Atomize Me, The Improbables, Grace

José Acquelin

Traduit par : Hugh Hazelton

Texte original: "Atomise-moi, Les improbables, Grâce "

œuvre de Sharon Katz

Atomize Me


I put birds in glasses

they’re made of paper lips come on in the shower

I cut up beings in mouth slices

tell me what poet lives out his verses


I wait for you calming my nerves

all the televisions are preparing for war

you turn in my blood

I don’t believe the screens


I love your cry that pierces my carotid artery

you burn with something that’s not lukewarm

you go you gesture you roar what’s left

a truth of love without a jacket


click of fingernails splash of kisses

shells of ears silence laps against the window

we only obey what dazzles us

come love evaporate me



The Improbables


there are indeterminable lovers

they’ve never slept together

they order up the mist in their eyes

they make millennia impatient

through doors called books

that they write or distribute

to uninvented beauty

infinite lovers are fragile

they’re drunk with their placeless fragrance

their silences speak unplaceable shivers

their lack of mystery disturbs

skin is a silent accordion

that makes silk nostalgic to the fingers

unsurprisable lovers enrage

handkerchiefs alcohol sheets

limitless inimitable they drink elsewhere

from springs of a bottomless simplicity

they take part with an outrageous trust

that ridicules passions the frustrated

their compass is spherical immediate

that’s why they’re ignored

irretrievable lovers

lovers without date

lovers without river

lovers without hourglass

they’ve come through the suicides of affect

they’re innocent of their eternity

their zero-shaped mouths lengthen verticals

they’re sometimes seen

on certain unforeseeable nights

exchanging their woody souls

like oriental children

making this long scarf of uneventful lives

twirl on their laughter





for Marcelle Bénédicte Soulié and Gilberte Nedjmâa Cohen


you’ve got to say it all right off

but above all you’ve got to

let it all

live itself

right away

before yourself

while yourself

after yourself

out of yourself

like the sun lets us believe

in upside-down rain

a water so fine

that it rises

toward fire

and never once thinks

it will fall back again

that it’s falling back already

to nourish the beings of earth

then air is suspended

so that souls awaken

to what cannot be seen

it’s the privilege of a gentleness

without hope or despair

we don’t believe in it all the time

we’re not crazy

we feel we keep silent

we let silence bead

and the suffering is understandable

we’re seized with rapture

in a tenderness as agonizing

as the truth of death

that offers love

to be less than a word

more than a mirror

because identity is useless

if we’re not like everything else

that is not ourselves

in the face of things

yes for a being to arise

it can only come out

without ever being able to do anything at all

I say this about an instant

that doesn’t belong to me

or anyone else

it’s the flower of nothingness

that never fades

that we forever turn our back on

it’s the nothing of a flower

that can be an open hand

free as any time

eternity is forgetfulness of eternity

infinity is less sad than eternity

there’s no other heaven than that

there’s no other god than that

there’s no other that

than this extreme here

so sensitive

that no body

can mean anything else

yes humans go by

and the camel brays

and each word falls silent

sun of silence

silence of the sun

here is the only prayer

close your eyes

and be

and see


José Acquelin

José Acquelin, né en 1956, a publié quinze recueils de poésie à son nom, sans compter les divers livres collectifs auxquels il a participé, et a enregistré plusieurs CDs de son œuvre. Il se dédie à plein temps à la l’écriture, surtout à la poésie, et est un organisateur infatigable de rencontres et de lectures publiques, souvent avec de la musique. Il voyage aussi fréquemment et s’intéresse fortement à la poésie et la pensée de la Chine, du Moyen Orient et de l’Amérique latine. Ses poèmes ont été traduits dans plusieurs langues, dont l’espagnol, l’anglais, l’italien, le roumain et bientôt l’arabe.

Hugh Hazelton

Hugh Hazelton is a writer and translator who specializes in the comparison of Canadian and Quebec literatures with those of Latin America. He has translated a number of works of Latin American writers living in Canada, as well as of Quebec poetry. His translation of Vétiver (Signature, 2005), a book of poems by Joël Des Rosiers, won the Governor General’s award for French-English translation in 2006. He is a professor emeritus of Spanish at Concordia University in Montreal and now works as co-director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre.