is transparent
And his poem has the shape of a draught of air
I'm cold
Go sit yourself down
The tram will only pass by next year

In her bird cage in Manhattan
The ballerina talks to the stamp about the snow
The soap bubbles are listening to the sherry-glass
The map of the world tells its tides
The hourglass interrupts the nightingale
The parrot says nothing 

See you tomorrow
(translated by Sol)

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