Sandra Doller translating the French of Éric Suchère
Excerpted from Mystérieuse, Anomalous Press Chapbook Contest Winner, available from Anomalous Press
Simple background, telephone wire in loops: the figure puts down the handset, mops his brow, drops of sweat splash—questioning and astonishment grow with the heat.
Wall and baseboard, heavy curtains, others sheer, windows onto night, white stars on black, reflections in black and white strokes: the figure opens the window, drops of sweat splash, merge with the stars—questioning.
Ledge, curtains, windows onto night, white stars on black, one star brighter: the figure looks at it, drops of sweat splash into the window he holds open—wonder and observation.
Night, white stars on black, one star brighter, town in blue relief, facades, roofs, chimneys: the figures walk on the line, fast, drops of sweat splash—initiative.
Night, white stars on black, one star brighter, bare trees in black relief above rotunda with white rectangle, window: no action—contemplation.
Doorstep, stair: the animal figure sits and rests, drops of sweat splash, the figure rings, ripples emanate from a rectangle with a black circle—exhaustion and a determined gesture.
Night, white stars on black, one star brighter: the figure looks at it—observation.
Door in vertical lines: a doorman figure half-opens it suspiciously, answers very aggressively—request and refusal.
Door in vertical and horizontal lines: it closes, banging, ripples emanate from the double rectangle, the figures watch without reacting, drops of sweat splash, vibrant strokes shoot from the animal’s tail, burst into black stars around—real surprise at such rudeness.
Simple background: the figures stand on the line—annoyance.
Simple background: the figure rings, ripples emanate from the rectangle with the black circle—awaiting an answer.
Door in vertical lines ajar: the doorman figure answers very aggressively, while the other figure pretends—a trick in action.
Door in vertical and horizontal lines: the figure stands on the sidewalk line, leads the other figure on the step away by the arm—the trick in action.
Door in vertical and horizontal lines: the doorman figure stands speechless, drops of sweat splash, as the other two figures enter, spiral of movement, door closes, banging, ripples emanate from the double rectangle—the trick is pulled.
Sandra Doller’s books are Oriflamme (Ahsahta, 2005), Chora (Ahsahta, 2010), and Man Years (Subito, 2011). Newer projects include a forthcoming prose chapbook from CutBank called Memory of the Prose Machine (2013), part of a longer book-length and performance piece. The founder & editrice of 1913, Doller lives in San Diego with man & dogs.
Éric Suchère is a poet, writer, art critic, and art historian. Based in Paris, he is the author of many books of conceptual prose and poetry and a major player in contemporary French letters. His works have been translated into English by Lisa Robertson and Carrie Noland.