Ce texte a été rédigé dans le cadre du Labo in situ à la Nuit blanche d’Ottawa, le 22 septembre 2012. Il a été écrit lors d’un atelier de création avec les contraintes suivantes : intégrer les objets choisis – bouddha, sachets de ketchup, papier de toilette rose – et la phrase suivante – « Pour qu’au moins cela tienne à quelque chose. » J’y raconte une mésaventure vécue le soir même, à savoir un écrasement d’orteils par un triporteur. Heureusement, mon orteil a survécu.


Face à l’adversité
du poids d’un dix-roues lancé
d’un chuintement aigu
contre ton moyen-petit orteil maintenant


jette l’éponge et l’alcool
sois le bouddha
qui boit la vie à même une jarre de vinaigre
ou un sachet de ketchup
lorsque la nécessité

tire toute ta douleur à la paille
et recrache-la
face contre terre
en miettes

de biscuit au beurre de pinottes
collées au sac de glace
pour qu’au moins cela tienne à quelque chose


ton pied aux côtés du papier
cul contre terre

cherche le rose du bout des ongles
vinaigre rose
laisse le vernis t’ancrer
une couche à fois

dans la lourdeur passée.


Steps in the City

 Le poème « Steps in the City » et les illustrations sont tirés de 12 Borders, recueil sur lequel je travaille actuellement. À travers les frontières entre les langues, de l’intérieur et de l’extérieur (le poème français se cache toujours dans le poème anglais), j’y traite les frontières entre les différentes villes où j’ai (ou je n’ai pas encore) habité, et les différentes versions de moi que j’y suis. « Steps in the City » est une pièce de longue haleine inspirée du désespoir plathien déplacé en sol parisien. Les trois paires de lunettes montrent mon regard écartelé entre Montréal et New York, Rimouski et Ôsaka, Paris et Hiroshima.


Here is a step I finally took for myself – backwards.
The waking was a long process – one that didn’t
take me anywhere at all. Somehow, my verve
kept on snoozing – pushing wrong buttons in a fury,
losing it to appliances. But now my heart can
beat by itself.

Branched out is a yet-to-be nostalgic story,
a ship that doesn’t need a captain to sink – one
that can take me anywhere, as long as anywhere means down.
All ups are excluded from this imaginary trip,
where staircases lead me to hidden metro
stations of the heart.

Here is a trip that would have been over already, had I
taken it in the first place – first fears, first attempts
at escaping my reflection in shop windows. I’m glad
I didn’t break myself into walls of fame and
ignorance and shattered pieces of myself and
mannequins staring at me.

The city has been spitting for a month – or so I imagine –
sharing its venom, unconditionally. Or so it seems:
that if only I could pull hard enough on that wire, I
would make a street comedy out of a hair-dryer, bare feet
on uneven paving and a chip
of electric shock.

This morning, I didn’t enter this hotel room for a good
reason: I haven’t left my other room, the one that
hasn’t yet been filled with pieces of broken airplanes
stacked like heartbeats under my bed. In this
city, metro maps are unnecessary, not
because there are stations everywhere,

(but because I know them by heart). I set
my foot on each one of their individual stairs, and feel
– if not fall upon – them all. I sink into every single metro
mouth, munching on something stale while being
pulled on by their lines. I just wish I didn’t
leave my heart,

(with the book I was reading, on the bench as I ran
to catch my next accident). Sometimes, I wonder what
would have happened if I had just taken a step backwards –
to fetch the book, and my heart – while the doors were closing in
their perpetual slicing motion. Another comedy

(But, back to my room – piled up with
airplanes I crashed and smashed before offering them
to anyone I didn’t really give a care about.) Every single item
in this room is foreign – everything
is broken. None of the plugs fit
into the outlets.

(On the wall, a photo of my uncle – hiding behind the door
to the closet in that hotel room. The hair-dryer
was handily stashed on the bathroom wall –
the shower room, no bathtub to contain
the flood.) I had laughed
while taking the photo.

(I also imagined myself taking steps like a cat on that
city’s hardest sidewalks – I imagined beauty, finally,
reflected. I washed myself in the pouring rain,
thinking that if I didn’t come out pure, at least I would
have absorbed enough water that a single wire
would ignite me.)

(If I could have died, I would have, right there,
in that city where high heels type warnings on your
attempts to draw poetry on the streets. Stone by stone,
you appear to be winning – but the next thing you know,
your words are drained down the metro
gutterlet them go.)

(Sometimes, I set my life in-between
two parentheses and let it flow without even paying attention.
Easy to do in that city of extreme requirements – where
metro stations have to sound unforeign, and legs and arms
have to be moved a different way so as not to
drop one’s heart.)

(Picking it up again is hard, especially when you didn’t notice
it fall. The sound of wheels straining to get out of
the cockpit in flight, the same heat wave that goes along
with it – and suddenly, you’re left without
a heart to begin with.) And you think
you’ve missed your flight.

(And you’re left crying at home, because all you‘s
have already left – you. You want to talk about yourself
and not about them, so I regain my voice – but a string
of it is tied to a suitcase that has already
taken flight.) I sleep with all my might
at my friend’s side.

(I have never learned how not to sink or crash, so I
have to read through my vertigo and regain my
straight steps – the ones I can take with the knowledge
heavy upon my head.) I have no appliance to rely on,
since my heart is [add an a] broken in a new way.
I lean forward.

(Because discovering selves is no easier than discovering
cities when you have flushed the metro map down the toilet
and have nosmart” device at hand.) My room has [add a d] become a foreign country and I am [add an s] still unsure
which piece represents me best among
the pile of aircraft fragments.

(As I rummage through, I find broken glass
that has been polished by a sea of salty alcohol.) I place it back
into my heart, where it belongs. There is still time
left, but suddenly no more reason to snooze.
Slowly, I emerge
from under my bed, laughing.

(I am still thinking about my uncle’s folly.) A wave of
electricity goes up – from my feet to my knees to my
vagina to my belly to my – heart. For a split second I
think [add o,u,t] I have dipped my toes in water. For a split second,
I float – and then I step back
through the door. Safe.



En processus et
autres traductions impropres en cours,
tu prends un pavé
et le lances.


Le métro stalle

Tu as perpétué une
(crisse de)
(encore tsé).

Ta photo
(beauté fatale ignée)
(poète stone sur l’égo)
(parenthèses entre métros)
(notice de la fin)
(non dans; sur)
(le p)apier ak
(des typos)

Il te reste rien
tout sacrer.