je suis rentré
je suis
revenu

our silence

Michel Cloup Duo: 'Notre Silence'

Lyrics by Michel Cloup translated by Alan Holding


1.My story


A story

My story

Universal, humdrum

My story

Our story

Whispered into your ear

It’s still something


2.This anger


In the middle of a year

Intense and demanding

Cheerful and overwhelming

When life offers the best it can

And the most daunting

At the dawn of this uncertain change

I woke up as an orphan

I couldn’t move

My back was shattered

My knees, my legs, my ankles

Melted down

I couldn’t speak

Like an terrified animal

Caught in the headlights

Of an invisible vehicle

The only shelter being this anger

That I’d managed to contain

All through the years

I fell back into its trap

Punching out into the void

In every direction

Swiping at the wind

Knocking myself into everything

Sometimes breaking skin

You were also lost

Even more than I was

Your first experience

Of mourning, of something missing

You were the son

I was the father

A million questions

Unanswered

This same anger

Punching into the void

Punching into thin air

I would’ve liked to reassure you

Because you were afraid

I was unable to

I was also scared

To explain the unexplainable

To accept the unacceptable

Time will take care of it without me

Despite you

No other way out

Than to change this rage

Into energy into love

What I had to do

For you

Recycle this anger

What I had to do

To once again go to war

Recycle this anger

As today, even more than yesterday

This anger remains my finest fuel


3.The perfect circle


We drew a circle in the center of town

In the middle of the map

We went outside and walked

All day all night long

We drew a circle and we returned

To all the places that we’d lived

And this journey seemed to me as long and dense

As the little half of my little life

It has to be said that over the last months

I’ve been carrying a weight

Which slightly slows the rhythm of my steps

To the end of the line

To the end of the perfect circle

We hung around like we used to

Aimlessly following a precise path

We went straight ahead without losing our direction

Several times you took my arm

We rediscovered these streets these areas

Corresponding to phases to years

We revisited

What had belonged to us

Detailing what had changed

We were moved at first

Then hour after hour and place after place

We realised

We had become strangers

To the end of the line

To the end of the perfect circle

You said 'let's go this way'

When the sun started piercing through the clouds

And burning my neck

We arrived at the end of the line

To the end of the perfect circle

You said 'it's here'

We sat down

I was exhausted and didn't think

I looked around

I said 'yes'

I put my head on your shoulder

We sat down

I didn’t feel anything but relief and peacefulness

It has to be said that these last few months

I’ve carrying a weight

Which slightly slows the rhythm of my steps

We sat down

I fell asleep

Against you

To the end of the line

To the end of the perfect circle

We sat down

I fell asleep

Against you


4.The child


A match in a saucepan

Made from orange enamel

A blue flame

Methylated spirit

Heats the room

Up to 5 degrees

The steaming hand towel

On my congested arms

The white view from

The steamed up window

I say nothing

I let things happen

You say nothing

I let you do what you have to do

You hold me against you

I had become the father

I became the child again

I say nothing

I let myself go

I’ve become the child again

I’m alone in the dining room

You’re working outside alone

I’m on the inside

And I’m stacking chairs

Then I empty boxes

I empty boxes

And fill them up again

The hours go by in this way

Now I’m lying on the floor

On my back

Looking at the ceiling

And I’m waiting for you to return

You come in

And kiss me once again

Your icy cheeks on mine

Boiling hot

I say nothing

I let things happen

You say nothing

I let you do what you have to do

I had become the father

I became the child again

I say nothing

I let myself go

I’ve become the child again

I ring the doorbell

You open up and let me in

I’m late

For the last meal

That you have specially

Made for me

We speak very little

And eat very well

A series of dishes

That I know by heart

We speak very little

And I look at the time

I have to leave and you wish me

Lots of happiness

You kiss me quickly

And talk to me about my children

Don’t worry

I’ll kiss them for you

I don’t say anything else

You don’t say anything else

I don’t say anything else

I let you go

I became the child again

5.Several times this afternoon

Several times this afternoon

I felt like calling you on the phone

To find out how

You are doing these days

We would have talked

Of this and that

An avalanche of banalities

Like we used to

Every day

And you might have reassured me

About details

That aren’t really important

And I would’ve done the same

For you

It would’ve made me feel good

It would’ve made you feel good too

I think

And we would’ve hung up

Both feeling a bit better

Several times this afternoon

I felt like calling you on the phone

To find out how

You are doing these days

Had you eaten ok

Had you slept of

If your pain had decreased

If you could now manage

To walk a bit better

You would’ve also asked me

How I was doing

If my music

Was making me enough money

We wouldn’t have talked about

Politics or poetry

Just down-to-earth questions

Just down-to-earth questions

Several times this afternoon

I wanted to hear

The sound of your voice

Several times this afternoon

I wanted to talk to you

It would’ve made me feel good

It would’ve made you feel good too

I think

And we would’ve hung up

Both feeling a bit better


6.Our silence


Silence

I’m listening

Our silence

Between the blanks

The minimum

Between us

The minimum

Silence

I’m listening to our silence

To see if it’s articulate

To see what happens

When you remove the words

The syllables and their meaning

Let things go

What’s left

Between the two of us

Let things go

Just you and me

Our silence

In this white room

Silence

I’m listening

To our silence

I’m listening

To the sound of the air conditioning

I’m listening

To the sound of the wind

Totally stripped

From the heart to the bone

Between us

The minimum

Between us

This eloquent

Silence

Our silence

In this white room

7.Before the end

I don’t know

Whether it’s you who left

Or if it’s me who remained


8.An American movie


On the most beautiful day

Of this month of July

A long long white

Car appears

You get out, magnificent

Freeze frame

With your long

Long white dress

Which drags a bit on your feet

The vehicle starts up again

You move forward

Synchronised

A long long line

Of poplars on each side

Halfway

Over your head

Has appeared

Another rainbow

Four thunderclaps

At the opposite

A long long table

Decorated tablecloth

Covered in silver

Suits and evening gowns

You walking in slow motion

Your smile and mine

With all these child’s drawings

In your hands

I leave

You return

I disappeared

You looked for me

I waited

You found me

The fundamental difference

Between the end of an European movie

And the end of an American movie

Last scene

Some music

Applause

Credits roll

I kiss you tenderly

Fade to black

The fundamental difference

Between the end of an European movie

And the end of an American movie