#6 – Janvier / January 2024

Tarik Kiswanson

The Window

Three selected poems from The Window, published by Jean Boîte, 2022, Paris.
Courtesy of the author and publisher.

JBE (Jean Boîte Éditions) 📚Est. Paris, 2011.
Books in the digital age – JBE Books (jbe-books.com)

The Window by Tarik Kiswanson – JBE Books (jbe-books.com)


The title is important. The poem is not the one who dies. You can order the book. Through the window of my bedroom.

I speak from myself to myself. At this hour, I read myself and I hear myself simultaneously. I make myself hollow. I fill and empty myself. I pour myself. It’s beyond what I need.

I find myself moving again, being profoundly moved by the fact that everything is out of control. I can feel the trembling. I can feel the instability. I shiver.

In the mayhem of our lives I remember the past. My one and many. At first I couldn’t, but upon reflection I’m taken back to the summer of 1995. An image of a raw landscape appeared, taking me back to where it all started. To the foreign countryside that made me, from the violent and wet winds of the North Sea to the dead roots gone dry in an arid desert.

A glass shattered.

I am taken back to all my different beginnings.

for the sake of memory

To see or not to see.

To look down and read without seeing.

To be without eyes.

To hear without your eyes.

To touch without feeling.

To touch for the first time,
and immediately last time.

To believe or not believe.

And in your mind.

And the home you made
and never lived in.

And the home you made
and never slept in.

And the weight of your body,
and the weight of mine.

And the moment your voice changed,
and the moment mine did.

And the heat only to immediately
be thrown in the cold.

And the cells dividing
while you are thinking.

And the cells surviving
when your spirit is missing.

And the body you nurture.

And the body you destroy.

To spread your fingers out for the first,
and immediately last time.

And the hours of disbelief.

And then the hours of belief.

And then all the things that they don’t see
but you feel.

Afraid of dying
and then of living.

Afraid of believing
and then belonging.

To remember only to forget.

A switch of language briefly appears, changing
the entire meaning of the sentence.

Transforming you.

New Word


A new word appears, and the world is changed

A new word sinks into you. Lingers within you.
Becomes part of you. As you read, language takes
hold of you.

A word that stays with you.
Sounds that never left you.
Endlessly transforming you.

In the sharpness and roundness, you are born anew.

Words disappearing inside of you. In the abyss
of your mind, words and sentences, echoes of
memories move through you.