- France -
Julien Delmaire, born in 1977. He writes poetry, novels and plays. He has been performing for more that twenty years, in France and abroad. Julien Delmaire organises numerous writing workshops in schools, in psychiatric hospitals, in prisons and in libraries. His novels are all published by Grasset : “Georgia” in 2013 (Prix de la Porte Dorée), “Frère des astres” in 2016 (Prix Spiritualités d’Aujourd’hui), “Minuit, Montmartre” in 2017. His next novel “Delta Blues” will be published in September 2021. Julien Delmaire has published seven collections of poetry, including: “Bogolan” in 2015 (Temps des Cerises) “Rose-Pirogue” in 2016 (Mémoire d’Encrier), “Turbulences” in 2018 (Temps des Cerises).When he's not traveling in search of inspiration, Julien lives and writes in Avignon.
In her review from March 2016 Alice Lefilleul writes: "
The last text of Julien Delmaire, “Rose-Pirogue”, is an acutely poetic book that mixes strong images, and where the poet’s interior worlds embrace reality eloquently.
Julien Delmaire writes as if he were standing on hot bricks. Torn between the earth and sky, he builds a realm of words and images where to “exile when the blues pulls one down”. The book is under the sign of rose, which is not, here, a plain color but, on the contrary, an explosive, sensible, intense one. Poetry is the tyrant that rules Rose-Pirogue, and the whole book seems to run through a common vein, an intense fight with verb.
Poetry can achieve everything, invent everything, and always goes back to humanity:
“Poetry taught me that I was a transversal lesbian, a metaphysical punk, a blind bluesman, a shy swinger and a propeller ascetic. And that, doubtlessly, we look alike.”
Language is a tool that shatters the patine of conventions, and those “horsehair glove-poems” reveal all the shades of a whole pallet of feelings: joy, desire, sadness, anguish, anger, indignation.
Rose-pirogue is to be found in this very place that everybody has inside, and that one often finds in Delmaire’s work. Here where interior anguishes lie and clash with the outside world, right under the skin. A kind of roar arises from this tension between intimacy and a violent outside, inner gloom and poetical worlds. The poem is written sensitively, to reveal secret daemons: “I fight with mercenary shadows / I fuck monsters of solitude / in the silence of cut flowers.”
To escape anguish and enter the realm of Rose-Pirogue, one has to let go. Words invite us to an almost carnal ecstasy. It is a book that burns, and in which love, desire, pleasure and death always go side by side: “I am death that fucks thriving pelvis / towards the light.” With undertaken eroticism, Delmaire convokes strong feminine figures, and female bodies are a metaphorical and pervasive landscape: “Rose-Pirogue appears / serrated nacre coast / where tomorrow has to sail / the shiny hull of the banquet.”
The text develops into multiple geographies of imagination: the Caribbeans, Africa, the slums of Western cities. Delmaire salutes a great family of writers, his “brothers and sisters of wonderment”. Rose-Pirogue is part of the multitude of literary works that answer to each other from all the corners of the earth, and that make one think that something, right now, is at stake, ready to break boundaries, a renewal of poetry that could be a landmark."
Red / Rouge
Memories before the dawn
When I was nothing more
Than a rain of secret than a chill on the earth
A fragment of elements - a cluster of feelings
Not definitely shaped
Plot of infinity
The drum before my life
Which beat at the rhythm of an unknown heart
I was naked in the mildness of night
I was swimming on a cloud of soot
I was trying to find a path toward daylight
Toward the drum’s heights, but the countdown would
Drive me to the edge of a sun
That burned my ears and dazzled me like a ruddy gem
NOW I CAN HEAR THE DRUM ROARING ON THE EARTH
The balafon of fire that beats under my lids
The glow of aurora — the sweat of endeavour, the whiplash and the heat that devours [the flesh
The cotton bales, the throttled rum
The piled men, row upon row, in the ship’s hold
And the Torture Garden as port of call
A GREAT FIELD OF SCARS
The traces of my past end up in a pool…
Flashback — the wind slaps the back of my neck
The memory of Africa that comes again as syncope under my skull
Like the burn of a ciggy
Like the cane sugar juice in the Cyclops’ mouth cavity
Sabar - for my crushed glass memory - SABAR !
Sabar - for my star in its net
Sabar ! Fierce-blood lion
Black ballet of flies around the sun
Sabar ! - abandoned bottle in the sick alleys
Offering of pomade for the nomads of the night
Sabar ! — Tense muscles of ebony abandoned to the cane
Sabar ! — Bark that one tears to reach the sap
Aborted aurora to trap my dream
Sabar ! — Blue note tattooed on the dawn’s surface
In phase and tune with my words and phrases
And my butterly-piccaninny tongue that hatches from its clayey gangue
The slippy snake which confronts walls
And silences the fortresses raised as watchtowers
When my memory falls asleep
RED ! My memory at the brink of dawn
RED ! My envy in the blaze of doom
RED ! The drums that take me back to life
And envy once again irrigates my veins
I can see the wind rise and swallow the veil that dazzled me
RED ! Djembé of sand !
RED ! Gwo kagrowling in the ogre’s belly !
RED ! Bloody rum that intoxicates me
Now my senses are free !
RED ! Tom-toms that testify
RED ! Fear that I leave behind
RED ! Mud that washes out from myself
RED ! Smile of the woman I love
RED ! Perfume of the crowd I weave in and out of
And may I set foot on the soil
Flame of the twig
And my pride is flying
over the city again !
RED !Translated by Julie Nice