Mario Bojórquez translated by Mario Licón Cabrera

BojórquezMario Bojórquez (Los Mochis, Sinaloa 1968) is a Mexican poet, essayist and translator. Since 1991 to date he has published 9 collections of poetry. His work has been widely awarded, including The National Poetry Prize  Clemencia Isaura (1995.) The National Poetry Prize  Aguascalientes (2007) the most wanted poetry award in México. The Alhambra Award for American Poetry (2012) Granada, Spain, amongst many other awards.

 

Mario Licón Cabrera (1949) is a Mexican poet and translator living in Sydney since 1992, he has published four collections of poetry and translated many Australian leading poets into Spanish.

 

La piedra más alta

Fui contando las piedras del camino
una por una

todas

La piedra más alta
era la nube de tu sueño

el hueco de tu sueño

Yo lo supe 

y fui contando las veces que el amor
nos abrió las puertas del destino.



Arte poética

Hemos visto
el ámbito azul de la tristeza

el vestigio insondable de lo que ya se va
Hemos visto también

cómo el descuido de la tarde

nos trajo la memoria de un árbol habitado por su sombra
Tú has visto

mi rostro entre las piedras del sepulcro
la muerte avanzando
Tú ves

el espacio irrevocable de la felicidad
el tiempo de la sonrisa
Yo veo

estas palabras dispersas
                    el poema.




Ditirambo

Acércate conmigo al fuego de las tribulaciones
que el abismo abierto entre los cuerpo
s
sea el espacio de una danza
               la caída o el vuelo
Acércate conmigo al borde del peligro insospechado
Que tus manos inventen otra vez

mi piel y mis sentidos.
The highest stone

I went along the road counting its stones
one by one
all of them
The highest stone
was the cloud of your dream
the hollow of your dream
I knew it
and I went on counting the times that love
unlocked destiny’s gates for us.



Ars poetica

We have seen
the blue sphere of sadness
the inscrutable vestige of what is now vanishing
We have also seen
how the carefree afternoon
brought us the memory of a tree inhabited by its shadow
You have seen
my face amongst the grave stones
death advancing
You see
The irrevocable space of happiness
the time for smiles
I see
These scattered words
                   the poem.



Dithyramb

Come with me closer to the fire of misfortunes
so the open abyss between our bodies
turns into a dance space
               the fall or the glide
Come with me closer to the edge of unexpected peril
So your hands once again invent
my skin, my senses.

The Burial by Bijan Najdi translated by Laetitia Nanquette & Ali Alizadeh

bijan najdiBijan Najdi (1941-1997) was an Iranian poet and short-story writer, famous for his collection The Leopards Who Have Run With Me (1994), from which the selected short-story “The Burial” comes from. His style is characterized by the use of unfamiliar and poetical images offering a fresh perspective on the everyday world.

 

 

 

The Burial

Translated by Ali Alizadeh and Laetitia Nanquette

Taher stopped singing in the shower and listened to the sound of the water. He watched the water flow down the sagging skin of his thin arms. The smell of soap dripped from his hair. Steam encircled the old man’s head. When he threw the towel around his shoulders, he felt as if parts of his body’s old age stuck to the long red towel and the swollen veins of his legs stopped throbbing. He buried his head in the towel and lingered by the door of the bathroom until he started to feel cold. Then he dragged himself to the mirror of the main room and saw that he was indeed an old man now.

In the mirror, he could see the breakfast spread on the floor and Maliheh’s profile. The samovar was boiling, silently in the mirror and loudly in the room, and Taher and his image in the mirror warmed up to it.

Maliheh said: “Don’t open the window; you’ll catch a cold, ok?”

Friday was behind the window with its incredible resemblance to all the winter’s Fridays. An electric line was bulging under the blackness of birds. The curtain dividing the main room was motionless and the wood-burner was burning to the song of the sparrows. Taher sat down for breakfast, switched on the radio (…with minus 11, theirs was the coldest part of the country), and raised a glass of tea.

Maliheh, turning her face towards the window, said, “Listen, it sounds like there’s something going on outside.”

Their home had a balcony overlooking the only paved street of the village. Twice a week, the sound of the train arrived, passed the window, and ended up on the broken pieces of the plasterwork of the ceiling. On the days when Taher did not feel like reading the old newspapers, when the smell of the old paper made him feel sick and when Maliheh was too tired to sing the forgotten songs of Qamar through her dentures, they went to the balcony to listen to the sound of the train, without ever seeing it.

“I’m talking to you, Taher. Let’s see what’s going on outside.”

Taher put down his glass on the tablecloth and went with his wet hair to the balcony, his mouth full of bread and cheese. There were people running towards the end of the street.

“What’s happening?” asked Maliheh.

She was more or less sixty years old. Thin. Her lips had sagged. She did not pluck her facial hair anymore.

“I don’t know.”

“I hope it’s not a corpse again… They must have found a corpse again.”

Even if Maliheh had not said “a corpse again”, they would have continued to eat their breakfast remembering the hot and sticky summer day when they had argued about the choice of a name: the day when the sun had crossed the frontier of Khorasan, lingered a bit on the Gonbad-e Qabus tower and travelled from there to the village to spread a pale dawn on Maliheh’s clothesline.

Taher, in the bed saturated with Sunday’s sun, had woken up to the music that Maliheh’s feet made each day. Maliheh would soon open the wooden door, and then she did just that. Before putting the bread on the breakfast spread, Maliheh said:

“Get up, Taher, get up.”

“What’s happening?”

“At the bakery, people said they’d found a corpse under the bridge.”

“A what?”

“A dead body… Everyone’s going to have a look at it, get up.”

The two of them walked towards the bridge. There were people standing on it and looking down. For such a crowd, they were not making much noise. A warm wind was blowing towards the mulberry trees. A few young men were sitting on the edge of the bridge with their legs pointing down to the sound of the water. The police had formed a circle around a jeep. As soon as Maliheh and Taher arrived at the bridge, the police placed the corpse into the jeep and drove away.

Maliheh asked a young girl: “Who was it, my dear?

