Those words that make time bleed

Poems to recite while waiting for war


As a backdrop
there would be scars of war on the curtains of time,
the indifference of men,
the impure truth of arms levelled at anything that moves,
the din of life that rebels at every moment.
in vain,
in vain ...

Your voice powerless to avert the words of war
the raucousness of the moment.

I want words
to KILL the


They appeared at daybreak. In their eyes the earth could be seen opening up and the fire dancing on the dead. They did not look anyone in the face and especially not the child who vanished at their approach. They were silent before innocence because they had devastated it just as they wished. When you raised your finger to the sky they turned their eyes away while clutching their weapons. No one knew where they came from nor where they were going. They would have liked to tuck themselves away in the hollow of the earth but that space was already taken by the dead.
They passed through the village without a backward glance. Oblivion was their only certainty but I am not sure they found it.
Even under the ashes.

Little by little they unlearned the heartbeats of the day.


In the smoky fumes of exile
they sometimes sketched a gesture
towards the other
but the horror that they read
on that face
that is THEIR OWN
So impossible to embrace
the one who was so like them
that brother who is dying
under the blows
that they count mechanically
the other


The blood spurts, flows
always the same
lovely so lovely colour
rosy red
and the mouth twisted
with pain
haunts you at times
when your sleep resembles
closely enough to deceive


Death has sealed his childish eyes
On his face
a grimace or a smile
who knows?
How old is he, five perhaps?
In the dust
a few steps away
Teddy Bear the murderous accomplice
is smiling still
it is left to the soldiers,
other toys,
to eliminate
a few more children
before going home on time
Forget the screams
that precede death
what is the point
since they are always the same

Some way off

a soldier is sleeping peacefully
So young almost a child
with in his heart
the satisfaction
of a duty done


You carry Death
inside you
it exudes along your body
then you remember
cries of the violated woman,
of the black eye of the child
hanging at her neck,
men lined up before the sunlit wall
soiled by fear
that you finished off without batting an eyelid
with a bullet in the head,
their somersaults
before life that is looking away
you go to sleep again
chasing away those thoughts
with the back of your hand
like an annoying fly

Translated from the French by Brian Cole

"Those words that make time bleed" unpublished manuscript

Denis Emorine's picture

Denis Emorine is the author of short stories, essays, poetry, and plays. He was born in 1956 in Paris and studied literature at the Sorbonne (University of Paris). He has an affective relationship to English because his mother was an English teacher. His father was of Russian ancestry., His works are translated into several languages. His theatrical output has been staged in France, Canada ( Quebec) and Russia. Many of his books (stories, drama, poetry) have been published in the USA., Writing, for Emorine, is a way of harnessing time in its incessant flight. Themes that re-occur throughout his writing include the Doppelgänger, lost or shattered identity, and mythical Venice (a place that truly fascinates him). He also has a great interest for Eastern Europe., Denis Emorine collaborates with various other reviews and literary websites in the U.S., Europe and Japan both in French and in English.., In 2004, he won first prize for his poetry at the Féile Filiochta International competition., His poetry has been published in Pphoo (India), Blue Beat Jacket (Japan), Magnapoets (Canada), Snow Monkey, Cokefishing, Be Which Magazine, Poesia and Journal of ExperimentalFiction(USA), His texts also appear on numerous e-zines such as: Anemone Sidecar, Cipher Journal, Mad Hatters' Review, Milk, The Salt River Review, Istanbul Literary Review, Like Birds Lit, Wilderness House Literary Review, Sketchbook, Literary World., Emorine’s webpage is,

Last updated August 07, 2011