Poèmes de Ludovic Janvier
Traductions de Raymond Federman
Translations by Raymond Federman
  Music by Guthrie Lowe
  Art by Peter Malinoski
Lounge Chair © 2006 Peter Malinoski

LOUNGE-CHAIR (original French unavailable)

The time I want to lose has the savor of forbidden sugar
today I don't give a dam about the bad luck of being born
I tumbled down soul and wisdom to the bottom
of the lounge-chair giving to the clouds the impatient one
joined by breath to the stillness of air I wait
watching full silence in search of the passage
that opens right in the middle of words like a Sunday
for his eternal caress yes the impatient one
lying for his interminable adieu a smile on the lips

 

RIEN QUE

Rien que le goût d'habiter nus
dans la maison légère de l'odeur

Rien que deux folies au secret
faisant crier la doucerur de la greffe

Rien que ce goût de sel aux bouches
deux chairs cognées par un seul bruit de coeur

Rien que mordre à l'un mordre à l'autre
forts de l'instant qui va jusqu'à nos pieds

Rien que boire à l'un boire à l'autre
l'ombre est dedans on y ferme les yeux

Respirer rien que respirer
en voyageant par le calme du lit

NOTHING BUT

Nothing but fancying to live naked
in the light home of smell

Nothing but two follies in secret
making the sweetness of graft groan

Nothing but fancying the salt of mouths
two bodies thumping at a single heartbeat

Nothing but biting the one biting the other
certain of the moment all the way to our feet

Nothing but drinking the one drinking the other
the shadow is inside closing their eyes

To breathe nothing but to breathe
traveling through the calm of the be

 

 

DOUCEMENT AVE L'ANGE

Pense à tes grimaces de fou entre tes murs
à ta passion d'enfant puni pour le rien faire
à la honte de ton nom la honte de parler
à tes hurlements de rage en direction du monde
à tes longs pets les soirs de contrariété
au désespoir de jamais réussir à être toi
à tous ces ratés queue en main bel étonné
aux hommes évalués d'un sale oeil tout rancune
à ton envie quelquefois de mordre en pleine chair
à tes sursauts de peur au moindre bruit dans le silence
à tes adieux de lâche aux femmes abandonnées
à tes injures en secret vers les contradicteurs
aux bestioles massacrées à tes coups de pied au chien
à tes stations devant la glace en murmurant pauvre con
alors doucement avec l'ange hein doucement

SLOWLY WITH THE ANGEL

Think of your mad grimaces between your walls
your passion to do nothing you punished child
the shame of your name the shame of speaking
your howling of rage against the world
your long farts the nights of contrariety
your despair of never being able to be yourself
all your flops cock in hand what a surprise
all the men judged by a begrudging look
your need sometime to bite into her flesh
your shocks of fear at the least noise within silence
your cowardly goodbyes to abandoned women
your hidden curses against those who contradict
all the murdered bugs all the kicks to the dog
your posing before the mirror murmuring poor asshole
and so slow down with the angel hey slow down

 

 

MAUDIT BLUES

Lève-toi mon nègre enfoui qui veux rire en pleurant
debout allez par l'accord crevant la bulle de sommeil
Afrique toute ! et tous à l'infini devenu voix
harmonica ô petit train de l'espérance à reculons
qui met en branle à pleine gorge hommes et forêts

et le flot des morts doublant à toute allure les vivants
cherchant du pied leur terre-mère au nom d'appartenir
pour débouler sur aujourd'hui annoncés par
ce maudit blues avec ses blocs de brumes et de sanlgot
qui raclent dans le bleu de la fatigue éternité

DAMN BLUES

Get up you sleeping black man who laughs while crying
stand up move by the chord bursting the bubble of sleep
onward to Africa! And all into the sea a voice now
harmonica oh little train of hope moving backward
that sets in motion in full tones the forests
hello the flow of the dead overtaking the living full speed
probing mother-earth with the foot in order to belong
to surge into today and into the drumming of blood
damn blues with blocks of fog-banks and sobbing
that scrape into the blue of the dirty morning fatigue

 

 

WITH EACH STEP (original French unavailable)

With each slow step out of steps
out of steps out of landscape
one brings out of oneself
with each slow step the whole image
moving towards memory
traveler who advances backward
without stirring from the vast instant
from which each step with each step separates us

 

WITH SAM (original French unavailable)
"Sam" is Sam Beckett, friend of the poet's and Federman's

We will compare our wounds.
S.B.
Having compared our wounds
and laughed quite a bit
we left the Isles not drunk of wine
but rather emptied by words
now we are along the cemetery now
from the corner of Edgar-Quinet to Raspail
since that is our century tonight
and we must pass through this shadow
between the dark foliage and the walls
for a touch of fresh on the eyes at last
without a word staring at our feet
I deciphering and he stumbles
with his two long legs busy
one groping the other dragging
the bust following reluctantly
So, Ludovic (accent on the u
barely uttered as one questions)
So, Ludovic, he says brusquely
there at the corner of the stone shop
facing rue Émile-Richard with its ugly enfilade
Sam stops leans embraces me leaves me
all in one gesture with a few measured words
that we will see each other
and why let all that time pass
so long goodnight he walks away
far away alone to understand alone to breathe
or rather to hear himself a bit better
one more evening one more evening still
to listen inside to the unspeakable
make breathing noises and images
he left me for this music
after which my words stretch out
but me I do not dare watch him any more
dragging and pulling one leg after the other
Sam the slim marching into the night
me my nose always over my flat feet
I push myself sighing toward my bed
me my way is Campagne-Première
and so goodnight Sam get home well
as time goes by to each his rumor