The Borders of Love



Between two mouths in a kiss

Windowglass of solitude

Selection from Black Mirror: The Selected Poems of Roger Gilbert-lecomte, translated from the French by David Rattray, published by Station Hill Press, 1991. All rights reserved.





I come from afar

in the marches of night

Much farther than one might imagine

My story is slight in the city of light

Well known in the deserts of famine

With her teeth and her nails she’s everywhere

I let her mangle me

But her eyes say I’m a piece of slime

And she will strangle me

And if my berth tonight I choose

In the havens of misery since

I never knew how to refuse

Misery’s blandishments

To the bottom of the heap I slide

With neither pisspot nor candle

But oblivion’s obscene solicitudes

To me alone a lovely



Image du film "Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, phrérange irrémédiable" de Georges Sammut et Daniel Cassini (art cote d'azur)
Image du film "Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, phrérange irrémédiable" de Georges Sammut et Daniel Cassini (art cote d'azur)


Into the Eyes of Night






A woman dozes on a roof her name is night


Ancient abandoned to the perils of intoxication


To sleep’s fumbling treasons


Dreamer in an avalanche of slips


Ditched on a high glassy place to eyeball outer space


Over the corroded zinc where old man sun the killer


And his old lady that tearful poisoner the moon tend bar


Our big sleepwalker’s nails screech all at once


Her fingers sprout insanely squealing diamonds


Drops of blood singing in midair


Dance like beads of mercury


Up to this woman curled in the monster’s lap of nothingness


A chimney fumes a cloud in tatters


In sooty black silk the night wind


Pitches a nomad tent


Lining heaven a celestial floater


In the sleeper’s huge adoring


Eyes their lids stirring as


Long long lashes flutter and


Shrinking stars explode


The name is night she sleeps with one eye open


And all the world at stake on what she does



The Perpetual Incantation






That awful mask a snapshot


Amazed solitude


Transfixes on the surface


Of a perennial torrent flesh


Casual flesh


The awful mask a mugshot


Of drugged solitude


Your face


May the rainburst erase it replace it


With a vacuity that shines


A dazzle of nonentity a


Sightless clairvoyant of white shadows


One forever eaten by wind



The Four Elements


To Rolland de Reneville






If I say Fire I am ringed in flames


When I say Water Ocean expires at


My feet an empty hull floating in solid


Crystal a mummy on ice is Air


In Earth the castaway takes root sleeping


Under the leafy tree of his own body


The dream’s golden branch shoots out his mouth


A dirt-caked mouth exhaling to the sky


From lungs inside out like booming treetops


Red harvest in the mortal midnight sun



I Want to be Damned




Where the Prophet Stopped


To Claude Sernet






You’re wrong


I’m not the one that went up I’m


Still the other guy the man no man looks for


My face behind the red mask glory shame


Faces the wind wind is my only guide


I’ll stand there like a statue even as


Some crazy gust knocks down a ruined house


Leaving me upright forget about night


What do you want of me the only one


Standing yet cold numb restless not all there


To reach the persons long dead go for the crack Black light from the other sun filters through


And if ere evening I happen to fall


Flat on my face in the road arms outstretched


A jolt of the old juice my ultimate


Will bring me to my feet for the defeat


Night will hasten as I howl in a voice like


Great waters growling in the vault of night


Until the coming of that sign that hour


Leave me alone go on deny a prophet’s


Power to turn life inside out transmuting


All sense to an immortal flash of pain


Leave me to the horrors inside my empty


Head and they are damning damned damned damning.



Coronation and Massacre of Love








To the pale east in the agony of ether


To the west in the night of great waters


To the septentrion in back of the north wind


To the south blest by the ashes of the dead


To the four animal faces of the cardinal points


To the face of the bull


To the lion’s face


To the eagle’s face


To the forever unfinished and ever agonized


Human face.


At the heart of a dove


In a snake’s coil


From the honey of heaven to the salt of the ocean sea


Of the icons meaning femal space only one lives


It is a woman’s body made up of stars


A shape and vessel holding universe


A blue skinned body formed like the sky








A home to ghosts and to the children of night


A place of absence stillness gloom


The whole of space and what it holds


In a field all white a black hole


Like the cave of the sky


The whole body of woman is a vacuum to be filled








In a cloak of pale shadow


Cold dawn


Floods sky and living flesh


From pole to pole


From the occult currents common to flesh and stars


To the bottom of each earthy body




And fault through which a volcano of madness




Nail that screaming woman


To the tripod


Her mouth consumed


In the flaming


Glory of the bitter laurel




Like a raging sea


Her hair is a




Her eyes an eclipse


Stars are streaming out of her fingertips


Her tragic flesh draped in a silk of tremors


Her face carved in the marble of fright


Her feet the sun and moon


She strides along like an ocean


Rolling her hips


In a long ample pulsing swell




Her body embodying the night


Black flame the double mystery


Of an inverse identity


Shimmering in the mirror of great waters








In the desert of love a glimmering visitation


Blind prophetess your eye has the clarity of cut glass


Let the ear of your heart


Hear the lion growl


WithinVeiled in a red fog and buzz


Of blood seared by the venomous spells


And prestigia of desire


Exciting in the bend of your nocturnal throat


The voracity of vampires


Vast dance of nuptial gravitations whole


Worlds and seas pulsing


To the heartbeat of a weeping sun


Down into the temple lost in the forgotten deep


Down into the medusa hole that first spawned


A panic shadow on the first night of the creation


Hear the trumpet blast and the scattered seed


Blasting all the way to bedrock at the bottom of the deepest cave


She dances to connect night and mother sea


A plant connecting earth and blood of heaven








As Antaeus revives by touching earth


To revive empty space by touching skins


In your bosom I lie in order to perform the rite


Of homecoming to where I came from when not yet born


The animal sign of the archaic ecstasy




In your bosom I lay the offering


Of balm and venom mixed


Blind as I am


In the caves of being that are the antechambers of annihilation








Yet who could peel the mask off your face


And the skin’s opaque frontier


To reach the quivering fulcrum of the self That point at dead center of the eye


Of an endlessly expanding series of rings


Itself perfectly motionless at the bottom of the heart star of the absolute


Empty point foundation of all life and of the forms


Which according to the circle of torments


Become the secret of blind change


Whence the desperation


Of a love canceled in a double absence


At the thunderstruck peak of delirium


An act of androgynous unity


The man had forgotten forever already


Before the universe had even begun to exist


Before hemorrhage


Before head








In the Tibetan story


Lost in chaos unkempt and


Darkness like a


Mouthful of dirt


A dead person’s fatless shade


Whirls in black oblivion shivering




For the icy slithering of ghosts is all there is out there


When suddenly it finds itself Drawn to a distant glimmer then


Looking into an enchanted cave


A light-filled paradise of warm jewels


A little kingdom of splendors and beatitudes


In the region known as essence of desire


Which though never sated is forever satisfied


Lured by the exhilarating smell


The shadeEnters


And sleeps


Only to awake riveted


Rooted in uterus


A ghastly fetus doomed to one more round


Of procreative desperation


Spinning on the wheel of the horror of existence


All the way back from the eldest fetal ancestor


To the putrid mother of us all


Our first ancestor rot


In her robber of foxfire


The demented queen


Who makes and unmakes


Forms and fortunes


And by committing the eternal feminine


Star-studded bones and all


To the honor of ash


Imposes on skin’s


Statuesque and pride inclination


Water’s dread horizontality


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