Nox Oculis


Nick Flynn

Nick Flynn est membre du Projet d'écriture de l'Université Columbia, en plus d'occuper un poste d'éducateur et de consultant dans les écoles publiques de la ville de New York. Il a remporté le prix de poésie de PEN/Joyce Osterweil en 1999 ainsi que le prix de la découverte de The Nation. Il a reçu des bourses du Fine Arts Work Center à Provincetown (Massachusetts) et des MacDowell and Millay Colonies. Ses poèmes ont parus dans le Paris Review, Ploughshares, et The Nation ainsi que dans d'autres magazines et revues. Flynn réside actuellement à Brooklyn.


Alan Dugan Telling Me I Have a Problem With Time

    He reads my latest attempt at a poem
    and is silent for a long time, until it feels
    like that night we waited for Apollo,
    my mother wandering in and out of her bedroom, asking,
    Haven't they landed yet? At last
    Dugan throws it on the table and says,
    This reads like a cheap detective novel
    and I've got nothing to say about it. It sits,
    naked and white, with everyone's eyes
    running over it. The week before
    he'd said I had a problem with time,
    that in my poems everything
    kept happening at once. In 1969,
    the voice of Mission Control
    told a man named Buzz
    that there was a bunch of guys turning blue
    down here on Earth, and now I can understand
    it was with anticipation, not sickness. Next,
    Dugan says, Let's move on. The attempted poem
    was about butterflies and my recurring desire
    to return to a place I've never been.
    It was inspired by reading this
    in a National Geographic : monarchs
    stream northward from winter roosts in Mexico,
    laying their eggs atop milkweed
    to foster new generations along the way.
    With the old monarchs gone (I took this line as the title)
    and all ties to the past ostensibly cut
    the unimaginable happens—butterflies
    that have never been to that plateau in Mexico
    roost there the next winter... I saw this
    as a metaphor for a childhood I never had,
    until Dugan pointed out
    that metaphor has been dead for a hundred years.
    A woman, new to the workshop, leans
    behind his back and whispers, I like it,
    but the silence is seamless, as deep
    as outer space. That night in 1969
    I could turn my head from the television and see the moon
    filling the one pane over the bed completely
    as we waited for Neil Armstrong
    to leave his footprints all over it.

    Nick Flynn, dans Poetry, Winter 1992-1993


Cartoon Physics, part 1

    Children under, say, ten, shouldn't know
    that the universe is ever-expanding,
    inexorably pushing into the vacuum, galaxies

    swallowed by galaxies, whole

    solar systems collapsing, all of it
    acted out in silence. At ten we are still learning

    the rules of cartoon animation,

    that if a man draws a door on a rock
    only he can pass through it.
    Anyone else who tries

    will crash into the rock. Ten-year-olds
    should stick with burning houses, car wrecks,
    ships going down -- earthbound, tangible

    disasters, arenas

    where they can be heroes. You can run
    back into a burning house, sinking ships

    have lifeboats, the trucks will come
    with their ladders, if you jump

    you will be saved. A child

    places her hand on the roof of a schoolbus,
    & drives across a city of sand. She knows

    the exact spot it will skid, at which point
    the bridge will give, who will swim to safety
    & who will be pulled under by sharks. She will learn

    that if a man runs off the edge of a cliff
    he will not fall

    until he notices his mistake.

    Nick Flynn, tiré de Some Ether (2000)


Oeuvres :

  • Blind Huber (2002)
  • A Note Slipped Under the Door (2000)
  • Some Ether (2000)

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