Thursday, May 15, 2014


By Tom Hibbard

        Vertical Village

Like the wolves exalted
By their disappearance
We observe the year of fear
And of liberation

The wolves snow-covered
By distant hunting
For the date erased

Beneath the future that roars
Furtive we wait
To establish ourselves
The source of the headwaters

We know that Things arrive
Gloomy or embellished

The dart that connects the two curtains
Life against life, tumult and mountain

                                  -1970 (Rene Char)

          Rupestral  Praise of Miro

As far as to the station of Altamira
Fleeing the Icarian games
Reader of nimble relief
Admirably certain of little
We love exactly as it happened to us
On your little donkey of Orpheus
Beautiful insomnia of friendship—
You clarify the pattern of it

                                 -1972 (Rene Char)

          The Bird of Hell

This blackbird in my head
Does not allow itself to be tamed
It is like a cloud that passes
and that is never tricked
like a cigarette between fingers
and the haze in the eyes

However I don’t dare entrust it to anyone
and am sad when it disappears
It clings to all the smiles
resting on stretched out hands
and feeds on the sugar of words
without even uttering a sound of joy

For a long time I have tried not to see it
no longer to listen to it crow in the night
and when it tears with its claws
the fillets of certitude
It is the son of insomnia
and of melancholic disgust

My blackbird my copy
hatred is not your bug
I give you three days and three nights

                                    -1953 (Philippe Soupault)

         Chagall So Much and More

A thoroughly small Chagall where one sees the universe
With color perspective and all that it needs
The painting on the back and the painter on the front
A great deal too much of the world and everything screwed up
Food is scarce the invited arrive
Nothing is truly ready the wines the table setting
Send the horse to look for the flowers at the grocer
A thoroughly small Chagall whose eyes are bigger than its stomach
A thoroughly small Chagall like a wedding
The violin in front that travels across the neighborhood
A thoroughly small Chagall blue on Sunday with a slice of orange behind the ear
A thoroughly small Chagall with lovers on the roof
I have lost the ring and the gloves how shall we do it
I have lost the key to the picture
And the people are starting again without having seen the bridegroom

A thoroughly small Chagall without even a corner in which to hang

                                                                       -1966 (Louis Aragon)


It was night yesterday
but the billboards sing
the trees stretch themselves
the statue at the hairdresser’s smiles
No spitting
No smoking
the rays of the sun in the hands are exactly right
there are fourteen

I invent unknown streets
From new continents bloom
newspapers that will come out tomorrow
Watch out for wet paint
I will go walking naked with a cane in my hand

                                                     -1930 (Philippe Soupault)

            The Man Alone

The man alone is a staircase
Not one part of him does not guide
And to him remain inhuman
All the doors of the palace

The man alone has crooked arms
Uneven eyes shortness of breath
He has only elsewhere for a pillow
His sleep is a prostitute

The man alone has fingers of wind
What anyone gives him becomes a cinder
Even pleasure he can take none
That dust does not take back

The man alone has no face
He is only a window against the rain
And the tears that one sees on him
Belong to the nation

He is a letter mislaid
Did it have a false address
To whom did it express tenderness
What hands tore it to pieces

                                             -1965 (Louis Aragon)


The table serving of the most sumptuous luxury
Is way too long
It separates me from the woman I love
I can hardly see her
In the stars of dinner glasses of all sizes she remains inverted and backwards
Revealing herself in a gust of wind

                                                         -1943 (Andre Breton)

“The Man Alone,” “Chagall So Much and More,” “The Bird of Hell” were previously published in Another Chicago Magazine  edited by Barry Silesky.  Also several French Surrealist translations of Tom Hibbard’s were used in issues of Willow Springs.


Recently Tom Hibbard has had several articles published on visual writing, one in Big Bridge, issue 17 and also in Galatea Resurrects, issue 19.  Hibbard has also had an article on the work of Belgian artist Luc Fierens in Word/ For Word, issue 22 and an article on Jack Kerouac’s poetry also in Big Bridge, issue 17.  Several poems following Kerouac’s style and visual writing were recently published in Cricket Online Review.  His book of poetry The Sacred River of Consciousness is available online at Moon Willow Press and  And his book Place of Uncertainty is available online at Otoliths Storefront from Lulu.  Hibbard is working on a new collection of poetry and further articles on visual writing. 

No comments:

Post a Comment