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Syndic Literary Journal

The Cold Air Barbed by Wind

Written by Emmanuel Merle

Translated from French by Jennifer Barber

Narrated by Bill Wolak


the cold air barbed by wind

by mountains embedded in sky

each step on the earth like a lead weight

a ballast for slanted rain

and even so I go

I go in spite of everything I go

under the cover of myself

past a mountain lake like a lidless eye

a wound cauterized by sky

I’m surrounded by stones all standing

like icebergs of gray of rust

always I go my hands torn

my fingers in shreds I go

head in the wind like a cairn in motion

O my broken knees I go

the firs like an army halted

their roots like weapons at their feet

this trail is a scar November heals


Emmanuel Merle lives in Grenoble, France. He has published more than twenty books of poetry and more than 200 artist’s books. He is a literary teacher and president of the Espace Pandora, an association dedicated to cultural action and the defense of poetry.
Jennifer Barber’s new poetry collection, The Sliding Boat Our Bodies Made, is forthcoming from The Word Works in 2022. She is the founding editor of the literary journal Salamander, and she lives in the Boston area.







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