ISSUE THREE
May 1998

Louis Armand


THE CORTLAND REVIEW

INTERVIEWS
 
R.T. Smith

POETRY
 
R.T. Smith
  Muffy Bolding
  John Kinsella
  Richard Foerster
  A.F. Moritz
  Miriam Levine
  Louis Armand
  David Shevin
  Stellasue Lee
  Adrian C. Louis
  David Sutherland
  Gregory Djanikian
  Paolo M. Bottigelli

REVIEWS
 
J.M. Spalding
  R.T. Smith

ESSAY
 
William Heath

FICTION
 
Douglas Thornsjo

Louis Armand has published widely in literary periodicals and anthologies around the world including: Infernal Cinders (1993) and The Zone (1994). His most recent book is Seances (Twisted Spoon Press, Prague, 1998).  In mid-1994 he became a resident of the Czech Republic, teaching seminars at the Philosophy Faculty of Charles University and coordinating the bi-lingual arts forum x-poezie. He has participated in numerous poetry readings worldwide, and in 1996 he was an invited reader at the inaugural Prague Culture Festival. His work has also been performed in Australia on ABC Radio and he was recently awarded the Penola Festival's Max Harris Award for poetry, in Adelaide. He currently serves on the editorial board of The Prague Revue.
nighttrain    Read Along with the Author


the allegory is ended where the window
across from you—opening
to the left & right
like a hollow stage—phantom
fleeing ... but the day after tomorrow
there is also time
which can be banished
of every one of those senses—the un-
charted space of
enactment foreshortened to memory
the distant pitch of factory sirens'
tedious iteration—brooding
over the strange absence between—
when you find yourself anonymous
as any other passenger (the ticket in your hand
no longer proof of destination) ...

nearer they came: it's impossible to know
the degree of solitude you’ll reach
once fate touches you ... & the wind
pushing behind the glass
almost visible—frightened by its
humanness (a moment later the light outside
has faded against the roof-line)—
it was death that was between us then

 

 

thirroul    Read Along with the Author

        i.m. Brett Whiteley


midnight while the storm still raged
we climbed a steep hillside above
thirroul—skirting the forested clefts
until beneath us we perceived
the inertia of the vast low landmass
the river the valley
the changeling sky reflected on the sea
& north along the scarp-summit even
the lightning—each bolt
a naked tree of blue fire—stood
quivering & arched about to fall ...

after the rain, the dark swollen
banks of the illawarra
like a band of flesh—the confluence
palpable—a carnal medium, there
between the shoreline & beyond
(the ocean & tidal immanence
of dawn)—retreating to absence
while we descend
knowingly to that harbour
as though a vestige of what had passed
could be gathered in its depth, & read

 

 

camera obscura    Read Along with the Author

      for John Tranter


a snapshot, prague
afternoon

rain would suggest pathos
out-staring ruin, i, shell of ...

sickness & medication
the mind like damaged meat

intimacy
mirrors provenance

& in a cafe bar
the usual menu lying on a table ...

locked inside a hundred words
you understood

here a symphony of dvorak
fakes you

a city of eyes
suspended in blank meditation

behind them, anything
acetate ...

the poet writes has a vision
finds nothing

 

 

wadi [zagora]    Read Along with the Author


when we arrive at the house
the sun has barely risen

dahlfar’s boy watches us dejectedly
from behind a sack curtain


his father’s tomb is near a mud
cubicle

marked with the number
thirty-three

this is the room
where the dead are washed


by dusk the grave is still open
clothes hang as gifts
on the blue-painted wooden coffin

& under a yellowed photograph
of the sultan
a pair of sandals abandoned on a mat

 

 

notre-dame-des-champs   

... all of its mouths will not succeed
in transforming the sky into hands ...

—Michel Leiris


roots clutching onto empty space ...
"& if i belong to others, remember"
au défaut du silence—the blood
of the body at that moment
stretched out—its abysses its trompe-l'oeil
(what it machinates by no longer being there
not yet being there)—
or the eyes of those brought to this place
of execution ... the rivers
dry as mouths of condemned men—
teeth frozen to pale grimaces—
& ice that will remain forever
(unredeemed) in each famine of memory
or flesh—like graven epitaphs
on tombstones: non fui, fui, non sum,
non desidero ... as if unseen hands
kept silent vigil
over the sleeping marionettes
(but how many seasons will you die through
before hunger finally wakes into that offering?)

 

 

Louis Armand: Poetry
Copyright © 1999 The Cortland Review Issue ThreeThe Cortland Review