Bianu's Ritual for Amplifying the World

Europe’s behind me — salt over the shoulder — until the next trip (a November performance with Nicole Peyrafitte in Angoulême) — meanwhile it is a treat to be back in Brooklyn, watching the sun set over the Narrows. On the plane back, I started to translate a poem by French poet & writer Zéno Bianu, the poem with which he often/usually opens his readings. Here is a video of him reading it (with, unhappily, a little break & a few missing lines somewhere in the middle) in July in Lodève, followed by my translation:

Zéno Bianu


I will begin by being
a verb
without limits
a language
in which nothing would be said
but everything’s a premonition
in the visible world
& nowhere else
an elevation
in the new affection and noise
an unheard of miracle
under the sun of consciousness
I will begin by being
by becoming what I am

I will begin by being
a device
for wonder
a journey
to the end of the possible
what teaches me
to die
the most silent
in myself
the swept away
of a universal language
I will begin by being
the voice of a resonance

I will begin by being
a breath
of light-year
against the vertigo
of the temptation
of misfortune
an anthology
of upheavals
the return
of a white night
through the veins
a measureless
I will begin by being
in the middle of the dust

I will begin by being
a smile
a central
a shudder
the part given
to emptiness
a salvo
into the unforeseeable
I will begin by being
by the skin of my teeth

I will begin by being
the refusal
to dream the same
the refusal
of the interior bureaucrat
a serene exaltation
a face
that changes into
a tiger
with each emotion
a face without a face
that welcomes
all the faces
a sky-quake
I will begin by being
all the way to

I will begin by being
a thousand miles
of heart
per second
here on high
against the flesh-colored
a leap
into life
a leap
into emptiness
a leap
of black light
I will begin by being
magnetizer pulp

I will begin by being
an evening
of  annihilation
the highest
a science
of excess
the digital
of death in life
the perfect
I will begin by being

I will begin by being
the one who
each day
discovers the infinite
first time
the finery of chaos
the desertion
of the masks
the accelerated flowering
of a flower of meaning
the one who
no longer wants to
translate life
into dead ashes
I will begin by being

I will begin by being
in tune
with a blue wind
the heightened dance
of the atoms
the unsuspected fire
of my own consummation
a relaxed vigilance
a door that flaps
& comes & goes
when I inspire when I expire
I will begin by being
until the end of the world

* * *

translated by Pierre Joris

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