October 12, 2011

Liliane Giraudon

Liliane Giraudon [France]

 Born on April 13,1946, French poet, dramatist, and fiction writer Liliane Giraudon has lived for most of her life in Marseille, where she teaches in the public schools.

      Giraudon's work might be described as trans-genre, as she moves with and against prose ("prose does not exist") and poetry ("a poem is never alone"). The writer has also worked collaboration with other writers and artists, and has been extremely active in the French literary scene, co-founding, with Jean-Jacques Viton, Banana Split and If and serving as an editor for the noted poetry journal Action poétique. She has also worked in video and other medias.

Her books of poetry include Têtes ravagées: Une Fresque, Je marche ou je m'endors, La Réserve, Quel jour sommes-nous, Divagation des chiens, and, most recently, La Poétesse. She also edited, with Henri Deluy, 29 femmes: Poésie en France depuis 1960 (1994).

Among her prose-like works are La Nuit (1986), Pallaksch, Pallaksch, winner of the Prix Maupassant (1990, published in English by Sun & Moon Press, 1994), Fur (1992, published in English by Sun & Moon Press, 1995), Les animaux font toujours l'amour de la méme manière (1995), Parking des filles (1998), and La Fiancée de Makhno (2004).

     Giraudon has also produced translations.


Têtes ravagées: Une Fresque (Paris: La Répétition, 1978);  Je marche ou je m'endors (Paris: Hachette/P.O.L, 1982); La Réserve (Paris: P.O.L, 1984); Billy the Kid (in memoriam Jack Spicer (Paris: Manicle [H.C.], 1984;  Quel jour sommes-nous (Paris: Ecbolade, 1985); _V_ (avec 6 vignettes de nanni Balestrini) (La Souterraine: La Main Courante, 1987); Divagation des chiens (Paris: P.O.L, 1988); Anne n'est pas Suzanne (with photographs by Casa Factori Marseille) (La Souterraine: La Main Courante, 1998); La Poétesse (Paris: P.O.L, 2009)

Crustaceans Are What They Eat

Don't tell me you're fed up with writing poetry
that you can't write any other way
that reaching the end of the line is too trying
or tiring or worrisome like a road
climbing a staircase or the top of a tree
that darkening the surface of a page
is like singeing the tips of the fingers the nails
(Edgard Pinaud's nail polish no. 15, Seduction)
which smells of Onions Tulips.

An infinitely unpleasant thing a feeling
of grease on the tongue for example
don't tell me the others all the others
—your poetry colleagues (those false navigators)—
annoy you with their negligent
postures their carbonated drinks
their clothes—sexual intellectual
habitual eternal presumptions they pontificate
postulate perambulate in vain are so old so soon that they greet
bleat eat out of your hand
biting only their shadows

Don't tell me that you've forgotten the day the hour
that sunlight spoils the sight of the sea that the moon
is a pathetic thing when the sky is clear
so clear the night that enfolds it seems an illusion
that you can't sleep that in your dreams it's always
the same woman undressing then refusing
that you've passed the age of pornographic acrobatics
limited to speaking without receivers

Flesh is soft on the back of the shoulder

Don't tell me that the word date so and so
translates it by delicacy somebody else by desert fruit
that you don't give a damn
that the taste of dates is unique in an oasis
that the target language must retain the odor of the original
different after all from a plate of fruit spit up by a child
that that has nothing to do with it
once on the fire with a sprinkling of sugar
producing a scintillating preserve
served in the curve of a china bowl on a white tablecloth
deep in a garden by attentive hands
on a quiet morning promising unspeakable happiness
as rare as a pure heart
for translating is just a snapping jaw
open on a body to be covered by your own
until it disappears
until nothing is left
the inescapable trace of an invisible, persistent chain
left behind to deceive the reader to make him believe
the crossing was accomplished the road traveled
the translation made

Don't tell me like that other guy
that all women are redheads
just put them on the fire
fierce ferocious equal in every way
to the true Paradise the one and only
with no need for philtre or propaganda
the latter secret
invisible rather down below beneath the belt
trampled perhaps by heels you step on it put up with it
Hell a paving stone
a handful of combative starving men
rusty boxes on the rim of the road
they love their poems like the smell of their own farts
it's a stock a pack a swamp
when it's simply quite simply
nothing how much sun is in sunflower
or r in the word carrot

Don't tell me don't tell me to keep quiet
the fax the dead
now that excites me the poem is a mirror
when a pig looks in abstraction increases
in illumination that's the blood they used to fix the gold
in the leaves the sun shines but not for us all
she says she wants monkey tooth implants
a tail would work better
would go better with the color of her eyes the white
sand of the river dazzling

Climbing into holes what an adventure
that's all I've ever done
flinging dirt over my shoulders
that's going the distance—attentive ear—
the feet beneath assembled moving
if I only had hooves
the cloven foot leaves better tracks in the mud
Io! Io! in the humid raw air
Ah my love! drain

drain me like a motor

—Translated from the French by Guy Bennett
English language copyright ©1996 by Guy Bennett

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