Wednesday, May 6, 2015

"Postman Cheval"

Postman Cheval

We the birds you always charm from atop these belvederes
And who each night form no more than one blossoming branch from your shoulders to
the arms of your beloved wheel-barrow
Which we uproot from your wrists more sharply than sparks
We are the sighs of the glass statue that rises itself up on its elbow when man sleeps
So shining breaches may open in his bed
Breaches through which can be glimpsed stags with coral antlers inside a glade
Or naked women at the very bottom of a mine
You remember then you got up you got off the train
Without a glance toward the locomotive preyed upon by immense barometric roots
That moans in the virgin forest for all its murdered boilers
Its smokestacks smoking hyacinths and stirred by blue serpents
We would then go before you we the plants subject to metamorphoses
Who each night send signals man can intercept
While his house tumbles down and he’s astounded by the odd couplings
His bed seeks with the corridor and staircase
The staircase branches out indefinitely
It leads to a millstone door it opens suddenly onto a public square
It’s made of swans’ backs an outstretched wing as the rail
It turns upon itself as if it’s going to bite itself
But no it’s content at the sound of our footsteps to open all its steps like drawers
Bread drawers wine drawers soap drawers ice drawers staircase drawers
Flesh drawers with handfuls of hair
At the hour when the ducks of Vaucanson preen their feathers
Without turning around you seized the trowel used for making breasts
We smiled at you you held us by the waist
And we assumed the positions of your pleasure
Motionless under our eyelids forever as woman loves to see man
After making love

André Breton

translation by Jack Hayes 

Image links to its source on the Facteur Cheval website. Facteur Cheval was in fact a historical figure; you can read more about him here.

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