Tu ne dis jamais rien

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Je vois des tramways bleus sur des rails d’enfants tristes 
Des paravents chinois devant le vent du nord 
Des objets sans objet des fenêtres d’artistes 
D’où sortent le soleil le génie et la mort

Attends, je vois tout près une étoile orpheline 
Qui vient dans ta maison pour te parler de moi 
Je la connais depuis longtemps c’est ma voisine 
Mais sa lumière est illusoire comme moi

Et tu ne me dis rien tu ne dis jamais rien 
Mais tu luis dans mon cœur comme luit cette étoile 
Avec ses feux perdus dans des lointains chemins 
Tu ne dis jamais rien comme font les étoiles
— Léo Ferré

By Patrick La Roque

My dad would play Leo Ferré’s La Solitude when were kids...I wasn’t a big fan.
But one day, a few years after he had passed away, I brought the album home with me. As a memento I guess...I’m not sure why. I was living on my own by then, in a small basement apartment of the Côte-des-Neiges district. I was in a band and fancied myself a painter, splashing blobs of industrial paint on large pieces of cardboard I’d lay out on the floor. Stuff I’d found in the trash. So damned serious.

Amidst Bauhaus and other prophets of gloom I (re)discovered La Solitude and soon became obsessed with Ferré—both his music and his words. A clash of such powerful images in each sentence; something like a declaration of war or a dark secret unfolding.

This song—Tu ne dis jamais rien—stops me to this day. It stops me to the point of losing the ability to speak, of needing a moment to recover and find my bearings again. My mind’s eye sees shapes, their edges diffused; an obsession slowly revealed in minute traces, fragmentary glimpses of hell and abandon.

Unholy, quiet and beautiful.

Patrick La Roque

laROQUE, 311 Lorncliff, Otterburn Park, Canada