This poem is taken from Stand 224, 17(4) December 2019 - February 2020.

Cliff Forshaw Four Poems

Variations on themes from Michel Houellebecq’s Le Sens du Combat, 1996

1.   Le jour monte et grandit, retomber sur la ville

Day scales the towers of steel and glass: new light
now cast on the skyline of investment spikes;
slowly, what glowed within grows weak,
is doused. Look! we have come through the night,

but today we will still hive under float-glass, LEDs,
in open-plan panopticons. Outside,
cleaners push for home against full-spectrum and the tide.
The future’s clean and bright enough to shame our bodies.

We’ve crossed the deserts of desire and lost
the taste for dream, the dark cinema of the past.
We’ve seen ourselves revealed in glass: La Ville Lumière!
Our smiles are thin and bright, but we’re not there.  

2.    Il marche dans la nuit, son regard plein de mort
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