Blaise Cendrars

Deadline Hour
("Derniére Heure")

by Blaise Cendrars

Oklahoma, January 20, 1914. Three inmates

in possession of revolvers killed a guard

and seized the master keys, escaping from

their cells. They then killed four additional 

staff in the prison courtyard before taking 

a young female office worker hostage. Escaping

in a vehicle waiting for them at the gate,

they sped away while the remaining guards

fired at the escaped felons.  Some leapt on

horses to pursue the escapees.  Shots were

exchanged.  The young woman was wounded

by shots fired by the pursuing lawmen.

Another shot caused the death of the horse

pulling the getaway vehicle.  The guards

approached and found the inmates dead and

their bodies torn by bullets.  Former Congress-

man Thomas, who was visiting the facility when 

the event occurred, praised the wounded woman.

-- "telegram poem"/Paris "Midi"

Life Shots
("Natures Mortes")

by Blaise Cendrars


The stride of soldiers going by, geometric

I drop my drawers

Soon to be tempered steel

Without the tension of light rays


Prophet of the emerging moment

A filing cabinet, American

Is sleek, clean and


As the green of fallow fields


And an architect's blueprints

Stark and strictly attractive


With a bottle of ink, Chinese

And a blouse of blues,



Pour yourself a liter, a liter of libido

And this trendy originality


Blank pages of paper, white

translated by Greg Baysans


aka Poet X