Monday poetry: today, “eh jude do not let us go”

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various chaos, these are various series of texts grouped by Pierre Alferi, of different contents and periods, but which have in common this form of humility: the poem is short, does not take up much space on the page, does not dare to capital letter at the beginning of the verses. Urban walk, reading of graffiti, descriptions of show jumping, algae or perfumes: what brings these texts together is attention to the “Present perception”, Alferi explains, and an attempt to reconstruct it through language. Formally, this does not prevent rhymes or a rhythm of scansion efficiency. “In the morning alone downwind / is it you / the tabla dirty goblin / drunk on wine / and bitter nursery rhymes / by chance / who would play with death / able?”

The collection also includes formal experiments: “Chinese poems” where the words are presented two by two from bottom to top, like ideograms, poems extended by illustrations or a sonnet entirely made up of drawings. Finally, Pierre Alferi pays tribute to his elders, like John Ashbery. Here is the one addressed to Jude Stéfan, the poet born in 1930 in Pont-Audemer, in Eure (hence the allusion to the Norman hole) and which obviously also quotes a famous song from the Beatles.

and jude where is he? in his hole
Norman? but not this wall
of greenery is its cover
jude is in the air not far away
to the sky ? but not at the father’s
so he stays in his tower
ivory? but no
jude is not obscure nor high
jude is chépèr he chine
Catholic tapin
in search of the pearl
to dissolve in vinegar
time with veiled chin
gray gait
chanting voice
butterfly look that arises
barely a Slavic tear in my eye
peeping at the bun
from the last century we have left
so many full cartridges
he lets go eh jude doesn’t let us go
the handlebars are missing
in the ditch of its oily countryside
a lush greenhouse
hot machined
modern and he comes out happy
fate he liked the scene
that he read in a black cloud
morbid was macabre
will be he says horny
its metric arc
forced acton
of serf caught in flag
with the Czarina or the virgin
to the ugly breasts
lyrical formalist ironic
jude is jealous of the big guys
front stage barons
because he is there he stays
in the century it doesn’t matter
which but in the back
our champion our victor
mature about which marlene said
if we look for him he is behind
in the trailer with the girls

Pierre Alferi, various chaos, ed. P.O.L., 272 pages, 18 euros.

Guillaume Lecaplain



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