michaux - a night of obstacles

                 There few smiles in this universe.
                 Those who move in it suffer innumerable painful encounters.
                 Yet you don’t die in it.
                 If you die it all begins again.

Ploughs made of white sugar or blown glass or porcelain hinder the flow of traffic.
    Curdled milk spilt over the road does too, when it’s up to your knees.
    If by chance each of us were to fall into a barrel, even if they were bottomless and left the feet free, walking and getting about would be difficult.
    And if they were booths instead of barrels (admittedly more delightful in the eyes of others, but still…), walking would be extremely taxing.
    A world with old women’s backs for footpaths, likewise.
    Bundles of glass sticks inevitably lead to injury. Bundles of glass lead to injury, while bundles of tibiae are frightening.
    Walls of rotten meat, even if they’re really thick, bulge and subside. There’s no way you could live between them without watching them out of the corner of your eye.
    It’s seriously disheartening when you notice fine veins of steel in your hand. Your palm is no longer a hollow, but a taut shirt of pus, it makes things awkward, the use of the hands is reduced to the absolute minimum.
    It is hardly charming if a crater opens up on a beautiful cheek after it is kissed. Its filthy lace seduces no one. You tend to look away.
    Black lemons are hideous to behold. An earth-worm sweater may well keep you warm, but only at the cost of a number of other feelings.
    People who are split in two crosswise and fall down, shards of people, big shards of bones and flesh, can hardly be considered friends.
    Heads that communicate with stomachs by nothing other than vines, wet or dry, who would still think of speaking to them, speaking to them intimately, that is, naturally, with no ulterior motive? And what tenderness is possible with zinc lips? And if they sell stewed bolt pie to the poor, who wouldn’t brag about being rich?
    When the butter loses its balance on the knife and, suddenly fattened, falls like a flagstone, “watch your lap!”
    And now look at the dead octopuses in the pillow!
    And if the tie turns into runny glue,
    And the eye into a blind, sparsely-downed duckling that the first chills will execute,
    And if bread turns into a bear that demands its fair share and is willing to kill.
    And if birds of prey, blinded by who knows what idea and, wanting to fly from one corner of the sky to the other, determine to use your own miraculously enlarged body as their route, clearing their way through the strands of giant tissue; they cause unnecessary damage with their hooked beaks, and the talons of the accursed birds get clumsily tangled up in the vital organs.
    And if, looking for salvation by running away, your legs and loins split open like stale bread, and if with each movement they only break more and more, more and more. How would you get by then? How would you get by?