Monday poetry: today, “everything that goes on in my mind goes on my face”

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“I was like, this is what I mean, this is the story I want to tell. How to get there without going through the nonsense of the novel? ” The back cover of Classified without continuation by Sophie Martin is a little gem in its genre. Instead of the traditional extract from the book, we can read the making-of: in this direct style, full of humor and disarming of honesty that we will find throughout the collection, Sophie Martin tells of her desire to write, his questions about the form, up to a dialogue with his editor. To best stick to the truth of what she had to say – the vagaries of her sentimental life – she therefore chose poetry.

The novel, she dismisses, are “All those flat connecting phrases to make you enraged in humiliation and the false complications made about it”. His poems are on the contrary concentrated, while saving resources, sometimes scathing. From her love stories that end badly, in general, she remembers the moments when it starts to crack, when she sees the worm that was in the fruit from the start. With radical self-deprecation, she overwhelms her awkwardness, the humiliations suffered while trying to keep her smile. “This story proves that Léo Antelme was a kind of bird and that I loved him / A few years ago, unfortunately, like Pierre Tisserant today / and others of the same species at other times / Unfortunately because I am far from being food for piafs / On the contrary it takes a certain stomach to support me / Let’s move on. “

Here is one of the poems from the book.

The Sphinx

As I put my chin on his knee
Holding her legs folded between my arms
That I was naked like him and that I watched him quietly
He tells me : You are the sphinx, and I laugh
Not being the sphinx, nor mysterious, I replied
Everything that goes on in my mind goes on my face
I do not offer a riddle to those I meet

But the sphinx, he told me, don’t offer a riddle
He tinkers in the morning his little riddle
To start a conversation
To avoid speaking – in the desert
Rain, good weather
Out of tiredness asking for the time
He is very annoyed that nobody finds
Man, man, they usually only have that in their mouths
He should have thought that there are many things
Far and difficult
Before finding yourself

You are the sphinx, you have eyes that ask a question
And as I looked down and looked at him again, he said to me
Repeat, articulate better, I didn’t understand well
And I laughed, embarrassed by this mythology
I just wanted to ask him why he had not enjoyed
It’s hard to talk about sex since morality requires that we talk about it freely
I couldn’t say anything
Closed my eyes
What fatigue
Go for the sphinx

Sophie Martin, Classified without continuation, ed. Flammarion, 120 pages, 17 euros.

Guillaume Lecaplain



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