THREE PARTS ON APPLES
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I threw small apples down into the road from the top of a hill we called Orchard. You might have been riding in a car that drove over one but you wouldn’t know. I am still throwing them now and their sound striking the street makes a rhythm with the leaves that crinkle under sandaled feet into soft dirt and woodland spores and also the ladder rungs that thump under booted ones. Did you know that some apple trees around here used to be tall like redwood giants? Now most of them are small enough to climb quickly, easily picked clean. Where there are evergreen forests just north of here, not very long ago there were bare mountains sheathed in wool. Where the piou-piou of fluffy white chicks matures into the cot-cot cot-cot-codet of red feathered rangers, a new dream of freedom was shot from a cannon that tore a tunnel between here and everywhere. And all of this could be from so far away, but isn’t it better, or at least just as good, that it is all from right here; this small letter, these giants towering over the excommunication of short-legged sheep, these children hiding in branches; following the falling death of the apples like so many colors of flowers.
-From the menu, Les Pommes Sauvages, at Juliet
From "Contre une maison sèche"
La Nu Perdu, René Char 1978
Translated by Claire Cheney
Espace couleur de pomme. Espace, brûlant comptier.
Aujourd'hui est un fauve. Demain verra son bond.
Space the color of apples. Space, a flaming dessert.
Today is a deer. Tomorrow will see its leap.