The screen flickers, the light dims, a door opens somewhere. Footsteps click against the tile.
A deep voice sounds.
“Are you ready?”
I respond without turning to face him. I look to the floor, then wring my hands.
“Yes, it is time. I hope to do you justice.”
A basso profundo laugh.
“Do me justice? I’ve been waiting a long time to render you.”
I look up into the dark, and see a glint of light shine off his teeth and then his glasses. He turns on the light.
“No sly comparisons to a certain cat, it’s trite.”
“Trite is all I know how how to do.” I smile at him. “It’s all you know how to do as well.”
He sits across from me, the light fades to darkness again.
“So, you’ve forgotten then…” I will his face to appear from the dark. “…that ‘I am another’?”
“I can’t remember.”
He hisses. “Lies. Confabulations. Tall Tales… Fibs.”
I stand up and look into the abyss. “Enough of this, let’s take this back to reality, shall we?”
“But you have so much fun filching from Artaud and Beckett!”
“And jerking off to a Thesaurus. But let’s stop hesitating. Let’s begin!”

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In order to move forward, you must spend a season in hell.

Seeya.

No, I didn’t write this, and I’ve spent more than a decade trying to come to terms with it and it’s author.  I figure this little piece would shed some light into why the blog is called “The Festival of Patience”, as well as myself. The translator is Oliver Bernard. I would have used one of the more modern translations, but they’re all in boxes back in Hawaii. It’s from Rimbaud’s later works, during the Illuminations, but before The Season in Hell. It’s from a short collection of works titled alternatively “Festival of Endurance” and “Festival of Patience”. If anyone is interested I can provide the original French.

May Banners

In the bright lime-tree branches
Dies a fainting mort.
But lively song
Flutters among the currant bushes.
So that our bloods may laugh in our veins,
See the vines tangling themselves.
The sky is as pretty as an angel,
The azure and the wave commune.
I go out. If a sunbeam wounds me
I shall succumb on the moss.

Being patient and being bored
Are too simple. To the devil with my cares.
I want dramatic summer
To bind me to its chariot of fortune.
Let me most because of you, o Nature,
– Ah! less alone and less useless! – die.
There where the Shepherds, it’s strange,
Die more or less because of the world.

I am willing that the seasons should wear me out.
To you, Nature, I surrender;
With my hunger and all my thirst.
And, if it please you, feed and water me.
Nothing, nothing at all deceives me;
To laugh at the sun is to laugh at one’s parents,
But I do not wish to laugh at anything;
And may this misfortune go free.