From Book 1: Rue Blomet

            There were voices outside and someone pounded on the door. Desnos answered it and let in a group of five or so. Before any introductions could begin more people walked up, so he left the door open to the warm night air. Some of the people I recognized from earlier this evening, but mostContinue reading “From Book 1: Rue Blomet”

From Book 1: Hurl his Soul

            Finally Genica and Artaud emerged, carelessly dressed and uncombed and dragging their bags, though I noticed Artaud had taken the time to shave. He was always impeccably clean-shaven, every day, even when he wandered homeless around Paris. He trudged up to Desnos. “Can we go,” he snapped, “so I can have the pleasure ofContinue reading “From Book 1: Hurl his Soul”

From Book 1: Drowning a Mouse

            Justine laid Artaud’s head in her lap and as his arms slipped around her, her fingers stole into his long hair, stroking it longingly. “Tell me that you won’t cut it,” she pleaded.             “I must,” he groaned. “I am going back to my parents’ house this week for the summer, and it’s badContinue reading “From Book 1: Drowning a Mouse”

From Book 1: Poems into Plowshares

            Finally he finished, rolled up his rug and stood up, his face collapsing into brown wrinkles as he smiled. He nodded to me, and reached out to playfully slap Artaud’s cheek, again startling the young man. “Peace be with you both!” the Muslim cried, and slipped into the crowd. Artaud’s hand flew to hisContinue reading “From Book 1: Poems into Plowshares”

From Book 1: Skip Blithely

As soon as everyone had dressed and swallowed some coffee we went for a walk along the road. It skirted the forest, which was cool and dark with a thick undergrowth and massive trunks, and eventually it wound around among rolling hills, where we looked out at seemingly endless fields of sunflowers. There were noContinue reading “From Book 1: Skip Blithely”

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”

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 1: Artaud Disturbs People Sometimes

            “Bless her,” Justine whispered when Catherine had gone, “she’s so sweet.” She rubbed her eyes. “The cats will have shredded my curtains by tomorrow. That was your brother, wasn’t it? I thought I would faint. Excuse me!” We watched her snatch the nightgown and flee the room after these disjointed statements.             Roger gazedContinue reading “From Book 1: Artaud Disturbs People Sometimes”

From Book 1: Men Versus Women, Part 2

            Desnos pushed up his glasses and smiled. “You do sound like Breton.” He said it admiringly, and as he did he threw a glance at the back seat. “But I think you’re coming at this question from a different direction. He is more content with himself.”             “We’re each approaching the same question fromContinue reading “From Book 1: Men Versus Women, Part 2”

From Book 1: Roulette

            That night, the women declared their own revolution.             “No!” Justine proclaimed with relish as she sat in the dining room drinking coffee with Genica. She and Genica talked over each other as a rumpled Louis stared at them from the doorway. “We’re not going to cook supper for you!” “You can starve forContinue reading “From Book 1: Roulette”