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“O for a Muse of fire,
that would ascend
The brightest heaven
of invention,
A kingdom for a
stage, princes to act
And monarchs to
behold the swelling
scene!”
-Willam Shakespeare
King Henry V




The Book of Sorrows (Fragments)
(published in French in La Suite mongole,
Planète rebelle, 2001)

all that is buried returns to tear us apart
like a knife, like the winter
like our intense and austere gaze
so that all this should be mortal
that it might be dangerous and real
because the Book of Sorrows gives
to those who know how to receive
like an oath like a choice
like a talent like a law
remove your clothing and slide into the river
Is your life like a torrent
do you live like a prayer
do you remember the hours of truth
with the miserable streets carried in your arms
the homages of slanders to overcome
you can kill me as much as you wish
but I will never break my vow of integrity

Translated by Fortner Anderson


2006 Calgary International Spoken Word Society