“I don’t know.”

“He was young?”

“I don’t know.”

“You didn’t see?”

The young girl moved away from Maliheh.

A man leaning on the railing of the bridge said: “I saw him. He was all blown up and dark. It was a kid, Mother, a little one.”

Taher took Maliheh’s arm. The bridge and the man and the river swirled around her. All that could be seen of the jeep was some dust moving towards the village.

“This man called me Mother, did you hear Taher? He called me…”

The sun had set. There was a little triangle of sweat on the back of Taher’s shirt.

Maliheh said: “Where are they taking this kid now? Was he dead? Maybe he was in the water playing and then…” The warm wind had failed to ripen any mulberries and had come back to ruffle Maliheh’s chador. “I didn’t find out how old he was! Take my hand, Taher.”

“Let’s sit down for a bit.”

Maliheh was thinking, if only there were children here instead of all these trees. “Ask someone where they’re taking him, will you?”

“Probably to the police station or to the clinic.”

Maliheh was thinking, if only I could see him.

Taher added: “What is there to see anyway, it’s just a kid.”

“That’s what I’ve been telling you.”

“You want to go and see Yavari?”

 

The doors of the clinic were open. There was a row of tall pine trees in the alley leading to the building’s landing, so dry that summer paled to insignificance next to them.

Doctor Yavari shook Taher’s hand and asked Maliheh: “Have you been taking your pills?”

“Yes.”

The doctor asked Taher: “Is she sleeping well at night?”

Maliheh interrupted: “Doctor, they’ve found a child. Do you know about this?”

“Yes.”

“Where is he now?”

“They’ve put him in the storeroom.”

“Storeroom? A kid? In the storeroom?”

“You know we don’t have a morgue here.”

“What will they do with him?”

“They’ll keep him ‘til tomorrow. If nobody comes to claim him, well, they’ll bury him.”

“If nobody comes, if nobody claims him, can we take him?”

“Can you… what?”

Taher said: “Take the child with us? What for, Maliheh?”

“We will bury him, we will bury him ourselves. Maybe then we can love him. Even now, it’s as if, as if… I love him…” Maliheh buried her head in her chador and the cry that she had kept from the bridge to the clinic broke out and her thin shoulders twisted under her chador and she blew her nose into her covered fist.

Taher poured a glass of water. The doctor had Maliheh lying down on a wooden bench. He stuck a thin needle under the skin of her hand. A bit of cotton with two drops of blood fell in the small bucket near the bench and until sunset that day, until the not-passing of the sound of the train, Maliheh did not open her eyes and did not say a single word.

 

It was Friday. The curtain of the main room was motionless and the wood-burner was burning to the song of the sparrows. The white winter, on that side of the window, wandered with its white coldness.

Maliheh said: “So many names, but nothing in the end.”

“We will eventually find one.”

“If we couldn’t find a name that day, then we can’t. Which day of the week was it, Taher?”

“The day when we went to the bridge?”

“No, the following day, when we went to the clinic…”

The day following that Sunday nobody came to claim the corpse. So on Monday, they sent the corpse from the clinic to the cemetery, carried on a crate, rolled up in a grey sheet. Outside of the clinic’s courtyard, Maliheh and Taher, who were not dressed in black, in a weather that was neither sunny nor rainy, started to walk at a slower pace than the man who carried the crate, who changed it from one hand to the other from time to time and sometimes rested it on the ground or against the trunk of a tree. They went around the small square of the village and entered its sole street. In front of the coffeehouse, the man rested the crate under a lamppost, which, although it did not look at all like a tree, was casting a shadow on the ground just like one. The coffeehouse keeper poured water from a jug and the man washed his hands and stayed at the same place to drink a glass of hot milk from the saucer. Maliheh turned her head and felt something leaking from between her breast to her shirt just as she walked past the crate. Taher slowed down his pace. Even though their house was nearby, Maliheh and Taher did not return home and stood still until the man was ready, for they did not wish the break the solemn silence of the funeral procession. They even stopped and looked at the balcony of their house where the window was still open to let the sound of the train enter, and they saw a young Maliheh bending to pour water in a flowerpot. When she lifted her head, an old Maliheh was gathering the empty flowerpots. Maliheh, with her firm flesh and her dark hair loosened, opened the curtain. Maliheh, with her small face and her hair tainted with henna, was walking in the rain. It rained just a few drops and then the man entered the cemetery. Taher and his wife had walked over the grass between the stones, a few steps away from the house where the corpses were washed. The burial ceremony—grey, dusty—lasted so long that they eventually had to sit down on the wet grass. When the gravediggers left, one could still hear the sound of the spade.

Taher said: “Get up, let’s go.”

“Help me then.”

They held on to one another. One could not say which one was supporting the other. As they struggled to stay on their feet, Maliheh said: “So he belongs to us now, no? Now we have a child who’s dead…”

All around them were stones, names and dates of birth…

Maliheh added: “We must tell them to carve a stone for him.”

“Ok.”

“We must find him a name.”

“…”

“…”

 

It was Friday; the wood-burner was burning to the song of the sparrows and from the balcony one could hear the hubbub of the people echoing from the other end of the street. They were making so much noise that Taher and Maliheh could not hear the sound of the train, approaching, passing, disappearing.

 

***

downloadLAETITIA NANQUETTE is a French translator and academic, based at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, specializing on contemporary Iranian literature and World Literature. She frequently travels to Iran.

 

 

 

???????????????????????????????ALI ALIZADEH is a Melbourne-based writer and lecturer at Monash University, and is co-editor and co-translator, with John Kinsella, of Six Vowels and Twenty Three Consonants: An Anthology of Persian Poetry from Rudaki to Langroodi

Mario Licón Cabrera translates Ali Cobby Eckermann

MLCMario Licón Cabrera (1949) is a Mexican poet and translator living in Sydney since 1992, he has publishe four collectios of poetry and has translated many Australian leading poets into Spanish . He’s currently conducting a Creative Writing and Reading workshop (in Spanish) at The nag’s head hotel, in Glebe, NSW every first Saturday of each month.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Kami

I walk to the south
I walk to the north

Where are you
My warrior?

