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Expérience journal p.65.jpg

What is your emotional relationship to poetry?

How do you like to compose?

Whom do you catch yourself reading when you feel like upheaval?

Do you let the writing take you away?

Do you rework?

Where do you want to go experimentally?

What is poetry to you?

What place does life have in your poetry?

What is your relationship to necessity / commitment?

What do you like when you write?

What place does poetry have outside literary spaces? Do you collaborate?



I asked these questions to seven women poets in Montreal in May 2022. I believe that the meeting, the conversation, the correspondence, will feed my writing.

"What place does life have in your poetry? This question is immediately swept aside by Olivia Tapiero. "I question this distinction between writing and life. If they were separate things, they don't emerge unscathed from each other," she tells me. Driven by the intuition that life and writing are intertwined, I would like to present my work in progress with lucidity. I am not a solitary poet.

But what remains of these encounters, of these collaborative experiences? To what extent do the places crossed, the nomadism mark the literary life? What trace does life leave in writing?



For years, I have consistently practiced two exercises: proposing interviews to people I meet, or to those around me (in 2016 I began with questions about the state of travel to the members of my ephemeral theatre group - with questions like "Why are you here and not elsewhere? / When do you feel you are travelling? / ..."; then continued the questions in Greece with the inhabitants of the coastline and the fishermen "Tell me a memory linked to the sea / How can you describe your relationship with the sea /...") - an activity that I have not ceased to pursue, until September 2022, when I went on a fortnight's residency in a winegrowers' village in the centre of the island of Mallorca (Balearic Islands, ES), in order to question the inhabitants about their vision and their feelings of the neighbourhood. In a parallel and complementary way, I keep travel diaries. These diaries, archived since 2015, organically mix the travelogue and the diary, as the anecdotes insinuate a broader vision of the world and of the Other, a relationship to the universe that evolves and gains in substance.

Expérience journal sommaire.jpg

Pursuing this line of research between the place, the word of the other and my interiority, I have been working on a manuscript with still troubled lines since January 2022. The motive of this writing is absolutely visceral, organic, necessary. The subject: there is none. I worked on it for an hour a day for a month and a half, and then all this literary material became some reading, transformed into, for example, When the fires are lit.



"This long poem can be interpreted as a monologue, but it can also be seen as a choral piece.
I do not give any further stage directions.



What are you going to say,
shyness?
You're going to make a ball,
scowl at yourself?
Will you wince?
Lose your temper?
Are you going to turn red, kid?

Break the branch you're sitting on...
- maybe -
and lock up your words?
Are you going to build huts out of your ideas?
Small, and without locks.
In your head cabin,
static?
Watching what's going on
here?

Conceding without anything more to hold the ground to the rain.
With a scar at the middle finger joint
you splash
your day
with a cynical little desire to die
here.

Break your fingers on the edge of reality
with a punch.

You broke the lull
on the edge of the rock
like you're beating an innocent.

But who do you pass the microphone to?
Who do you give the floor to when you speak?
Why do you give power to the judgments of others?
By what means do you gag your intuition?
Which way do you enter life?

Here
I beat you
the emotional misery in the corner of my eye.
It rains like I breathe, grandiose like a chew of ideas.
You had the ambition to write every day, every day for an hour a day
here I am composing
your oration
narrowed by dead ends.

Here
another dead end: sentences that do not finish their words
cold thoughts like the dead
lost in my black forest of failed promises
I channel you my rain.

I channel you
a grey of ice and spasms
the ignoble call of ice in blood
the water-soaked facade in the vertical

the runaway clouds that carry
their tough imaginary.

I am writing to you
from the end of the cemetery
from the trees that lower their superb
that offer themselves to the unpredictable storm.

You don't know where it goes.
You don't know, don't know where you are going with all this.

You don't feel free.

Free
are those who do not constantly investigate
about their own fate
free
are those who go
unperturbed.

You envy the Cartesians
the hard-headed philosophers
those whose hair comes out of their nose
and who know how to never
make themselves vulnerable.

Nowadays
you are an electric cable
from across the street in the rain
you drip
tangues
over there, over there
vibrate in the atmosphere
permeable and intranquil.

You often baffle yourself with questions
about what you are supposed to be or not be
to do or not to do
and often
you get stuck on a detail
that gets stuck in your head.

But don't think.

To paternalism,
to the pit in your heart,
don't think.

To efficiency,
to the turbine,
to the pace,
you must shine:
you have to give
a lot, always, again.
Throw everything you've got
until you burst
until you let go of the valve
the madness
you must exult
until you can't feel yourself pee anymore.

