Amélie Prévost, translated by Deanna Smith

“Nous et je” / “We, I”

We, I

Does We still exist?
when everyone considers themselves the epicentre 
of a pastel revolution
that puts each ego
ahead of the common good?

Does I still exist?
when the majority stands 
in self-righteous democracy
against the distress of the unseen?

When singularity and solitude
get lost in each other
when solidarity and segregation 
get lost in each other
we experience a familiar 
collective death

Since anything has been anything 
we’ve emerged, barely alive
from one system into another 
from one revolution into another 
from one belief into another

Our gyrating heads
are like the tiniest fraction 
of the orbiting reality
of a time–space bubble
(In other words, small and round.)

Nothing will be otherwise 
like dogs and snakes
that keep biting their own tails

I and we are both inoperable.

We, I

Nous et je

Nous existe-t-il encore
quand chacun se tient pour l’épicentre 
d’une révolution pastelle
qui met l’ego des uns 
devant le bien commun ?

Je existe-t-il encore
quand la majorité se dresse 
vertueusement démocratique 
contre la détresse
des invisibles ?

quand singularité et solitude 
se confondent l’un dans l’autre 
quand solidarité et ségrégation
se confondent l’une dans l’autre

nous mourons collectivement 
comme d’habitude

depuis que le monde est monde 
nous naissons agonisants
d’un système à l’autre 
d’une révolution à l’autre 
d’une conviction à l’autre

nos têtes circonvolutives
sont comme les plus petites
de la réalité orbitale
d’un espace-temps sphérique 
(C’est-à-dire petites et rondes)

rien jamais ne fera autrement 
que les chiens ou les serpents 
qui se mordent la queue
Je et Nous sont tous les deux impraticables

Nous et je


Only Deanna Smith's face is visible as she looks over her dark rimmed, oval shaped glasses and into the camera with a small smile and pearly pink lipstick. Her hair is brown and curly and fills up the top of the image; her black shirt is visible at the bottom of the image.

Deanna Smith writes poetry and fiction, and teaches poetry, creative writing, spoken word, and slam. She has been active as a member of the Kalmunity Vibes and Throw Poetry collectives. [provided April 2023]

Amelie Prevost in a green scoop neck shirt and her brown hair loose on her shoulders; she is wearing sliver hoop earrings and a brown polished stone(?) pendant on a silver necklace. She is looking off to the side, with a serious expression and the background is also brown.

Amélie Prévost is the author and performer of several poetry shows, including Fol ouvrage (Torcher des paillettes), in collaboration with Queen Ka, and Kamikaze du vendredi, as well as most recently the collection Osti d’pain blanc (l’Hexagone). [provided in April 2023]

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