For Toni Puchol
When everybody's looks then grew vaguely familiar,
Through pupils clouded over by alcohol,
From that discordant music, from the half-light of that smoke, from chaos,
Came an unnoticed silence,
And a single trumpet of fire burned our lives.
Or maybe that nusic was made of ice:
Lifeless the sounds, so each one of us
Would make them stir, would fill them with spirit.
For each sang in a different way: with barren joy
In the woman who watched me, with weary sadness
In another's set lips, and, in the lonely boy,
With deep nostalgia for old age;
The music sang in a different way, with no one knowing
How it sounded together, with what intense sorrow.
Nothing in that dark room accorded with the truth of man:
The musician's strident emotion was false,
Clumsy the deceit of others.
Truth is humble and it is simple.
Loneliness, when shared with other lonelinesses,
Makes weakness more vivid,
And shoves man then toward heroic regions
With sentiment alone.
Later a weariness falls over the soul
From this useless struggle. One resents
So much false virtue, pretended purity;
And when the trumpet, faltering, dies out in the silence,
Ony the most hidden, the most dogged vices stay in sight,
Revealed at last:
The looks show recognition, and there may be pity,
And someone may even feel a lukewarm love.
We see the trumpet
Of fire mute on a table, yellow,
And it's old an scored.
Translation by Louis M. Bourne