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First papers of surrealism


Craters dug coarse into unblemished skin
like sun spots convulsing along the surface
new holes erupt with violence and spew forth
I touch the ground and sink deeply into the fissures
I sing in a severe tongue an indecipherable language
earthquakes ravage for thousands of years
thousands of planets burn out
thousands of species go extinct
I surround myself with this unnatural disaster
until I am finally swallowed whole by it



In response to Marcel Duchamp's cover for 'First Papers of Surrealism’ (edited by André Breton) 1942.

See the artwork that inspired this poem in the flesh, along with more than 100 of Marcel Duchamp’s world-renowned pieces in ‘
The Essential Duchamp’ exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 27 April – 11 August 2019.

Go to Allison Gallagher's profile to read more poems