I sit with the desert
I sit with the ocean

Where are you
My warrior?

I sing in the sand
I sing with the the rocks

Where are you
My warrior?

I dance with the birds
I dance with the animals

Where are you
My warrior?

Heaven is every were
Where are you?

 
Abuela

Camino hacia el sur
Camino hacia el norte

Dónde estás
Guerrero mío?

Me siento con el desierto
Me siento con el océano

Dónde estás
Guerrero mío?

Canto en la arena
Canto con las rocas

Dónde estás
Guerrero mío?

Danzo con los pájaros
Danzo con los animales

Dónde estás
Guerrero mío?

El cielo está por todas partes
Dónde estás tú?

 
Wild Flowers

Mallets pound fence posts
in tune with the rifles
to mask massacre sites
Cattle will graze
sheep hooves will scatter
children’s bones
Wildflowers will not grow
where the bone powder
lies
 
 
Flores Silvestres

Los masos golpean postes de cercas
a tono con los rifles
para ocultar los sitios de la massacre

El ganado pastará
las pesuñas de las ovejas dispersarán
osamentas infantiles

Las flores silvestres no crecerán
donde el polvo de los huesos
reposa

 

Crows

early dawn crows
tell of your impending arrival
that first day I wait
I fall asleep in the street
an earth angel comes
siting beside me
to divert the traffic.

the second day
neighbours wave brooms shouting
we don’t understand you,
you’re too different,
please don’t visit anymore
above my sobbing I heard the crows
tell me you’re closer.

on the third day
a blanket of crows
curtains my bedroom window
I stay in bed until
the knock on the door.

 
Cuervos

temprano por la madrugada los cuervos
hablan de tu inminente arrivo
ese primer día de mi espera
caí dormida en la calle
un ángel terrestre llega
se sienta a mi lado
para desviar el tráfico.

el segundo día
los vecinos agitan sus escobas gritando
no te entendemos,
eres muy diferente,
por favor no vuelvas más
arriba de mis sollozos oía a los cuervos
diciéndome que estabas muy cerca.

al tercer día
una parvada de cuervos
acortina la ventana de mi recámara
me quedo en cama hasta
el llamado en la puerta.

Luke Fischer translates Evening Poems by Goethe, Trakl and Ausländer

Photo Luke FischerLuke Fischer is a Sydney-based poet and scholar. His publications include the poetry collection Paths of Flight (Black Pepper, 2013), a monograph on Rilke and phenomenology (Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2015) and a book of bedtime stories (The Blue Forest, 2014), as well as poems, translations and articles in Australian and international journals. He won the 2012 Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize and was commended in the 2013 FAW Anne Elder Award for a first book of poems. In 2008 he was awarded a PhD in philosophy from the University of Sydney. He has held post-doctoral fellowships and taught at universities in the U.S. and Germany.

WANDRERS NACHTLIED II

Über allen Gipfeln
Ist Ruh,
In allen Wipfeln
Spürest du
Kaum einen Hauch.
Die Vögelein schweigen im Walde.
Warte nur, balde
Ruhest du auch.


––Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

VERKLÄRUNG

Wenn es Abend wird,
Verlässt dich leise ein blaues Antlitz.
Ein kleiner Vogel singt im Tamarindenbaum.

Ein sanfter Mönch
Faltet die erstorbenen Hände.
Ein weisser Engel sucht Marien heim.

Ein nächtiger Kranz
Von Veilchen, Korn und purpurnen Trauben
Ist das Jahr des Schauenden.

Zu deinen Füssen
Öffnen sich die Gräber der Toten,
Wenn du die Stirne in die silbernen Hände legst.

Stille wohnt
An deinem Mund der herbstliche Mond,
Trunken von Mohnsaft dunkler Gesang;

Blaue Blume,
Die leise tönt in vergilbtem Gestein.


––Georg Trakl (1887-1914)

VERWANDTER TRÄUMER

Abend
verwandter Träumer
mit Schweigen
begabt

Du zeigst
dem Menschen
das Ziel
das sanfte Hinüber
in eine
andere Welt

––Rose Ausländer (1901-1988)




WANDERER’S NIGHTSONG II

Calm is
Over every hill,
In all the canopies
You can feel
Barely a breath.
The birds in the forest keep silent.
Wait a while and
You too will rest.




TRANSFIGURATION

When the evening comes
A blue face quietly leaves you.
A small bird sings in the tamarind tree.

A gentle monk
Folds the lifeless hands.
A white angel distresses Mary.

A nightly wreath
Of violets, grain and purple grapes
Is the year of one who sees.

At your feet
Graves of the dead open up,
When you lay your brow in silver hands.

Upon your mouth
Silently dwells the autumn moon,
Dark song drunk on poppy-sap;

Blue blossom
That quietly sounds in yellowed stone.




RELATED DREAMER

Evening
related dreamer
gifted
with silence

You show
human beings
the goal
the gentle transfer
into
another world



Liang Yujing translates Zuo You

Liang YujingLiang  Yujing writes in both English and Chinese,  and is now a lecturer, in China, at Hunan  University of Commerce. His publications include Willow Springs, Wasafiri, Epiphany, Boston Review, Los Angeles Review, Bellevue Literary Review, and many  others.

 

 

 

 

 

Zuo YouZuo  You is a Chinese poet based in Xi’an. His poems have appeared in some major  literary magazines in China. He is hearing-impaired and can only speak a few  simple words.

 

 

 

 

The Hotel

Celestial trees stand upside down outside the window. The train a crackless gap
falling down from the clouds. Tonight I stay with bats,
crooning for darkness. Rocks contract their four fingers.

The wall gradually resembles the face of my grandma who died a decade ago.
Empty bells mingle with streetlight. Under the moon,

the tea is fragrant. A woman guest stays in the adjoining room, playing the flute.
One of her oil-copper breasts lies outside the quilt. Laden with grief,

she plays a series of vacant echoes.
Whose cat suddenly jumps on the table? A teacup rolls. It keeps up its courage:
tiptoed, it creeps into the hot edge of the woman guest’s quilt.