What is your relationship
to glory?
to power?
to old men?

What is your relationship
to beauty?

Why do you need
to speak up,
here, like this,
to prove what
to whom?
To exist
in what world
in whose eyes,
of what?

What are you doing here
listening to nonsense
answering to the best
bending your eyelashes
hooding your parade
smiling with your eyes
to whom it may please
to whoever wants
see you in the retina
what do you mean
when you say
you say "thank you"?

You say thank you every time
I have seen you, heard you
in your crumbled gratitudes
flattening you
from one end to the other
of the stage
so that no one would see you,
what the hell are you doing
with a scowl on your face
the fatigue that files your eyelids
fighting over details?
What the hell are you doing
putting so much attention
of heart in the details
I wonder
what fiddle you're pissing in.

Why do you look in the mirror
so often?

Why do you drink of yourself
like a child?

Why are you guilty?

You are bathed in your own mud.
Borrow a haggard air
To those melancholic people you are not.

You consider
the violence of this language.
You can no longer stand your own ability
to round off the angles
to smooth your face
to keep everything quiet.
You have thorns in your forehead.
You stand up,
you inform yourself
you capitalise
you force yourself to
produce produce produce
be reliable
standing, sitting,
fast -
produce produce produce produce
still
nice
stay nice
a little smile :
run run run

and the sea, from afar.

It will embalm you
do you remember?

There will be a moment
when you will meet death
retina to retina
do you remember?

There will be a day
it will be your day.
We'll set another date to coincide
with your birthday

and the period
that the parenthesis between them covers.

It is now.

Remember.
Remember.
Remember.

...

I am
on the threshold of tiredness.
I am at the moment when
intuitions
and dependencies
to become thunderbolts.
Because I call
to madness.

Mysteries happen:
from one phase to the next
without precedent
a volcano
absenteeism.

I was no longer there.
Nothing, no one.

I know I am running,
after a mirage
I know that I yearn
to slow down
but everything grabs me, yes
everything startles me.

I am swallowed up.
My ideas are being eaten up
ambitions eat me up
I am my own
cannon fodder.

You think being an artist
is a liberation?
Being an artist
self-employed artist?
I'll brand your trapezius
with the red iron of my consonances -
I'm gnawing at myself
of conquest.
I hate settlers
I am a woman who wants balls.

I introvert myself punctually
and I eat my heart out
of modesty
I think about perseverance
I know that it will take courage
talent
but above all patience
to see my wings spread.

But I am not a bird.

And I see my canines on the floor with disgust
and I rage
and I ask myself each time more
what a navel has to say.

I have the misfortune to be so often
guilty
and the impassive indecision
to not move at all.
at all.

I forget everything.

Reversible, laughter.

There's a little mosh pit in my present
it looks like an incense holder
with a bad idea in the middle
that burns slowly

a little corpse
exhausted with fatigue
with the head of a big mouse
delicate
and as slick as a rat.

My bad luck
is an invention
I whisper it to myself
so that I don't sleep.
Because sleep,
I don't want to,
I'm afraid to leave.

I prefer the shaggy embers
of memory
that glow
like a sauna
that burn away my old skins
my abuse of trust
and my excesses of joy.

I prefer the blue flame
to the rest of the fire,
non-pathetic melancholy
it stuns something.

Death perhaps
which instinctively picks
the last flowers
already faded.

Gone are the garlands.
Gone is the joy
I thought it was mine,
it is a fight, joy
it is a storm
in the middle of the sea
that will be silent tomorrow
in the balance of suspended days.

It is a real relief
(it is practiced I do not mistake)
is when I accept to die
and I know intimately,
confused with intuition,
that it will allow me to rejoice
after this last sleep.

I don't know what it says
to share with you,
I've never done this
or a long time ago.
Now everything is different
now, here, there, again,
everything is different.

I feel it, my heartbeat that blows me away,
I feel it, my heartbeat that caresses my voice.
It's rocking, it's crumpling.

I have inner fights!

I don't know what it invents.
Words, ruptures, pebbles, politeness,
and then plugs.

Electrical plugs
catch of wrestling
taking sides
speaking out.

Starred.

I am
studded with ideals
with a desire for the universal,
of cosmopolitanism.

Starred as if to say
lost.
As if to say my head is spinning
my eyes are everywhere
my attention so brief
a cloud drowns me.

