Saturday, January 23, 2016

Jacques Bertin - My life, my work

Original Title: "Ma vie, mon œuvre"
I was not able to leave far away
Convoking the harbors and the islands
Broking the lines of fate
Like a smart knucklebones player
Shaking up the deal and the towns

I was not the birdman
Ruling over the Dalmatian coast
Nor protector of the Baltic countries
With his scepter of reed
His arm reaches out to Malta

To the Vidame of the bridges, in Pisa
Before killing him like a dog
He bought his seven whores back
Who come eat in his hand
And love him and tell him they do

His pirogues are on the Ogooué
Loaded with his camphor and his honey
The king of Sudan cajoled
Pays him plants of salt trees
With two hundred saddle horses

He conquers the countries of the Book
With four hundred riders
- My purple coat makes them drunk
Deliver your soul and your coins
Thank God who frees you!

I lied more than one can say
I sold for years on
Fake tin ciborium’s
Saying the mass in German
For fake badass monks

Boatmen coming down the Ogooué
Who is moaning in those barrels then?
Souls of smothered children
Blue stones of the god April
Gem tears for the islands

I saved the convents of Basel
Surrounded by the hateful Teutons
They wanted the skin of the cloistered nuns
Those demons were fighting better than them
- The superior has been ordinary

I traveled the ancient Epirus
Running from Europe and my better half
Followed by a mameluke of the Empire
And two women who were beating me
Beat me, my former one is worse*

Of a minister, the wife on the run
White and fat and always naked
Would it be what excites me:
The virtue of the ministeresses?
Iconoclasty you haunt me!

Then the negress beautiful and lean
Gift of his father to Sidney
- I had saved him from ruin
Offering me his daughter and he was crying:
"Take my daughter and give me back my mine"

They ambushed me
The Turkish man having burned my foot
I had to slit the throat of my beauties
In accordance with an Umayyad ritual
Thinking to it, I am still sick of it

The fat queen of Bohemia
Had me whipped by her pretty boys
Before offering me to herself
Male or female, I don't know
Was impaling me among the blasphemies

Oh the nostalgia of the Ogooué
The songs of the Nile rowers
The spell of the April river
The canons shooting from the bay
And the peoples milling about and flying

I fought for nothing in Mexico
I vanquished in Tenochtitlan
Driving an army of children from the field
Scrawny and twelve years old each
They were singing pathetic songs

Then were falling among the meager wheats
That naïve painting is sold
- The commodore has been hanged
I keep a tender memory of it
And of the rifles in Portalegre

We make feasts on the Ogooué
You can't imagine which kind
The gall oozes out of the brain
Of a scalded young monkey
For Easter, eat some virgin

Yes, the Negus was cheating at cards
Yes, a fine day I boarded
Salome, Sarah, and Jacobé
Dyking on their little sailboat
Who didn't want me to leave again

Another time, wandering about in Indre
I have seen the Lavilliers mission
Looking for Peru on the Allier
Crossing the Hallier expedition
Pretending to be in India

Pretty lies, pretty bargemen
Carry me toward other harbors
Fake palaces, fake marbles, fake jades
Beside you of the Templars
The secret looks quite insipid to me

But the craziest adventure
It's the girl I loved
When I was twenty who in the corolla
Of her arms imprisoned me
And who doesn't want me to shake them off

The pout of your cruel lips
Whips me more than whip lashes
Flapping sails of the caravels
Your real eyes are fake notes
Every night I forget the beauty because of them

Your holy alcove counts for me
More than the hovels of Tangiers
You talk to my ear and shame
comes to me, the thunder to the sky loaded
I bribe you and we mount each other

Sometimes the wind is rising
For the migration of the gazes
"Mistress, let's go in, it's late"
- I love that light despair
which give its scent to the dreams
Sometimes I believe in Man
You convince me and absolve me
Through laugh and love. In short
The faith is hiding beneath
I believe in the world or it's as if

And you are my whole border
A kiss is being smuggled through it
One more and the whole life
I charter to rig
my pirogue on the pillow.
*play on words with "ancient Epirus" in french "mon ancienne est pire" sounds exactyl the same

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