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This poem is taken from PN Review 197, Volume 37 Number 3, January - February 2011.

Two Poems (translated by Ken Cockburn) Thomas Brasch
Rimbaud in Marseille
 
Why is it that he steps aside
when sleep attempts its delicate caress
Why does he put his back against the wall
when he hears the shouts of the police

The snow falls and his footsteps
drum in his ears like marching men
whole companies trooping at his side
and his luck would never turn around again
 
He’s not despite his wasted limb
prepared to look Death in the eye today
yet knows it’s useless when he threatens him
to curse and simply move out of the way



The Unquiet Desert

I’d never, he says, up sticks and leave this town. Here,
he says, looking the German student from New York straight
...


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