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LE LONG DU FLEUVE, 1 & 11 1/75 (Along the River)
Text by Michel Butor  Woodcuts by Guido Llinás
Editions Brunidor, France 1983 • Translation from the French by Milena Sales



Beyond the branches
Lowered to the
Dead leaves, the others, with
The heat of the sun in their
Skin, swim on the beach between
The ink banks

Beyond the waders
Clinging to the roots
To the stores
And nostrils that explore the
Secret circles, the others, With the brilliance
Of the sun in their eyes, row
On the  grooves between trails of shadow

Beyond the piers,
The wrecks, the barges with their trails, the rafts with
Their tows, up to the  jars, the barrels, the baskets, the canoes
With their paddles, the boats with their rudders,
The others, with all the blackness of  the  sun in their hearts,
Glide on the lines between the earth's weakness.



Beyond the sheen
Of the moon, the flowers
Spray, the fruits
That lose their
Pips, To the
Hair of the women who
Walk on the high road,
The others, with the haze of the sun
In their dreams, stretch on the
Intervals of walls of

Beyond the gathering of peeling,
Floating trunks,
The lingering mist, to the clothes that drift,
To the loincloth hung on creepers, to the palpitations and sighs,
The others, with the burning of the sun in their bellies,
Glide on the currents between sheets of coal.

Beyond the rust, the barks, the shivers,
The whirlpools, the veins, the echoes
Tunnels in the forest, the hot ashes
The carrions,
To the views
Of the hills, the cascades,
To the lagged mountains,
To the bells and gongs, to the others, with the
Depth of the sun
They idly, write their silences
between blocks of night

Beyond the lapping,
The hissing
The breathing,
The calls,
The hands
That spread
Lichens and moss
To the hips
Of confluence, and happy
undergrowth, of the epidemics of the islands, of the caravans,
Migrations, oceanic and stellar navigations
The others, with the intoxication a( the sun in their
Edge themselves among the falds of moans
Of History

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