Filled with the knowledge that since the discovery of America
and in the cradle of this discovery
greed slept
slept debts
the taking of power
the slaves were born.

I am a star
immersed in these evil waters
since the beginning
since all barter.
Giving, lending, selling.
Believing in an illusory way
that everything is constantly growing
until the general feeding.
Believing that there will be a piece of the cake for everyone.

I close my eyes to the violence.
Smell the fury and the smell of diesel
smell the coercive horrors
the human flesh factory
by echoes
by times
a collaboration between those who have
and those who want to have.

Starry with power.

By what path have we dissociated
reason and affect
body and mind
solidarity and profit?

My father, disgusted by the holocaust
and I still shudder at those barbaric secrets
forgotten at school.

Consciousness, at its peak, abolishes or invigorates memory according to its relationship
to shame.

It is day, undeniably day
it is daylight in my bronchi.
It is daylight in these national insomnia.

There was a golden age.
- Patti Smith said the golden age is now, the golden age is us2 .

But I'm not lucky enough to be able to say the same.
The old men have beaten the night with all their might.
The night no longer wants me.
The night no longer enters my dressing room

(the curtain of the show fell
long ago)

I inhabit the brute that slumbers in the forces of darkness
of a present that cries for its future.
I live in the rough beat of those who used to ride at night without headlights
on roads with no speed limit

because you see
because
because
- I stammer so hard to know how it was -
because everything here puckers me up -
you know
this security carnage
with an infantry of slaves as bodyguards
here
everything blurs me:
this montage of beliefs wrapped in technology
I hear on the terrace
that we are being fitted with bracelets
to check us.
I'll put them on you,
bracelets!

There's nothing better than a desire for a party
to make you forget
all your convictions
all your obviousness
cancelled out by drunkenness.

It makes me angry
light-hearted discussions
about audits
organisations
and fleas in the ear.
I'd give you a shit
shit down your gullet and check in your valve
You see, the party is a good excuse
to make yourself docile.

What happened to the medieval carnivals?

What happened to
the great reversals
the abolished values
the upheavals of consciousness
the completion of authority.


Carnival
I want a nice carnival
a big one, not condescending
an infernal

abysmal carnival
with sharks made of articulated cardboard
fish with tulle hats
jellyfish for lights
and carcasses for chandeliers

I smoked too much my eyes sting
I turn in the circle
of my bone to gnaw.
Like at the butcher shop,
I order red meat.
Carnival.

Because I'm having a blast
with heavy, heavy artillery
hard, hits, my head hits, hits
against an atmosphere.

Tapping against an atmosphere?
You write anything.

But if I tell you that my eyes come out
out of their sockets
when I trim
my limit
with the little bruises
of pixels.

But it remains too simple.

Poetic formalism
and repetition
in overdose
on the carpet
violence of the poetic potential

words that go together
words that fall in love
that wrestle that throb
in a rubbed cuddle without a hyphenation

and I'm coming back to you on the line
and I'm going to push you
of freedom
the impromise
of freedom the promise
that I will make you, me,
promises
it makes you laugh
it would scare you
promises of nothing at all
promises of words of nothing
a lead in the wing
a lead in the tooth
a lead in the head.

...

Here
it lies
it lies
no need to see it too clearly,
wipe your windows
follow your instincts
roll your hump
and shoot these shadows
that stink of dust,
clean slate.

I feel that censorship is going to come through here
self-censorship, otherwise known as modesty
What will it say about my flamethrower?

What will shyness say?
Namely that I'm reading this long poem to you,
it will say:

mania abolishes the night for me.

Mania
the good old one
the one that over there
took me hostage
of reality
mania said to me:
"My pretty, come and electrify your senses
on my line."
Mania.

Still smoking
smoking into my dreams
I abolish all my rules at night.

I stop looking
where I'm going,
I already said I don't know where it goes.

Are you okay?

...

My mask is this makeshift gag,
which I have to pay for myself.
This screen, my jailer.

Today, the rain has fogged everything,
again.

A rain at the corners of my eyes,
a mist in the future.

Starry with misfortune.

My word does not stop
I must rage
I must rage
I must belch to say get me out of this trap,
what a heartless world this is,
disgusting
what is this repression?

"Repression, repression, sings Colette Magny
Repression, repression, repression

So we keep our cool? Ouch - oh sorry, I crushed your big toe

I'm from the intervention brigades

Repression, repression, repression

You're just a passer-by, but now for the demonstrators

grenades are fired at point blank range

[...] "


I have to sing
I must sing, I must activate myself to emerge from my tomb
a writing to announce the death of the knot
caused by too much force,
too much strangulation,
too much compression.

