The Last of Robert Desnos

by Donald Lucio Hurd

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From the album, Arabesque and Other Poems by Donald Lucio Hurd.


The Last of Robert Desnos

The new epoch has not arrived.
Our poems sleep and they sleep.
Dear friend, I can no longer wake them.
And the age is fatigued by architecture,
Anesthetized by each new Cæsar,
And weary as stones to dream
The last syllable of Robert Desnos.

Bowler of Magritte, Fountain of Duchamp,
Mustache Dalí, Constellation Hugo,
Like bright coins they fall
Into the Age’s insensitive palm,
And neither you nor I can claim
To have seen with waking eyes
The wedding banners of Andre Salmon,
The last cigarette of Robert Desnos.

Dear friend, you sleep, and I
Can no longer wake you or myself,
But last night in a dream I saw
The severed hand of Cendrars
Grasp the rocket by the neck
As a man grips a bottle when he
Has had too much to drink,
And I wept because I could not
Speak of this to you,
Or the last sad smile of Robert Desnos.

Where is the little car,
The little car of Rouveyre
And the nameless chauffeur
Who will drive us into
A new dawn, brighter,
More terrifying than dream
Or nightmare?

Will we ever wake
To see the banners of
A greater epoch, or will we sleep
And go on sleeping, like the dead
Of Apollonaire, or, Dear Friend,
The last dream of Robert Desnos?


released January 14, 2016




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