Thursday, March 22, 2012





he moves as the season permits
every place has laws dictated by the climate
in inclement weather he sets up his defenses
he moves from place to place to survive or live
in winter he'll work undercover
knowing the uses of many places
food will be given to him in return


hands are the first wealth and intelligence
the second wealth the rest comes by itself
he can return to the same grazing places
change itinerary and repeat his circuit of the land
at the end he comes back to a place agreed on from the start


he will have children by one or more women
he spends the time necessary to teach them
what he knows the woman or women provide until the father
comes back to see if the children follow the father
they speak without roles


he turns his back on a plundered land
surrounded by boneless men saying
without lying that the wealth is elsewhere


just standing still in greeting
roots from the feet sprout and sink in
upon parting they rip up without harm


the city named Image has neither boundaries
nor centers it can model itself on itself
place where you meet it is not therefore
a city but a point of protection
porches or tents vegetable and animal place
place of waters and human cultivation
they meet there or leave as they wish they show their
thoughts language which is taken literally
systems of planes and curves for going down and coming up
behind women behind children and animals
ownership of the soil doesn't exist


they leave the plain occupied by Industry
men without being big shots he's no boss
abandoned territories mountainous habitable
they learn to do without what the Rich One has
the one that disappears plunder hole in the earth
Chemical Cathedral

[tr. Paul Vangelisti]

Piercing the Page

selected poems 1958-1989

Otis Books | Seismicity Editions

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