From Book 4: Resistance

This section presented in its entirety. Let us never forget those who fought so others could be free.             In the protection of a dry creek bed we gobbled our tepid rations and leaned against the embankment in shifts to nap. “How’s your ankle, soldier?” Raymond asked me for the hundredth time as he lappedContinue reading “From Book 4: Resistance”

From Book 3: Aube

I understand Aube Elléouët-Breton still lives in Paris. This fictional section is offered in respect and affection.             Artaud was still lecturing in Mexico City, and Louis was preoccupied with his upcoming marriage. Lee was preoccupied with her work. She was photographing Man Ray now and the two were at least speaking to each other.Continue reading “From Book 3: Aube”

From Book 3: George Malkine and Louis Aragon’s Buttocks

            I had a garden. Not much of one, but in Desnos’s scrabbly yard, between the two large sunken medallions in the ground that had been apparently stolen long ago from a cemetery, I managed to plant flowers, herbs, and even a few rows of carrots, and Louis and I would crawl through the lilacsContinue reading “From Book 3: George Malkine and Louis Aragon’s Buttocks”

From Book 1: Holiday with Artaud and Desnos

            During breakfast the clouds gathered together and pelted the house with darkness and drops, a steady rain I could tell would not clear up soon. We dodged raindrops out to the woodpile, stacked up wood beside the hearth in the front room, built a fire in the fireplace and lit the lamps, and resignedContinue reading “From Book 1: Holiday with Artaud and Desnos”

For Veterans Day: Normandy

In memory of Rupert L. Harley. This section offered in its entirety.             Waiting.             The latrines were coated with diarrhea and vomit. Any bucket within reach of a man was overflowing with vomit. The smell of vomit pervaded the ship and even days of continued rain couldn’t wash it away. No man could eatContinue reading “For Veterans Day: Normandy”

For Veterans Day: Lee and Nusch

            We finally broke out of the hedgerows and trudged into farmland, meeting the crossings of dirt roads, and coming upon the occasional demolished village. Such brave souls Hitler’s troops were, exploding hapless farmers and shopkeepers! The people greeted us as liberators, gathering by the side of the road and cheering, waving handkerchiefs, offering usContinue reading “For Veterans Day: Lee and Nusch”

From Book 2: What Does Rrose Selavy Look Like?

            After the ruckus had spilled into the street, I went backstage to say something to Artaud—I didn’t know what, something encouraging, comforting. But he was already talking to André Breton, and I heard the other side of the Youki story. Artaud listened sympathetically as Breton, who knew that Artaud and Desnos were still goodContinue reading “From Book 2: What Does Rrose Selavy Look Like?”

From Book 1: Rrose Selavy

            Over supper Desnos was enough entertainment for all of us, making up outrageous stories on the spot, encouraging us to drink more wine and then making us laugh until it was painful. However, some of his tales horrified my family as the poet related his involvement in the high jinks of Dada, the movementContinue reading “From Book 1: Rrose Selavy”

From Book 4: Trotsky and Nusch

Author’s note: I really, really mourn Nusch Éluard, too. She was Marvelous. Writing this novel series about Artaud and Desnos has led me to love – and to mourn – so many other people: André Breton (though I’m conflicted about him), Benjamin Péret, Paul Éluard, Picasso, Cocteau, Jacques Prével, Paule Thévenin, Jean Paulhan who alsoContinue reading “From Book 4: Trotsky and Nusch”

From Book 4: Blackmailing Fouks

            That evening at dinner—not after it as most people would but during it as Desnos would—we read through The New Revelations of Being, the work I hated and felt was the least like Artaud’s voice. In reading it again of course I changed my mind. Artaud certainly believed his apocalyptic visions. According to RenéContinue reading “From Book 4: Blackmailing Fouks”