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Angele Paoli – Opening song trans. Martyn Crucefix

Opening song

a translation of ‘Chant d’ouverture’ by Angele Paoli 

Death             your bit clicking my bones
you brush close you huff
your rotten song up my nostrils

you dance under leafy trees skulk
in cracks of rocks you rasp
your black laugh in the hinges of my hips

– who are you

to scrape barren soil then broadcast
in passing the foul stink
of your winds

who dance dancing with your bones
skiffing and jumping around me
your scythe scores earth

and you swell sky with your cunning
spine flesh gone gulped
skeleton gnawed

– what do you want now

so many corpses don’t they fill you
keep you fat –

I see them sneering
gap-toothed mouth dismantled chin
flung back to earth
still you champ at the bit

you filth!

.

Angèle Paoli is a Corsican poet, novelist and translator. She runs the on-line feminist review Terres de femmes and was winner of the Aristotle European Prize for French Poetic Criticism in 2013. Recent publications include La Montagne couronnée (2014), Les Feuillets de la Minotaure (2015), the novel Artemesia allo specchio (2018) and translations of Luigia Sorrentino.

Martyn Crucefix: recent publications are Cargo of Limbs (Hercules Editions, 2019), These Numbered Days, translations of the poems of Peter Huchel (Shearsman, 2019) and The Lovely Disciplines (Seren, 2017). Currently a Royal Literary Fund fellow at Westminster University, he blogs regularly on poetry, translation and teaching at http://www.martyncrucefix.com

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poetry shed

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