teacher and student
stendhal and i
are walking in one body
over the battlefield of waterloo
carrying a big round mirror.
un roman, c'est un miroir qui se promène le long d'une route,
stendhal wrote long ago,
a novel is a mirror that walks along a road.
my task is to reflect the landscape accurately with the mirror.
this turns out to be difficult
because the mirror is simultaneously concave and convex.
i am not supposed to flood the landscape with too much light
by reflecting the sun on it;
but i make a mistake
and a bright flash
as from a camera
makes the landscape disappear.
i am blinded for a moment,
but afterwards, when i can see again,
three-dimensional hills are growing out of the mirror,
and fantastic landscapes with dramatic canyons and creeks,
and massive forests with more shades of green than ireland has.