And you are full of praise for the prestige, the merit
prestige, luxury, words of dreams, words of all whims, carrots to the donkey of fadaises .
Well massacred by my dreams,
here I am, sucked in by impotence
impossibility of finding my side
epidermal pain
and insurgent

No word relieves.
No words help me.
I am a
a tornado kills
the plastic mask in my face
inner galleries
ruined.
anguish and roar
an intrinsic rage
a savate of slaps in the termite mound.

When will I be ready to accept
that there are no words?

An anthill of veins
and the dark rattle of the streets in numbers that whisper
that after the pots and pans and the inventiveness of hope
there's the shit
of the difficult tomorrow.

When will I be ready to accept
that there is nothing more than pain, lodged in the hollow
in every fragment of the world?

Curfew
you pass through the ribins you spit out your lungs
rage rage rage intestine pulmonary alveolus yes
ashes to the glottis.

I have not known the golden age, not known the invitation to indecent and unscrupulous consumption, the praise of capitalism, not known
the era of plastic propaganda.

I was born into the plastic world.
And the consciousness of coal, the greenhouse effects of condescension?

I lose
solidarity and,
stupefied by my screen
I won't even tell you about the TVs
that make swollen faces of holograms
to the people
in their flats.


Here, the threshold of hell is marked with the powder of language.
I can tip over.
I can leave.
I am still here.
I am still
tortured by the cursed word of those who have no right to speak. I am tortured by these rules, by this shabby and wasteful world to which I must adapt.

Tracing the pattern of stupid certainties
certainly not filled with scruples.


Distance from greed
distance from greed
distance from the contempt palpated with superiority.

So I compose my axe of rage.

Uncompromising, and serious.
For the future,
for a penny,
to break the corners of the mouths,
to break the tongue,
to file the sorrel
in the swollen pockets.

In my throat the bells are scraping
the night falls on me
and then?

Living in a poetry hut
I wash myself with the mists
that scent the morning rocks.

A small gesture by a small gesture
I build myself a beautiful and exemplary hut
of representation.
I set off, I seek, I find.
I have movement in my skin.
I have opened the doors of my inner house,
making some noise with my dreams,

and then my nightmares.

I make myself a feast of freedom
and fly away
sometimes
I am here
breathe

there
let the air in
my lungs take in all that air
I feel
how good it is to breathe

see
like little piece by little piece,
everything changes
everything flows
trickles
happens,
and falls.

It's time for the bats
dogs and wolves
my face tells all

I don't have to speak anymore
am not in solidarity with anything
in fact I am so united with everything
that I can't express it
I am convulsive
I am tired
I am a real storm on the open sea

and now I can't help it.

My eyelids open
I am here

the light sways
the sails are wavering
moved the bar
moved
my gaze
I am within the mountains
heal my thought
heal this little deaf cocoon, this deaf atmosphere
in which I think I am alone.
heal all around me
the nest
opening it twig by twig
talks to myself as if I were alone
but I am not alone at all.

I look at these mountains around me.

They are there, they are part of me,
I see them, there.
I feel them,
around,
with,
for,
against me.
I feel them on my shoulders, under my feet, in my stomach, everywhere, the mountains, there.

I am vacant, perhaps.

But more or less the same as at birth,
I bear witness with my epidermis
a skin that holds on.

I tell myself of chance,
unveil myself with eternity.

Twirls in temporalities.
A joyful song carefully crafted
together.
Braiding of voices.

Independent like a gravitating star,
I am a lost stone
in orbit.
Circulation.
Around me, the void.

But the mountains,
still.
Relief damaged by meaning.

I don't know what sense it makes anymore,
all this.

My movements are tiny.
The moment, tenuous.
Around me, the world is bouncing.

Madness.
I take to the sea.

I walk to the sky.
I breathe in agreement
with the void.
My tongue is so loose
that it will always say what I have of trouble
on the scales of the skin.

I keep, will keep
the southern hemisphere of the heart
lit.

The one with the little braziers of sensation,
the sparks of courage,
the match of joy.

I must.
I can.
I am here.



 



 



 

1 Lorsque s'allument les brasiers, Colette Magny, A cœur et à cri, CD2, 2018

2 Patti Smith, la poésie du punk, Arte documentary, 7 January 2022

3 Répression, Colette Magny, A cœur et à cri, CD2, 2018 "




 

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