Word for/ Word

Tom Hibbard (translator)

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

--Philippe Soupault (1953)