At the dawn of the second millenium, the poet, musician and filmaker Michel Bulteau published under his own name his filth album Rinçures, 28 years after his first recording With (Junk-Saucepan) When (Spoon-Trigger) - 1971, on the mythical label Futura Records. He was at this time leader of the avant-garde band Mahogany Brain. It was a group playing pre-punk music, very influenced by drugs. This free music was at the crossing of Velvet Underground’s White Light/White Heat and Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica. Their story is quite short-lived : two albums in two years, highly respected, two classical of the french underground. Later, Michel Bulteau recorded a maxi 45 with Elliott Murphy (1989) and two solo albums during the nineties.
At the same time, Michel Bulteau who wrote poetry since 1966, published a harsh black volume: "Manifeste électrique aux paupières de jupes - 1971", a wink to the surrealists and to the beats. This new and daring poetry permitted him a sensational entry on the litterary scene. He’ll publish in the following : "Poème A - 1972" (J.J.Pauvert), "Ether-Mouth, Slit, Hypodermique - 1974" (Seghers), "Des siècles de folie dans les calèches étroites - 1976" (Belfond) etc... In Paris, Bulteau goes around with Henri Micheaux. The meeting with William S. Burroughs in London was essential. He flew to New York in the mid-seventies and dived into the effervescent punk scene : Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Suicide, Blondie, Richard Hell, Patti Smith... He also often see Andy Warhol, Allen Ginsberg and Robert Mapplethorpe and met up with Burroughs. This extraordinary experience is related in a cult book : "Flowers - 1989".
Michel Bulteau is an artist of our time : he has a bibliography of forty titles (poetry, prose, essays). Books include : "Mythologie des Filles des eaux - 1982", "James Dean - 1985", "Le club des longues moustaches - 1988", "Baron Corvo, l’exilé de Venise - 1990", "Poèmes 1966/1974 - 1994", "Aérer le présent, entretiens - 1998".
As a film director : ten short films ; among them : "Main Line - 1971", "Astérie - 1979", "Leila’s Papers - 1996-98". Bulteau’s film is unique in France today. He is working in the direction paved before him by Kenneth Anger, Stan Brackage and Cocteau. "His work is personal, original, containing great promiss" wrote Jonas Mekas in 1976.

"Rimbaud gave me his bones", Michel Bulteau said to me when first met in London in 1973. Tall, sharp-featured, long black hair, black velvet suit. Very skinny - skeletal ? Only bones (Rimbaud’s ? - I could believe it !) & nerves. Nerved bones, bones nerves - emanating an electrifying intensity I have rarely witnessed. No wonder the manifesto he and several young French poets (matthieu Messagier the other first-rate writer among them) had just published was called the "Manifeste Electrique aux paupières de jupes" - it remains the most radical experimental move(ment) in post-Surrealist France. If it & the ensuing poetry drew on French avant-garde traditions, it was primarily to demarcate themselves from these traditions ; the group’s major sympathies lay with Burroughsian cut-up, a general post-Beat panache & a Warhol/Lou Reed-ian dandyism, via the core figure of the US-based French poet, translator & collagist Claude Pélieu - the latter’s sense of the "incurable retard des mots" (language’s incurable lateness) being an essential goad for the group’s activities. The movement, as behooves all such groupings, disintegrated relatively fast, but Bulteau went on to produce a wide range of work, from poetry (some 20 or so books & pamphlets) to prose narratives & essays (from La Pyramide de la vierge & Les Filles des Eaux to the recent novel L’Effrayeur), as well as avant-garde films (such as Main Line) and several underground rock albums (Mahogany Brain’s Smooth Sick Light ; Rinçures). His energy remains unbounded, & he, the elegant, uncompromising enfant terrible (one of his books is called Enfant Dandy Poème) of French poetry, is bonier, nervier, more intense than ever. I imagined him there, in a café in Sana’a playing at knucklebones with Rimbaud - the stakes were high : the very bones of poetry.
Pierre JORIS
(Albany, August 2000)