旅馆

左右
窗外倒立着天空的树。火车像云朵上掉下来的
没有裂痕的缺口。今夜我和蝙蝠们在一起
为黑暗低歌。岩石紧缩着四个手指头
墙面越来越和逝去十年的老祖母——脸庞吻合 

空荡荡的钟,和路灯交杂在一起。月光下
茶香喷喷。吹笛的女旅客,住在我左手隔壁
她一只油铜色的乳房,掉在被外。忧伤满面
吹出空荡荡的回声 

谁家的猫突然窜在桌面上,茶杯翻滚。它一直在鼓足勇气:
轻手轻脚,溜进女旅客滚烫的被角

 


Horary Chart

Cold night falls. It keeps raining. The air is fresh.
Inside me, a horary chart is turning without stop. Petals clinging to the ground.
A conscious wind gently knocks at my door. The sandglass on my lips has foretold:
my dream will go back to where you are lost.

 

桃花上的卦盘

寒夜来临。雨一直下着,带有清新的空气
身体里的卦盘旋转个不停,花瓣沾在地角
风随意识轻轻敲门。唇上的沙漏预告过我:

在哪里遗失过你,我就梦回哪里

 

Zeina Issa translates Khalid Kaki

GetAttachmentZeina Issa is a Sydney based interpreter and translator, a columnist for El-Telegraph Arabic newspaper and a poet.

 

 

 

 

 

Khalid Kaki was born in Karkouk, Iraq. He moved to Madrid, Spain and has resided there since 1996. He is a poet, writer, artist and musician. He won the Grand Prize of Poetry at the International Poetry Nights at Curtea de Arges, Romania in 2012. He has published three poetry collections.

 

A belated message from “Halabja”

The children, the mules
and the dragonflies
fell asleep exhausted
in the shade of the village’s clay walls,
they will not wake up again…
Nor will the sunflowers
bowing their heads after the last sunset…

*  *  *

The women villagers
the harvesters of wheat,
the carriers of water from the spring,
the milkers of the morning’s first drop…
They shall stop
at this border in life,
despite the faithful sun
promising them much more

*  *  *

The singing voice of the pupils
spreading across the mountain’s map,
hurried towards the ringing bell of death
thinking it was time for class…

*  *  *

The sticky white clouds
did not distinguish the snakes from the sparrows,
nor the gates from the tiny windows…
They travelled through the houses and the alleys
and devoured the swallows’ nests,the village’s lamps,
its rocks and its fruits…
And they stretched, bleating inside the stables
like an animal spattering its poison and flames

*  *  *

Cadavers embraced
grabbing each other in fear…
The four cardinal points
were leading to the same direction…
They died on their land
it was the only direction

*  *  *

The deformed birds made of steel
dropped their weighty gifts on them…
Coated by wrappers of pain
they returned to eternity

*  *  *

The dreams, the shoes and the horseshoes
melted in the crucible of this little hell…
Death was a mobile well
drenched in captured lives.

رسالة متأخِّرة من “حلبجة”

الأطفال والبِـغال

واليـعاسـب

التي رقدت منهكـةً

في ظل الـجدران الطـيـنـيّـة في القريـة ،

لن يـستـيـقظـوا بـعد الآن ..

كذلك أزهار الشـمـس

التي أطرقَـت بعد الغروب الأخير..

* * *

نساء القريـة

حاصدات السنابل،

حاملات الـماء من الـنَـبع،

حالبـات ضرع الصـباح ..

سـيَـتَـوَقَّـفـنَ

عند هذا الـحد من الـحياة،

رغـم إن الشمسَ الـمخـلِصة

وعَـدَتـهُم بالـمَـزيـد

* * *

نَـشـيد التلامـيذ الـمُنتشرين

على خارطـة الـجبل،

لـحـقَ راكضاً بـجرس الـموت

ظانّـاً أنـّهُ الدرس ..

* * *

السُحُب البِـيـض الـلَّـزجـة

لـم تـميـِّز الأفاعي مِن العصافـيـر،

ولا الأبواب مِن الكـوى ..

سارَت في الـمساكن والشِعاب

والتهمت أعشاش السـنونـو،

وفوانـيـس القـريـة

وأحـجارها والـثِـمار ..

وتَـمـَطـَّت وثَـغـَتْ في الإسطـبـلات

كـحيوانٍ من نِـثـار الـسُم والنـار

* * *

تعانـقت الـجُـثَـث

تـتخـاطَفُ فـزعاً ..

إلـى بعضها كانَـت

تؤدي الـجهات الأربـع ..

ماتوا في أرضهم

التي كانت الـجهة الوحيدة

* * *

الطيور الـحديدية الشـوهاء

ألـقـت علـيـهم

هدايـاهـا الـثـقـيـلـة ..

مغمورين بالألـم الـمغـلَّف

عـادوا إلى الأبـد

* * *

الأحلام والأحـذيـة والـحدوات

ذابت في بوتـقة الجحيم الصغيـر..

كـان الـموت بـئـراً متحـركـة

تـنـضَحُ بأقـفال العُمرِ الكبـيـرة

He went and came back

He went to the orchard
and came back with a flower…
To the shops
and came back with bread
and a can of sardines..
To the war
and came back with a thick beard
and letters from the dead!

  ذهبَ وعادَ

ذَهب إلى البستان

فعاد بزهرة..

وإلى السوق

وعاد بخبز

وعلبة سردين..

وإلى الحرب

فعاد بلحية كـثـة

ورسائل من موتى !

Jan Owen translates Charles Baudelaire

Jan OwenJan Owen’s most recent book is Poems 1980 – 2008. Her selection of Baudelaire translations has been accepted for publication in the U.K., and a New and Selected, The Offhand Angel, is also forthcoming in the UK with Eyewear Publishing.  

 

 

 

 

 

La mort des amants

Nous aurons des lits pleins d’odeurs légères,
Des divans profonds comme des tombeaux,
Et d’étranges fleurs sur des étagères,
Ecloses pour nous sous des cieux plus beaux.

