Cannons of snow bombard the valleys of permanent disaster. Outdated corpses, the perimeter of the azure, are no longer rooms for love, and the silver-smiling plague encircles the window with hoops of platinum. Metals in fusion are filtered onto blotters of giant pigeons and then, pulverized, are shipped to the volcanoes and mines. Tails of lead, tails of marble, minerals and carbon, subterranean world where no one travels: are you not the spirit fallen at the feet of death? Red silt of the ocean, metallic lakes, blind fish, white algae, mysteries of the depths, insoluble reflections of the sky! And voila, the periphery of meteors and the orbits of comets that fade in the glory of an oak older than the moon. The asteroids disperse over all nations. Women gather them to decorate their pianos, men hold out their hats, children scream, and dogs pee against brain-stained walls.
The grapes will not ripen this year; the flowers will die at the first clamor of the subversion of the fields without having borne fruit. Arable lands, the marl and the limestone, the humus and the loam: men project them into the atmosphere where the pride in human labor is joyously dispersed. The minerals that so agreeably tear hands, the fossils, the granite and the feldspar, the crystals, the mica, and the golden sand are all kneaded with bleeding hands. They trample on them so that even their feet can share in their happiness. They dig endlessly. Tunnels become quarries; the ardor of the lifeless world conquers humanity at the first rays of a new asceticism.
Giant spiders who at the center of our planet petrify the epics and splendors of peoples: why have you for so long saved these fossils in your coffers of lace? Give us these comic stones, these obscene rhombohedra, these residues of life, this debris of vengeances and blood so we can laugh at them one last time. And you, octopus, give us those stars and passions you preserve in your Pacific Ocean caves. If not, the earth shall be dispersed into the heavens and on each aerolite born of its death a man will dry out in the purity of the ether.
by Raymond Queneau
La Revolution Surrealiste, Year 1, no. 5, October 15, 1925
Translated by Mitchell Abidor