December 8, 1980,
170 Years after Gérard de Nerval's Mother's Death

Tomaž Šalamun translated by Michael Thomas Taren

Dreadful monotonous tobacco plantations!
Where is Mama, where is some chair?
In the flesh of El Desdichado no more Nerval.
He was killed by the bell's tolling
and curls pouring from the
floor upstairs.
Bugs are imbecile.
They tramp in the black corridors chiseled
by the race of the fresh.
Everyone not shutting taps will die!
Hoops have no body.
Today 170 years have passed since Marie-Antoinette-
Marguerite Laurent was buried
at the Polish Catholic
cemetery in Paris.
Elle n'était qu'une fille d'un marchand

Therefore, exactly at this moment —
on the other continent, at Alameda —
my body walls burst.
I'll ransom you, Gérard!
Because you, the unweaned child
weren't even aware.
I'm physically experiencing her death.