Usant à l’envi leurs chaleurs dernières,
Nos deux coeurs seront deux vastes flambeaux,
Qui réfléchiront leurs doubles lumières
Dans nos deux esprits, ces miroirs jumeaux.

Un soir fait de rose et de bleu mystique,
Nous échangerons un éclair unique,
Comme un long sanglot, tout chargé d’adieux;

Et plus tard un Ange, entr’ouvrant les portes,
Viendra ranimer, fidèle et joyeux,
Les miroirs ternis et les flammes mortes.

 

The Death of Lovers

We shall have beds imbued with faint perfumes,
and flowers from sunny lands on shelves above
the sofas deep and welcoming as tombs
will bloom for us as sweetly as our love.         

Flaring up, our hearts will shine through space                   
like blazing torches spending life’s last heat,
with our twin souls, two mirrors face to face,
reflecting back their dazzling doubled light.

One evening born of rose and mystic blue,
a lightning flash will leap between us two
like a long sob heavy with last goodbyes;

and later on, half-opening the doors,
an angel slipping in with joyful eyes
will raise the tarnished mirrors and dead fires.

 


La mort des artistes

Combien faut-il de fois secouer mes grelots
Et baiser ton front bas, morne caricature?
Pour piquer dans le but, de mystique nature,
Combien, ô mon carquois, perdre de javelots?

Nous userons notre âme en de subtils complots,
Et nous démolirons mainte lourde armature,
Avant de contempler la grande Créature
Dont l’infernal désir nous remplit de sanglots!

Il en est qui jamais n’ont connu leur Idole,
Et ces sculpteurs damnés et marqués d’un affront,
Qui vont se martelant la poitrine et le front,

N’ont qu’un espoir, étrange et sombre Capitole!
C’est que la Mort, planant comme un soleil nouveau,
Fera s’épanouir les fleurs de leur cerveau!


The Death of Artists

How often must I shake my jester’s stick
and kiss this dismal caricature? Will I ever
hit the hidden target? Tell me, quiver,
how many more lost arrows will it take?

We waste our souls in subtleties, we tire
of smashing armatures to start again
in hopes we’ll stare the mighty creature down
that we’ve sobbed over with such hellish desire.

Some have never ever known their god,
and these failed sculptors branded with disgrace
go hammering their chest and head and face,

with one last hope, a capitol of dread—
that death sweep over like a second sun
and bring to bloom the flowers of their brain.

 

 

La Cloche fêlée

Il est amer et doux, pendant les nuits d’hiver,
D’écouter, près du feu qui palpite et qui fume,
Les souvenirs lointains lentement s’élever
Au bruit des carillons qui chantent dans la brume,

Bienheureuse la cloche au gosier vigoureux
Qui, malgré sa vieillesse, alerte et bien portante,
Jette fidèlement son cri religieux,
Ainsi qu’un vieux soldat qui veille sous la tente!

Moi, mon âme est fêlée, et lorsqu’en ses ennuis
Elle veut de ses chants peupler l’air froid des nuits,
Il arrive souvent que sa voix affaiblie

Semble le râle épais d’un blessé qu’on oublie
Au bord d’un lac de sang, sous un grand tas de morts,
Et qui meurt, sans bouger, dans d’immenses efforts.

 

The Cracked Bell

How bitter-sweet it is on winter nights                                 
listening by the fire’s flicker and hiss                
to distant memories slowly taking flight
with the carillons resounding through the mist.

Faithfully the sturdy-throated bell                           
flings its holy cry abroad. Unspent
despite it’s years, it’s vigorous and well
—a veteran keeping watch inside his tent.

As for me, my soul’s cracked through with pain;
I scarcely hold a tune in sun or rain,                                                                    
and often now my voice turns weak and thin

as the last rattling breaths of a wounded man
crushed under a mound of corpses piled up high
next to a lake of blood. Struggling to die.

 

Çiğdem y Mirol self translated (with Andrew Carruthers)

images ÇIǦDEM Y MIROL was born in Ankara, Turkey, in 1983. She is a writer, and even more fundamentally in her terms, a reader. Mirol is engaged in a long project entitled QUARTET, the first part of which was published under the title Myface Book (Yüzüm Kitap) in 2012. Mirol studied American and then Turkish literature at Bilkent University, completing an MA on Orhan Pamuk’s The White Castle, and is now working towards a doctorate on Gertrude Stein, authorship and performance at the University of Gent. Her website, which contains some of her other work, including drawings, can be accessed at www.cigdemymirol.net.

ANDREW CARRUTHERS is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney. He writes on musical analogy, musical notation and militant politics in twentieth century long poems. His work has appeared in Southerly, Mascara Literary Review and Contemporary Asian Australian Poets (Puncher and Wattmann).

 

KİTAPERFORMANS MANİFESTO

                     11.11.11                       

1.   Kitap, şimdi ve burada, yazarıyla ve okuruyla, sesli ya da sessiz bir performanstır. Kitaperformans çıplak, sabit ve metinsel bir vücuttur. Sabit olanda hareket imkânsızsa, imkânsızı mümkün kılmak için tuhaflaşmak ve saçmalamak gerekir. Tuhaflaşmak ve saçmalamak içinse kayda değer bir zekâ seviyesinin yanısıra üstün bir cesaret ile tuhaf ve saçma olanın farkına varmak, bu ikisinin o değişik gücünü kabul etmek gerekir. Bunları yapabilmek içinse herşeyden önce iyi bir okur olmak gerekir.

2.   Okurluk evrimdir. Yazarlık devrimdir. Bu bağlamda da her bağlamda olduğu gibi evrim devrimin içindedir. Okurluk ve yazarlık özel bağlamında ise evrim arketip bir yolculuktur, devrim ise narsistik bir biçimdir. Bunların ön koşulu benliktir: Tam benlik.