A l’aube de l’an 2000, le poète, musicien, cinéaste Michel Bulteau sort sous son nom, son cinquième album Rinçures, 28 ans après son premier enregistrement, alors qu’il était leader de Mahogany Brain With (Junk - Saucepan) When (Spoon - Trigger) 1971, sur le label mythique Futura. Mahogany Brain était un groupe ultime et dangereux au son radical free à la croisée du White light/White heat du Velvet Underground et du Trout Mask Replica du Captain Beefheart & his Magic Band. Leur histoire est éphémère : deux disques en deux ans seulement, mais considérés par les amateurs du genre comme deux classiques de l’underground français. Michel Bulteau sortira bien plus tard, un maxi 45 tour avec Elliott Murphy en 1989 et deux autres albums solo dans les années 90.
Parrallèlement à la musique, Michel Bulteau qui écrit des poèmes depuis 1966 sort en collaboration avec un groupe de poètes un virulent recueil noir : "Manifeste électrique aux paupières de jupes - 1971", clin d’oeil aux Surréalisme et à la culture beat. Cette poésie nouvelle et audacieuse, lui vaudra une entrée fracassante sur la scène poétique. Il publiera dans la foulée "Poème A - 1972" chez Jean-Jacques Pauvert, "Ether-Mouth, Slit, Hypodermique - 1974" chez Seghers, "Des siècles de folie dans les calèches étroites - 1976" chez Belfond etc... En France il cotoie Henri Micheaux, à Londres il rencontre Wiliam S. Burroughs, puis il part vivre à New York au milieu des années 70 et se plonge dans une scène musicale en pleine ébullition : Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Suicide, Blondie, Richard Hell, Patti Smith... fréquente Andy Warhol, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Mapplethorpe et retrouve Burroughs. Cette riche expérience new-yorkaise donnera naissance à un livre culte d’après un tableau de Warhol : "Flowers - 1989".
Michel Bulteau est un artiste de notre temps, avec à son actif plus de 40 titres publiés (poèmes, nouvelles, essais), dont notamment "Mythologie des Filles des eaux - 1982", "James Dean - 1985", "Le club des longues moustaches - 1988", "Baron Corvo, l’exilé de Venise -1990", "Poèmes 1966/1974 - 1994", "Aérer le présent - 1998". A cela, s’ajoute une quinzaine de court-métrages tournés dès 1963, dont "Main Line - 1971" et "Leila’s Paper - 1996/98". Du cinéma exprérimental dans l’esprit du réalisateur américain Jack Smith.


MAHOGANY BRAIN : With (Junk-Saucepan) When (Spoon-Trigger) LP - 1971 - Futura / CD - 2002 - Mellow
MAHOGANY BRAIN : Smooth Sick Lights LP - 1976 - Pole / CD - 1997 - Spalax
MAHOGANY BRAIN : Some Cocktail Suggestions LP - 2005 - Fractal 

MICHEL BULTEAU : Spleens (with Elliott Murphy) LP - 1989 - Mix it / New Rose
MICHEL BULTEAU : Archidoxe CD - 1994 - Ed. Paroles d’Aube
MICHEL BULTEAU : Dans un monde sonore CD - 1997 - Radio France
MICHEL BULTEAU : Rinçures CD - 1999 - Fractal
MICHEL BULTEAU : Hero Poet (with Elliott Murphy) Mini LP - 2004 - Sparkling Spare Wheel



If I lean out the window
I’ll see the world turn
see its bark brush my nose
I’ll have a hard time
getting you to believe that history
is just a few pen-drawn
lines on skin
but I’ll try
I’ll add some battles
discoveries catastrophes
spattered bodies
complaining of burns
In cities cars
spew smoke
drivers dine
in japanese restaurants
eating raw fish
the street is absurd
the rice cooking
is not quite as absurd
walking is absurd
drinking coffee in the sun
is much less absurd
people-watching is absurd



Barefoot on the gravel
I look at the window
(She went to bed without a sound)
My legs shiver
It’s still a while ¨til morning.
You’re afraid of paintings
You’re afraid of storms
You’re afraid of the human soul
Hanging from the handrail on the bridge.
My lighter’s empty
This window overlooking the low hills
Is like an electric chair.
The trees have fallen silent
My legs are sucked into
The swamp meant
For those who have nothing more to say.
I don’t have to fight insomnia
I just have to make sure
I don’t sink to the center of the earth.
All roles are not worth playing
And staring at a dark window
at night
inevitably makes the world very abstract.

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