Living in a glass house in the magazine "Phoenix" by Karim De Broucker

Living in a Glass House, Phoenix

“Living in a Glass House begins with these words: “I have not found a tower to inhabit my madness.” The first moment of this dense little book, which resembles an attempt at existential and spiritual rereading, is therefore thus placed under the influence, rather than under the sign, of the poet's confinement, symbolized by the famous tower on the Neckar. The verse, in this first phase, is short of breath; the stanza is brief, willingly broken, clashed, thus undoubtedly reflecting the gyrations without perspective of an artificial life, or too protected, a life which lives "where [it] is not" (p.12), in short: "jerky, mendacious, my line of life” (p.18), say the wisely respected limits of this alexandrine, of oneself forged.
But a few grains of sand gradually derail the record and its chorus: these grains are seeds, often small, of banal appearance: a tree, a bird, a flame on the altar... breaches appear in the rampart, windows , palms open, the clearly traced line of life happily welcomes the illegible, of which only the word and its cast shadows venture to sketch the contours, or... to silence: “Become silence. A silence sharper than silence. » (p.26), perhaps an echo of the “breath of the end of silence” of Isaiah, carries non-power and non-knowledge: “[…] we must live well / without someone delivering us a key” (p.55), a “let live” expressed in this beautiful verse “Just let the water under the bridges tremble a little” (p.26).
Finally, in a broader, more peaceful prose, the porch of the glass house emerges which eliminates neither anxieties nor shadows but whose transparency, sister to that of running water, like a mysterious “laughing woman” who seems to be the hostess, invites us to simply look (“human gaze, this unfinished masterpiece”, p. 49) and inhabit what is there and which passes while laughing… hostess herself a harbinger of a higher character who “stands at the door and knocks” (cf. Ap. 3, 20), and whose “step is lighter than weapons” (p.57).
The readers' steps are accompanied by the beautiful pencil drawings of Pauline Rouzet, the poet's daughter. It is a play of hatching in “rain” (see p. 43), of inlays of shadow and light, of depths and surfaces, which alongside the words also invites us to peacefully inhabit what is there, and admirably allows us to perceive “All this happy/living space between beings” (p.18)”

Karim De Broucker

Column published in the magazine Phoenix (No. 38) in December 2022

Buy the book online: Living in a glass house – Éditions Exopotamie