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BENJAMIN PERET

THE FALL OF THE POUND
after La Baisse du Franc
and La Stabilisation du Franc  – Benjamin Péret
From: Je Ne Mange Pas De Ce Pain-la (1936)


(i)
Pound little pound what have you done with your bones
What would you do without poker dice
to hurl these words onto paper
Once paunchy cleric you officiated in the corridors of brothels
distributing the wafer to skinny whores
whose eyes reflected your fat counterfeit
Once your vast piggy cheeks
were a reproach to the skeletal billy-goats
who spreading around their patriotic and Presbyterian stink 
followed you like the shadow of a sun

Sun let's say foglamp
because you'll never light more than a road closed
where the cobbles have been replaced by broken bottle bits

But today just an earthworm sectioned by multiple shovels
you struggle in vain to escape the fish
You'd like to be a general of the bankers again
but the bankers died like rats
and out of ther stomachs ooze flabby pounds
and their financial rot fills all the coffers
where the last survivors implore Mammon
to let the pound become a Euro

Alas Christ poor used up pound
cast among the turds of the speculators
Here lies the quid beetroot without sugar

(ii)

If the ears of the cows shiver
it's because people are singing God save the Queen
Let's go children of the toilets
let's drip snot in the ears of Blair and Brown

The fishbones trapped in their teeth
have hardly spoken
It's me the Strong Pound
Down with the old fart who had me boiled
Like a fairground caricature
an eye looking out of a pisspot
Gordon Brown repeats himself
I fully deserved the Order of the Shithouse
Long live the union of dunces
Long live national cow pie 

Translated by
John Hartley Williams
December 2008