Rodez, June 25
If “God” still exists it’s here in the great brown cathedral of Rodez with its huge mass of Gothic glowering, its huge high square tower, its huge high dark interior at sunset, with the late brilliant light flooding through its high round rosé, the great Gothic vaults soaring inside, like any other old cathedral, yet with a gray presence in the high air, as if some Animator were actually still there—a medieval God it is, still existing, in the wrong century, cornered & refuged here, in all its illiterate, dark, tongue-tied peasant being. As if this huge dark fort of a cathedral were in reality a stone madhouse prison zoo of Dark Ages animals, lizards, reptiles, gargoyle primeval hounds & hyenas penned up here forever, still all screaming to burst out…. And those gargoyles outside…. roaring lions and ravens, like crying women extended from “windows”—flesh birds on them perched forever, very high up, and one great scream/roar heard from all these “blind maws,” medieval animals half-sprung out of high cages, croaking beast-women torsos sprung half-escaped from dungeon battlements in air, night zoo of Dark Ages trying to escape its eternal night, those speaking gargoyles, articulated primeval, blasted out of the Stone Dark, mute mocked-up humanity bleeding gray….
Just because some madman named Antonin Artaud once wrote some incomprehensible letters from here, I have to come & stop for the night….
There’s an eternal street fair going on in a great empty space at the bottom of the main boulevard, all the town out in the first dark of evening, wandering about among the lighted booths & barkers with their shooting galleries & spinning wheels of chance:
À Tous les Coups On Gagne
[A Winner Every Time]
Attraction Réservée aux Enfants
Sign over a kids’ merry-go-round with little cars going around with children in them reaching for the big rag doll on a string the man in the booth keeps dangling on a rope over their heads.
Le Pompon Arraché
donne un tour gratuit
as they go around, reaching & screaming for it, as the merry-go-round turns its valse triste of organ-grinder music in the night. While now, into the crowd in the center of the place, humps a hunchback, very well dressed, having jumped down from behind a barricade between two wagons in the dark at one side, and now hunching along in the crowd, surveying it with a proprietary air, which gives me the idea that He is the manager, owner and/or Animator of the whole show (so detached and dignified he is, as he hunches along, swinging this way and that)—le Patron of life itself directing all and calculating as he goes, having earlier planned out and planted the whole show, staking out the Fair Grounds like a great Trap & Lure, himself escaped from some gargoyle tower—bossu of the world, turning the whole show in his head like an organ-grinder turning a manivelle, a hump figure of Death himself, waiting & watching. For: “À Tous les Coups On Gagne.”