from 33 Sonnets Flattened

Frédéric Forte

he looked at shoes · his reflection in the display case · shows signs of use · his deflated face / visibly the particu · lates of his voice splay · around him as he articu · lates the de— / buts of sonnets his tongue · it was that that-tongue · what did it say / in ten days we'd like to know it · which what to do and push on to see it · to see summer was hot every day 

and if the mysterious will jail · the least appeal · the least appeal · is in the veil / over parts of you I'd like to reveal · nice and slow · to make time my goal · and never made real / imagine from a hill's crest · the finesse · of a body— yours / don't do less · be the witness · the decor

mister explorer · what's the program · to design a sham · or play the angelic consoler / if I were the conjurer · I would never take a gram · and even if I vanished on the lam · from the animals the animators / in my pocket my meteor · young as ever · would show me the north / but really I must decide either · to change guide or if easier · to change course 

the first word is gong · but despite my tries · my efforts I · don't know which is the secong / is it the word tong · the word denied · the word that we read in the mind · of the other when we taste his tongue / you smile · I see clearly that you smile · at the creation / but it's not me it's the poem · that rolls out to show 'em · its deviations

in a parallel world · I / devise sonnets of surprising sizes 

translated from the French by Emma Ramadan