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Whatnots by Denis Emorine
Translated from the French by Phillip John Usher
Recital by Author
Art: 'desiderata 5' by
Jennifer Bock-Nelson
'desiderata 5' by Jennifer Bock-Nelson
A Step Inside:

Ecce homo

The man in white approached me. His smile was engaging; he wanted to make conversation, but I was wary. I do not know if he realized that. His face carried traces of the magic spell inherent to lies. "It is I who commands time," he whispered to me. "This is just one of the strings to my bow. You too could make time do as you wish, impose on time the four winds of your will. Approach, do not be afraid!" I was wary of him: what is the point of mastering time if you don't kill it off? And I closed my eyes. When he returned, his clothing no longer dazzled like before. The glare had faded; the man inside seemed less sure of himself; and I no longer heard his words as clearly. "There is no Master of time," I shouted at him, "and you! you are certainly not that Master!" His face saddened. His clothing suddenly took on the color of mourning. Abruptly, as he approached me, I understood: I was in front of the large oval mirror of my bedroom into which, with all my force, I launched the tin vase. Far off, through broken glass, I could see the man fleeing towards the forest, covered in blood. I burst out laughing and fell down onto my bed. Let us go! The night will be serene!

Ecce Homo

L'homme en blanc s'est approché de moi. Avec un sourire engageant, il a voulu lier conversation mais je me méfiais de lui. Je ne sais pas s'il s'en est rendu compte. Son visage me révélait tous les sortilèges du mensonge. " Je commande au temps" me chuchotait-il " il n'est qu'un fétu dont je me joue. Toi aussi, tu pourras faire de lui ce que bon te semble, lui imposer tes quatre volontés. Approche, n'aie pas peur !" Moi, je me méfiais de lui: à quoi bon commander au temps si ce n'est pour lui faire rendre gorge ? Et j'ai fermé les yeux. Lorsqu' il est revenu, son vêtement ne m'éblouissait plus comme auparavant. L'éclat en paraissait fané. l'homme semblait moins sûr de lui et je n'entendais plus ses paroles aussi distinctement. " Nul n'est le maître du temps", lui ai-je lancé "et toi, moins que quiconque !" Son visage s'est assombri. Ses vêtements ont pris subitement la couleur du deuil. Brusquement, en m'approchant, j'ai compris: j'étais devant le grand miroir ovale de ma chambre sur lequel, de toutes mes forces, j'ai lancé le vase en étain . Au loin, à travers le verre brisé, je voyais l'homme fuir vers la forêt, couvert de sang. J'ai éclaté de rire en m'affalant sur mon lit. Allons, la nuit serait sereine!

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