3.   Olmak ya da olmamak bilince endeksli bir durumdur. Bu durumsal alan, kendini kendisi dışında şu şekillerde de harekete geçirir ve olaysal alanlara dönüşür: Anlatmak ya da anlatmamak, okumak ya da okumamak, anlamak ya da anlamamak. Anlamak ya da anlamamaktan kasıt kitaperformansta keyif almak ya da keyif almamaktır. Keyif vermenin komik olmakla sınırlandırılamayacağı gibi keyif almak da gülmek ile sınırlandırılamaz.

4.   Gerçekçi değil doğrucu olmak esastır. Hayâl değil kurmaca kurmak şarttır. Çünkü amaç doğrucu bir kurmaca oluşturmaktır. Bunun ne tuhaflaşmakla ne de saçmalamakla çelişmediği gün gibi ortadadır.

5.   Kahramanlaşan okurun kurmacalama deneyimi, kurmacalaşan okurun kahramanlaşma deneyimine eşit olmanın yanısıra eştir de. Her iki durumda da söz konusu okur kitaperformans yazarının imkânsızı mümkün kılacak olan bilinçiçi okurudur. Bilinçiçi okurun kim olduğunu bilinçiçi okurdan başka kimse bilemez, bilmemelidir.

6.   Kitaperformansta yaratıcılık öksüz bir fenomendir. Ne zaman nasıl ortaya çıkacağı kitaperformansın ne zaman nasıl harekete geçeceğinin ilk ve tek koşuludur.

7.   Aşk, şimdi ve burada, okur ve yazar arasında, fâni değil metinsel bir olgudur. Bu aşk, okuma edimini yazma edimine karıştırır. Bu aşkta boşluklar hayâllerle doldurulur. Bu aşkta olumsuzluklar gizlidir. Bu aşktan sabit anlam (!) çıkarmak imkânsız bir ihtimaldir. Bu aşk birbirinden farklı biçimlerde dışavurulabilir. Bu farklılık yazarı özgünleştirmeli, okuru özgürleştirmelidir.

 

Sonsöz: «Kitaperformans Manifesto» 11.11.11 tarihinde yazıldı ve ilk kez Çiğdem y Mirol KUARTET’in ilk parçası olan Yüzüm Kitap’ta yayımlandı. Bknz. «Kitaperformans Manifesto», Yüzüm Kitap. Ankara: Kanguru Yayınları, Ağustos 2012. 299-300. ISBN: 9786054623112

 

Pre-script: When appropriate I do call “bookperformance” as “authoreader performance” or “readerauthor performance”. There are seven items of my manifesto, because I know that seven is a significant number.

 

 

BOOKPERFORMANCE MANIFESTO

11.11.11

1- The book, here and now, with its author and reader, either uttered or silent, is a performance. Bookperformance is a naked, fixed and textual body. If movement is impossible for a fixed body, to turn the impossible into the possible, it is necessary to attempt the weird and the absurd. In order to successfully attempt the weird and the absurd, you must possess not only a considerable intelligence but also an extraordinary courage for realizing and accepting the significant power of the weird and the absurd. To be able to do all these it is necessary to be a good reader.

2- Readership is an evolution. Authorship is a revolution.  In this specific context, as is true in every  context, evolution takes place within revolution. For readership and authorship, evolution is an archetypical journey whereas revolution is a narcissistic form. The prerequisite of the two is the self: the absolute self.

3- To be or not to be is a statement about consciousness. This situational field, apart from its very self, activates the following forms and turns into their corresponding action-fields: to narrate or not to narrate, to read or not to read, to understand or not to understand. In bookperformance, to understand or not to understand means to enjoy or not to enjoy. Just as giving pleasure cannot be limited to being funny, joy cannot be limited to laughter.

4- To be realistic is a matter of choice, but to be truthful is essential. To imagine is a matter of preference but to fictionalize is an obligation. Because the objective is to create a truthful fiction. This guideline does not at all oppose the attempt at the weird and the absurd.

5- The protagonized reader’s experience of fictionalization not only corresponds to the fictionalized reader’s experience of protagonization, but is even its equivalent. In both cases, the reader is the intra-conscious reader of the bookperformance author, who can turn the impossible into the possible. No one except the intra-conscious reader could (or should) recognize who the intra-conscious reader is.

6- Creativity is an orphaned phenomenon in bookperformance. How and when it occurs determines the first and the only condition of how and when bookperformance is activated.

7- Love, here and now, between the reader and the author, is not a factual but a textual matter. This love mixes the act of reading with the act of writing. In this love, the spaces are filled in with imaginings. In this love, the negations are hidden. It is an impossible possibility to deduce a fixed-meaning (!) from this love. This love may be acted out in various ways. Such diversity will render the author authentic and the reader individualistic.

 

 

Post-script: “Bookperformance Manifest” has been translated by its author Çiğdem y Mirol and first published in its Turkish version in the first piece of Çiğdem y Mirol QUARTET which is entitled as Yüzüm Kitap (Myface Book). Ankara: Kanguru Publishing. August. 2012. 299-300. ISBN:9786054623112

 

Philippe Soupault translated by Marty Hiatt

Marty Hiatt is a Melbourne poet. His chapbook Rook’s Lair on a Lever was published in October 2012. Contact: martyhiatt@mail.com

 

 

 

Say it with music

The golden bracelets and drapes
the locomotives the boats
and the salubrious wind and clouds
I simply abandon them
my heart’s too small
or too big
and my life is short
I don’t know exactly when my death will come
but I age
I descend the day’s steps
with a prayer on my lips
On each floor is it friend waiting for me
or a thief
or me
I no longer know how to see anything other
than a single star or cloud in the sky
according to my sorrow or joy
I no longer know how to lower my head
is it too heavy
Nor do I know if in my hands
I hold soap bubbles or cannon balls
I walk
I age
but my red blood my dear red blood
roams through my veins
driving out memories of the present
but my thirst is too great
I stop again and await
the light
Paradise paradise paradise

 

Say it with music

Les bracelets d’or et les drapeaux
les locomotives les bateaux
et le vent salubre et les nuages
je les abandonne simplement
mon cœur est trop petit
ou trop grand
et ma vie est courte
je ne sais quand viendra ma mort exactement
mais je vieillis
je descends les marches quotidiennes
en laissant une prière s’échapper de mes lèvres
A chaque étage est-ce un ami qui m’attend
est-ce un voleur
est-ce moi
je ne sais plus voir dans le ciel
qu’une seule étoile ou qu’un seul nuage
selon ma tristesse ou ma joie
je ne sais plus baisser la tête
est-elle trop lourde
Dans mes mains je ne sais pas non plus
si je tiens des bulles de savon ou de boulets de canon
je marche
je vieillis
mais mon sang rouge mon cher sang rouge
parcourt mes veines
en chassant devant lui les souvenirs du présent
mais ma soif est trop grande
je m’arrête encore et j’attends
la lumière
Paradis paradis paradis

 

Philippe Soupault (born in 1897) was a French writer and poet, novelist, critic, and political activist. He was active in Dadaism and later founded the Surrealist movement with André Breton.

