Friday, November 30, 2012

Boris Vian

I don’t want to croak
Without having known
The black dogs of Mexico
Who sleep without dreams
The monkeys with bare bums
Devourers of the tropics
The silver spiders
With nests stuffed with bubbles
I don’t want to croak
Without knowing if the moon
Under her false nickel-face
Has a pointed side
If the sun is cold
If the four seasons
Are really only four
Without having tried
Wearing a dress
On the grand boulevards
Without having looked
Into a sewer inspection-hole
Without having put my prick
Into some bizarre corners
I don’t want to end
Without knowing leprosy
Or the seven maladies
One catches down there
The good or the bad
None of them bother me
If if if I knew
That I would have the first of it

And there is also
All that I know
All that I value
That I know pleases me
The green depth of the sea
Where the strands of algae waltz
On the rippled sand
The baked grass of June
The crackling earth
The scent of the pines
And her kisses
Now here, now there
Her beauty obvious to all
My Bear cub, Ursula
I don’t want to croak
Before having used
Her mouth with my mouth
Her body with my hands
The rest with my eyes
I say no more, it’s better
To stay reverential

I don’t want to die
Before someone has invented
Eternal roses
The two hour work-day
The sea at the mountain-side
The mountain at the sea-side
The end of sadness
Newspapers in colour
All children happy
And so many gadgets still
Asleep within the skulls
Of genial engineers
Of jovial gardeners
Of civil citizens
Of urbane urbanites
And thoughtful thinkers
So many things to see
To see and to hear
So much time to spend
Searching in the dark

As for me I see the swarming
End arriving
With his lousy mug
Opening for me his
Bandy toad arms

I don’t want to croak
No Sir, no Ma’am
Before having explored
The flavour which torments me
The flavour which is the heaviest
I don’t want to croak
Before having tasted
The flavour of death.

On the morning of June 23, 1959, Boris Vian was at the Cinema Marbeuf for the screening of the film version of his novel J’irai cracher sur vos tombes. He had already fought with the producers over their interpretation of his work and he publicly denounced the film stating that he wished to have his name removed from the credits. A few minutes after the film began, he reportedly blurted out: “These guys are supposed to be American? My ass!” He then collapsed into his seat and died from sudden cardiac death en route to the hospital.

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