söndag 25 juni 2017

Från kapellet till travbanan

  Idag blir det utdrag från två dikter som förekommer på en relativt nyöppnad spårvagnslinje inom Paris stadstrafik. Linjen går mellan Porte de la Chapelle och Porte de Vincennes. Uppdraget gick till Pierre Alferi 2012.


  Pierre Alferi är en av dagens mest innovativa franska poeter och son till filosofen Jacques Derrida. Hans verk inkluderar Night and Day (översatt av Kate Campbell, La Presse Poetry, Nov. 2012). Och Kub Or (översatt av Cole Swensen med titeln Oxo, Burning Deck). I Frankrike har han publicerat flera poesiböcker, inklusive Les Allures naturelles (1991), Le Chemin Families du Poisson Combat (1992), Sentimentale journée (1997), La Voie des Airs (2004) samt romanerna Fmn (1994 ), Le cinéma des familles (1999) och Les Jumelles (2009). Alféri är professor i kreativt skrivande på European Graduate School i Saas-Fee, Schweiz.

  Alferi samarbetar gärna med andra artister och uppträder ofta med musiker, målare och kolleger. Han grundade den litterära tidskriften Détail med Suzanne Doppelt, en fotograf och professor vid European Graduate School.
Källa: frenchculture.org


TRAMINISCENCES (extract), by Pierre Alferi (f. 1963)
(First published in Poetry International, 2015.)

There were
film studios 
are still
cement works

The track lines and splits
the frost of a past left 
incompletely masked in the no
man’s land and now the memories
trapped in the suburban limbo
prisoners of a transit zone
spatter flutter wandering souls
freed from their amber beads
innocuous zombies stuck
to the window they hurtle down obliquely
with the raindrops are we
under attack from the people of memory
the works have accidentally exhumed?
isn’t it just the violent tremor
caused by the excavation of section
T3 that briefly caused                       a movement of


a tent
a portable stove

an eighteen year-old seamstress
eyes on her work

a boy pulling a cart

cats with eyes wet
with coryza

a schoolgirl in clumpy shoes

an old bearded man lying flat
on a great coat

a wounded soldier
with his medals

a young black worker

children running wild as if streets
were forests

a Sunday gardener

a robust old lady

two mechanics in blue
with moustaches

aunt Isabelle, who only discovered Paris aged thirteen, at the Liberation, back from Egypt where the family had no news of her father during the four years of occupation, walked with her best friend Catherine every Sunday around the old fortifications, completing, or so she said, several complete circuits of the city, but in disconnected sections that she never managed to link clearly in her mind, because already the works – destruction of the last bastions, diggings, then the périphérique tarmacked – were changing, from month to month and even week to week, the landscape

La Chapelle is a village
on a hill known for its mills
the way Belleville
Montmartre Ménilmontant
are for their vines

and yet most 
of the events that affect us
most strongly leave no physical trace
or barely an alley lit for a fraction
of a second among the synapses a puff
of smoke dissipated by a gust
of wind the imagination alone
– or what remains of it in a deep coma
overtaken by events 
far more powerful than any image –



Part of the landscape (extract), by Pierre Alferi
(First published in Poetry International, 2015.)

the outsiders
lurk close by day and night     
nomads prowling
the city steps
the margins of the law        
stowaways or permanent passers-through the airlock 
of the city are the sentries 
door-to-door salesmen
jobless homeless
windscreen-washers beggars runaways
summer corn-roasters winter chestnut-roasters
seasonal workers from all countries
refuse collectors
sellers of fake or stolen or faulty things
dvds cigarettes watches glasses spread on foldaway tables

Who perpetuate secular local traditions
hawkers rag-and-bone men pedlars lorettes grisettes legal brothel workers
leaning on the barriers scatter in mobile points forming CLOUDS

on the pavements all along the iron fences of factories businesses
in the north mainly where the heavy infrastructure flyovers railway lines bypasses
offers suitably shadowy zones
unused places in-between spaces
near embankments
by service stations
in car parks
around worksites
at the few nearby café terraces
at the city gates territory must be defended


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