Lu Ye translated by Ouyang Yu

Ouyang Yu is now based in Shanghai, teaching at SIFT (Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade) as a professor. In 2012, he has published a couple of books, including The Kingsbury Tales: A Complete Collection and Self Translation.

 

 

 

B-mode Ultrasound Report, Gynecology Department

On it is written:
Anteversion of uterus and abnormal corpus uteri: 9.1 x 5.4 x 4.7cm
A prominent tubercle on the back wall that is 1.9 x 1.8cm
Its inner membrane 0.8cm in thickness
The appendix (on the left) is 2.7 x 1.6cm and (on the right) 2.7 x 1.8cm
With a clear and even echo

I was drinking till my belly was close to bursting, my legs weakening
And my lower abdomen turned thin and transparent, like the crepe georgette I was in
To make it easier for the instrument to explore the complex topography inside
The doctors thought they were looking at a kaleidoscope
A woman’s final file, her history as much as her geography

The descriptive language on the report, in an objective tone
Is an assessment of the most vital part of a woman
Like the remarks on a student’s performance at school in the old days
The figures accurate and submissive
Suggesting that one had to offer a monthly betrothal present
If the report were written in a figurative language
It would have to be something like this: its shape is closer to a torpedo
Than an opening magnolia denudata
With a garment of pure cotton and silk linings
Hiding nothing in her heart except the depths of her body, in a corner or a far suburb
So remote it almost resembles the western regions in the body
Connected to the outside and heights by dark channels and narrow lifts
With a door ajar, a dream of crowded kids and the courage to be ageing all the way

In a lyrical language, it would have to be written thus:
Ah, this cradle of mankind
Grown on the body of a failed woman
Stops short of germinating despite its rich maternal instinct
Ah, this church of love
Ruins of love to the nth degree, like the Imperial Summer Palace
This other heart, an organ the most solitary and empty in the body
Ah, instead of being a house, an old garden, it often feel s homeless
And does not believe in gravitation as it has an intuition, soft and moist
A memory that flies

 

《妇科B 超报告单》

 

上面写着——
子宫前位,宫体欠规则,9·1×5·4×4·7cm
后壁有一外突结节1·9×1·8cm,内膜厚0·8cm
附件(左)2·7×1·6cm,( 右)2·7×1·8cm
回声清澈均匀

当时我喝水, 喝到肚子接近爆炸,两腿酸软
让小腹变薄、变透明,像我穿的乔其纱
这样便于仪器勘探到里面复杂的地形
医生们大约以为在看一只万花筒
一个女人最后的档案,是历史, 也是地理

报告单上这些语调客观的叙述性语言
是对一个女人最关健部位的鉴定
像一份学生时代的操行评语
那些数字精确、驯良
暗示每个月都要交出一份聘礼

如果把这份报告转换成描写性语言
就要这样写: 它的形状, 与其说跟一朵待放的玉兰相仿
不如说更接近一颗水雷
它有纯棉的外罩和绸缎的衬里
它心无城府, 潜伏在身体最深处,在一隅或者远郊
偏僻得几乎相当于身体的西域
它以黑暗的隧道、窄小的电梯跟外面和高处相连
它有着虚掩的房门, 儿女成群的梦想以及一路衰老下去的勇气

如果换成抒情性语言呢, 就该这样写了吧:
啊, 这人类的摇篮
生长在一个失败的女人身上
虽有着肥沃的母性, 但每次都到一个胚芽为止
啊, 这爱情的教堂
它是N 次恋爱的废墟,仿佛圆明园
这另一颗心脏,全身最孤独最空旷的器官
啊, 它本是房屋一幢故园一座, 却时常感到无家可归
它不相信地心引力, 它有柔软潮润的直觉
有飞的记忆

 

Perhaps I am Willing

Perhaps I am willing
To be with you every day
Raising ducks.
My heart, for the rest of my life
Is a window pane
Cleaned till it shines.
Early in the morning we go somewhere near
To the simple-minded creek
The sun spreading our skins
With a deep glaze
And the healthy grass reaching over our knees.
I am willing
To listen to you every dusk
Gathering the ducks home with a whist le
When the land becomes quiet
And the sun, brilliant, beautiful.
Because of the lush water grass
Our ducks are over-grown, nearly to the size of geese
Without the red crown
The sign of the geese.
We are so poor at managing them
That these ducks have become like us
Believing only in the poetry of life
Not wanting to go home for the night, and stepping onto a great
wandering journey
Happy or unhappy
Until they move back, from artificial propagation
To wilderness
Laying liberalist eggs, one by one
In the boundless grass.

