Yellow Otherwise, by Nicolas Pesquès, translated by Lee Posna, presents the 17th book of Nicolas Pesquès’ monumental La face nord de Juliau, bringing this important French poet a step closer to the recognition he deserves and has already achieved in France. His long series of poetic meditations on Mount Juliau in the Ardèche region of south-central France, with diverging considerations of language, philosophy, politics and religion, is a postmodern tour de force.

Here’s one poem from the book:


“The thickness in color is, perhaps, what comes closest to a representation of the voice.”*

Impastos, tones, layers of painters who never leave off: Turrel, Rothko, Poliakoff, Scully… are the abyss of skins and their folds. The breaching of all our possible eyes, including our words, our voices…

Yellow: the deepest tessitura.

I’m inside color as in untranslatable eyes, edgeless, incessant, penetrating.

Grassy puddle, pink-breast, dark tongue.

Sometimes rambling in the landscape opens a door to color. Other times a sentence seems to do it, but finally no, all it creates is a doorstep, something like the wave’s sliding surf, June of broom.

“The end of writing is literature”

So the poem begins when literature stops, when one ceases writing, enters arrested writing.

*Mathieu Bénézet: Oeuvre 1968-2010, Flammarion, 2012


from Yellow Otherwise, by Nicolas Pesquès, translated by Lee Posna