Those who follow the news are not superior but complicit = Ce qui se tient au courant de l’actualité ne sont pas supérieurs mais complices

Those who follow the news are not superior but complicit

Ceux qui se tiennent au courant de l’actualité ne sont pas supérieurs mais complices

Not to worry, soon enough you will not be able to turn your machines off

Pas de soucis, bientôt tu ne seras plus en mesure d’éteindre les appareils

 

The Model who Smiled for 17 Minutes, 9 Dec 2017, drawing by William Eaton - 1On Saturday I was drawing a naked young woman

Samedi je dessinais une jeune femme toute nue

Who held the same laughing smile for seventeen minutes

Qui tenait le même grand sourire pendant dix-sept minutes

 

Do you remember – is it that long ago? – children drew boxes on the sidewalk with chalk

Tu te souviens – c’est si longtemps déjà ? – les enfants traçaient la marelle sur le sol avec la craie

They threw stones and hopped in predetermined patterns

Ils lançaient les cailloux et sautaient, comme il fallait, à cloche-pied

 

When we think back we may forget about this or that war, not so therapeutic fasts

Repensons il nous arrive d’oublier telle ou telle guerre, les diètes totales

There were people who thought they were living in terrible times

Il y avait des gens qui pensait qu’ils vivaient des heures effrayantes

 

The model, her muscles, boyish haircut, Michelangelo, Greek sculpture . . .

Le modèle, les muscles, la coupe de cheveux à la garçonne, Michel-Ange, les sculptures grecques . . .

I would not ignore the tuft at the top of her thighs

Je n’ignorais pas la touffe en haut de ses cuisses

 

Two birds, phoographed with background, drawing by William Eaton, HRWith winter coming on the light grows thin

À l’approche d’hiver la lumière perd son éclat

Across the street the brick building is cardboard

En face l’immeuble en briques est du carton

 

In the café someone proposed for our first thought, should it ever come –

Dans le café quelqu’un a proposé pour notre première pensée, si jamais elle arrive –

Thinking? Up till now we have not dared.

Penser? Jusqu’ici nous n’avons pas osé.

 

décembre 2017

 

— Poem and drawings by William Eaton

 

Similar texts include Phlegm misting the heart / Apaise et ouvre les trous de l’esprit, Sonnet for 9/27 (also bilingue), and In the Age of Thumbs, Help = 4357 (& vice-versa) — which is accompanied by its French version: « Quel que soit votre problème, il y a un numéro que vous pouvez composer »

Now available from Amazon: Art, Sex, Politics

Art, Sex, Politics cover from AmazonIn a new, provocative collection of essays, William Eaton, the author of Surviving the Twenty-First Century, shares the pleasures of questions, tastes, reading and more visual arts. “That we are animals, that is as sure as ever. How savagely we behave! And how affectionately rub up against one another. How, desperately, make love?”

Kind words about Surviving: “Entertaining, yet packs a quiet intellectual wallop. . . . so thought-provoking and poetic I didn’t want it to end . . . beautiful and wise and moving . . . engaged, non-doctrinaire, well-read, independent-minded. . . . William Eaton finds arresting themes in unusual places. . . . The writing is masterful and wonderfully absorbing.”



Categories: L’aile française, Poems (including Limericks)

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