 

《也许我愿意》

 也许我愿意
每天和你在一起
放鸭子。
我后半生的心
是一块擦拭得锃亮的
窗玻璃。
我们一大早就去了不远处
那条心地单纯的小溪
太阳在皮肤上涂上一层
深色的釉彩
健康的青草漫过双膝。
我愿意
每天黄昏听你
用口哨集合起鸭子回家
那时大地多么沉寂
落日多么辉煌、壮丽。
由于水草丰茂
我们的鸭子长得太大,几乎像鹅
只是头顶上缺少红色王冠
那才是鹅的标志。
我们不擅管理
使得鸭子们全都跟我们一样
信奉生活中的诗意
渐渐夜不归宿,踏上伟大的流浪之路
哪管快乐和失意
就这样,它们从人工养殖过渡还原成了
野鸭子
把自由主义的蛋,一颗一颗地
产在无边的草丛里。

 

 

You Have Fallen Ill

Separated from you by hundreds of kilometers of a rainy land
I am so concerned about your condition
I misread weather report as cardiograph, CT, colour ultrasound or blood
                  pressure figures
I shall fast for you, taking only vegetables with little oil and rice congee
And pray for your recovery

Now that you are ill
Please take a good rest like barn grass after the rain
Flashing your tender bud in the afternoon sun
Ring me about your pain and dizziness smelling of Lysol
For life is a debt that needs to be paid off slowly
Please open the ward window and see the morning glow and the setting sun
                 over the top of the dawn redwood
And the path drifting with the aroma of dinner
Peace and quiet are the best doctors

I have so many things to warn you about but please do remember these:
You have to add a bit of laziness to your virtue
And let the dust gently settle on your desk
Make friends with tea and enemies with liquor or cigarettes
Have walnuts, peanuts, sesame, seaweeds and fish
Take a regular walk along the river
And take medications on time, not afraid of its bitterness

 

《你在病中》

我隔了上千里烟雨迷蒙的国土
惦念着你的病情
竟把天气预报误读成心电图、CT、彩超和血压数
我还要为此斋戒,只吃一点少油的素菜米粥
祈祷你的康复

 如今你在病中
请像一棵雨后的稗草那样好好歇息
在午后阳光下闪烁细细的嫩芽
把来苏水味的疼痛和晕眩打电话告诉我吧
生命原是一笔需要慢慢偿还的债务
请打开病房的窗户, 看看水杉树顶的朝霞和落日
还有那飘着晚饭花香气的小路
安宁和静默是最好的大夫

 我还有一大串叮嘱, 也请求你一一记住:
你要在美德里加进去那么一点儿懒
让书桌上轻轻落着尘土
你要与茶为友,以烟酒为敌
你要常吃核桃花生芝麻, 还有海藻和鱼
你要每天去江边散散步
你必须按时吃药啊, 不能怕苦

 

One

Now, everything has turned from two into one
One cotton quilt, one pillow
One tooth-brush, one face-towel
One chair, and photographs that contain only one person
And there is only one poplar tree outside the window as well
What’s more, I emit one egg in vain as usual every month
All these things are feminine
Shadows matching their shapes, like a widow
Sticking to her chastity, like a nun

Now, I lock my door alone, I walk downstairs alone
I window-shop alone, I walk alone, I go back to my room alone
I read alone, I have a banquet alone, I sleep alone
I live from morning till night
And have to walk to the end of my life alone
The cloth doll, covered in dust, on the bookshelf
Has no spouse, like myself
I am a divorcee and she, an old maid
We suffer from the same condition but have no pity for one another

My telephone remains silent, like a mute
Who can strike my heart’s cord in the stillness of the night?
Even my heartbeat is solitary
Creating an echo in the empty room
I am a compound vowel that cannot find a matching consonant
I am an oblique tone that cannot find a matching level tone
I am a surface that cannot find a match to strike
I am a parabola that cannot find its coordinate system
And I am a dandelion that can find neither the spring nor the wind

I am one, and I am ‘1’
With solitude as my mission
And loneliness as my career

 

《单数》

 如今, 一切由双数变成了单数
棉被一床,枕头一个
牙刷一只,毛巾一条
椅子一把,照片保留单人的
窗外杨树也只有一棵
还有, 每月照例徒劳地排出卵子一个
所有这些事物都是雌的
她们像寡妇一样形影相吊
像尼姑一样固守贞操

如今, 一个人锁门, 一个人下楼
一个人逛商店,一个人散步,一个人回屋
一个人看书, 一个人大摆宴席, 一个人睡去
一个人从早晨过到晚上
还要一个人走向生命的尽头
布娃娃在书架上落满灰尘
跟我一样也没有配偶
我离异了,而她是老姑娘
我们同病却无法相怜

 电话机聋哑人似地不声不响
谁能在夜深人静时拨通我的心弦
我连心跳的每一下都是孤零零的
在空荡荡的房子里引起回音
我是韵母找不到声母
我是仄声找不到平声
我是火柴皮找不到火柴棒
我是抛物线找不到坐标系
我是蒲公英找不到春天找不到风

我是单数,我是“1”
以孤单为使命
以寂寞为事业

 

 The International Flight

Across the city wall of the Chinese language
Through the broken limbs of the Japanese language and over the hedge of
the Korean language
Until I, with a leap into the round window of the English language
Am translated into a sick sentence

Passion covers more than a thousand kilometers an hour
There are the sun-threshing-ground and cloud-villages outside the window
It is a gale, I believe, of thirty-thousand feet that is blowing me away
Chucking the absurd first part of my life onto the earth

The International Date Line resembles a jumping rope
As I jump back from the 12th to the 11th
From today to yesterday: Can mistakes be corrected? Can love return?

 

《国际航班》

跨出汉语的城墙
穿过日语的断臂残垣,翻过韩文的篱笆
最后, 又跳进了英语的圆窗
我被译来译去,成了一个病句

激情每小时上千公里
窗外是太阳的打谷场和白云的村庄
我相信是一场三万英尺的大风把我刮走
将荒唐的前半生扔在了地球上

国际日期变更线像一条跳绳
我从4 月12 日跳回11 日
今天变昨天, 错是否能改,爱是否可以重来

 

Lu Ye, is a Chinese poet born in December 1969. She has published a number of poetry collections, such as feng shenglai jiu meiyou jia (Wind is Born Homeless), xin shi yijia fengche (Heart is a Windmill) and wode zixu zhi zhen wuyou zhi xiang (My Non-existent Home Town). She has also published 5 novels such as xingfu shi you de (There was Happiness) and xiawu dudianzhong (Five in the Afternoon). She has won a number of poetry awards, including the People’s Literature Award in 2011. She now teaches at Jinan University, China.