Sunday, July 9, 2017

Bain de Sang

Ivan de Monbrison's poetry, paintings, and sculptures have been displayed widely, in Paris, USA, England, Belgium, Barcelona, and other cities around the world. He has described his ghostly images as "incarnated in the canvas but not fully present." "For me," he writes, "art is the only answer in our modern world to the question of death and the fragility of human nature." Ivan's cover art for Oyster Boy Review 21 2014, "Janus with His Shadow," could as well frame the words of his poem in Bacopa Literary Review 2016 (in French first, then English):

Bain de Sang / Bloodshed
-- In memory of the victims in Paris of November 13, 2015 -- 
                            Bain de sang
la fatigue
on s'assied
les étoiles dans l'eau
le silence renversé
 on trinque
un verre à la main
mais on ne sait plus à quoi
autour d'une terrasse
           jonchée de cadavres
le sol peint en rouge
entonnoir de demain
un corps coupé en deux
la tête dans les nuages
          et les pieds sur la terre
et ce silence étrange qui a cousu nos lèvres
                 à la paume de nos mains

panoplies de nos corps
la nuit taillée
on dresse d'un coup le regard
cadavre éventré
 où fleurissent des mains
aux balcons des étoiles se posent les oiseaux
rien à dire
un pas de trop
         pour aller nulle part
au bout de cette course nous tombons en
citadelles sans créneaux       

we sit down
stars in the water
silence toppled down
  we toast
a glass in the hand
but we don't know to what
around the terrace
    covered with bodies
the ground painted in red
funnel of tomorrow
a body cut in half
the head in the clouds
           and the feet on the earth
and this odd silence which has sewed our lips
                    to the palms of our hands

outfit of our bodies
the night cut out
we raise our eyes suddenly
a cloud
a gutted corpse
  where hands are blooming
 birds landing on the balconies of the stars
nothing to say
one step too much
           to get to nowhere
at the end of this race we fall into
                                                        the dust
castles without crenels

November 16 2015 4.39 pm
French poet, writer, and artist Ivan de Monbrison lives in Paris and Marseille. His poems and short stories have appeared in literary magazines in France, Italy, Belgium, the UK, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, and the US. His five poetry chapbooks are L'ombre dechiree, Journal, La corde a nu, Ossuaire, and Sur-Faces. He has illustrated his own poem novel, Les Maldormants, published in 2014 by Ressouvenances Publishers, France. Of "Bloodshed" he says, "These poems were written after the killing of more than a hundred innocent people in the streets of Paris, on November 13, 2015, and so in memory of their martyrdom." Follow Ivan de Monbrison on Facebook here and on Twitter here.
Janus was the Roman two-faced god of beginnings and transitions and thus of gates, doors, doorways, endings, representing the middle ground between barbarity and civilization.

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