"a display of light"

three poems by Michaux from “My Properties” (1927-29) and this painting by Michaux


And aller, aller et allero
And bitch!
Sarcospell on Sarico,
Andorn for talico,
Or’ll andora your adogo,
Crass, crass like Chicago,
And ass-kicks to poverty.

“Death of a Page”

Unbornished, vunished and already more raggled than rigged.
. . . A little thing and dying.
Alogol! Alopertius! Alogol! Help, I beg of you. . .
There is a druin, fuin, sen sen lom.
There is a luin, suin, sen sen lom.
. . . A little thing and dying.
But he’s as upright, nyah! swaggerom,
As all chivalry or Cardinal of France.


As I went further west, I saw nine-segmented insects with huge eyes like graters and latticework corselets like miners’ lamps, others with murmuring antennae; some with twenty-odd pairs of legs that looked more like staples; other of black lacquer and mother-of-pearl that crunched underfoot like shells; still others high legged like daddy longlegs with little pin-eyes as red as the eyes of albino mice, veritable glowing coals on stems with an expression of ineffable panic; still others with an ivory head — surprisingly bald, so that suddenly one had the most fraternal feelings for them — so close, their legs kicking forward like piston rods zigzagging in the air.

Finally, there were transparent ones, bottles with hairy spots, perhaps: they came forward by the thousands — glassware, a display of light and sun so bright that afterward everything seemed ash and product of dark night.


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