I. Portrait


He’s asleep
He’s awake
All at once, he’s painting

He takes up a church and paints with a church
He takes up a cow and paints with a cow
With a sardine

With heads, hands, knives
He’s painting with a bull’s pizzle
He’s painting with all the dirty passions of a small Jewish town

With all the exacerbated sexuality of the Russian provinces

For France
Without sensuality
He’s painting with his thighs

He has eyes in his ass
And it’s all at once your portrait
It’s you reader
It’s me

It’s him

It’s his fiancée

It’s the corner grocer

The milkmaid
The midwife
There are blood-buckets
To wash newborns in
Some skies of madness

Mouths of modernity

The Tower like a corkscrew
Some hands
The Christ

The Christ it’s him

He has spent his childhood on the Cross
He kills himself every day
All at once, he’s not painting anymore
He was awake
He’s sleeping now

He’s strangling himself with his tie
Chagall’s astonished to still be alive



II. Atelier


The Hive

Stairs, doors, stairs
And his door opens like a newspaper
Covered with calling cards
Then it closes.
Disorder, you’re in complete disorder

Some photographs of Léger, some photographs of Tobeen,

     which you don’t see

And on the back
On the back

Some frenetic works

Sketches, drawings, some frenetic works
And some pictures…

Empty bottles
”We guarantee the absolute purity of our tomato sauce”
Says one label
The window’s an almanac
When the gigantic cranes of lightning empty the barges of the sky

     and pour out hampers of thunder

There fall




Some Cossacks the Christ a sun in decomposition

Some roofs
Some sleepwalkers some goats

A werewolf

Petrus Borel
Madness winter

A genie split like a peach


Poor kid next to my wife
Morose delectation
His shoes are down-at-heel
An old pot full of chocolate

A lamp and its double

And my drunkenness when I pay him a call

Some empty bottles
Some bottles


(We’ve spoken a lot of her)

In the degrees of light


October 1913.