Paques des exiles
THE NEW LAND
And so, I come to the new land, dragging the baggage of the old land with me.
I impose the old maps on the new places.
The old vegetation springs newly named in the new land.
I have traveled a great distance and still my arrival is a dream.
The old land is under everything
- like the old landscapes found glowing faintly under the skins of forgotten portraits.
My life is becoming like the kneading of bread, an endless turning in on itself; the dailiness alone sustains me.
My life is like the transitions of the language: I find myself in the translucent streets of the new land, shouting in a voice no one seems to hear: however, moreover, nonetheless,furthermore, . . .
and so he brought back to my memory that poem of Blaise Cendrars "Paques a New York"
Lord, the dawn has slipped in cold as a shroud and has laid the skyscrapers bare in the clouds.
Already the city is alive with sound,trains thunder and roll underground.
The trains bound and rumble and shudder away,bridges are seized by the railway.
The city trembles. Cries, smoke and fire and the raucous wail of steam sirens.
Fevered from gold sweats this throng jostle and cram down tunnels dim and long.
In the maze of plumed roofs the sun’s so murky,it’s your Face gobs of spit have made dirty.
Lord, I return tired and mournful, alone . . .my room is bare as a tomb . . .
Lord, I’m all alone, I’ve a fever . . .my bed is cold as a coffin . . .
Lord, I close my eyes, my teeth are chattering . . .I’m too alone. I’m cold. I’m calling . . .
A hundred thousand spinning tops dance before my eyes . . .no . . . a hundred thousand women . . . no . . . a hundred thousand cellos . . .
I think, Lord, of the hard times . . .I think, Lord, of the gone times . . .
I no longer think of You. I no longer think of You.
New York, April 1912