Readings in French
1. Looking into the eyes of Gerard de Nerval You notice the giant sea crabs rising. Which is what happens When you look into the eyes of Gerard de Nerval, Always the same thing: the giant sea crabs, The claws in their vague red holsters Moving around, a little doubtfully. 2. But looking into the eyes of Pierre Reverdy Is like throwing the editorial page Out into the rain And then riding alone on the subway. Also, it is like avoiding your father. You are hiding and he looks for you Under each vine; he is coming nearer And nearer. What can you do But ignore him? 3. In either case, soon you are riding alone on a subway. Which is not important. What is important is to avoid Looking too closely into the eyes of your father, That formal eclipse.
From The Selected Levis: Selected and with an Afterword by David St. John by Larry Levis. Copyright © 2000 by the estate of Larry Levis. Reproduced by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.
The Selected Levis: Selected and with an Afterword by David St. John by Larry Levis. Price: $22.50 cloth. ISBN # 0-8229-4141-4 cloth. Order from University of Pittsburgh Press, c/o CUP Services, Box 6525, Ithaca, NY 14851. Phone: 800-666-2211, Fax: 607-277-6292.