149 article(s) translated from French

On the Brink of Life

The dead need no more space than a mouth from its lipstick. They skate on the shutters. This slit of daylight is their last look, which spies us exchanging a kiss in a lapse of their memory. They’ve…...

Any More Than a Look

A jersey skirt between the belly and the gray day. The Eiffel Tower cries electricity. On Mirabeau Bridge, a woman strokes the fabric thinking of the passing minutes, the year’s deaths in her journal…...

My Bones

My bones have beautiful remains already cut, it’s true already mended together as they bravely remain. They hold my flesh and skin on. I bring their troop along and bring myself along with it (old…...

Millennia

Mankind, this late in coming, rewinds a thread of the world along the stalls of early produce crates, market palettes smell, wet, like their tree of origin. Nearing the very depths of us transfusion of…...

The Stations of the Cry

This is the tale of a lengthy journey. A step-by-step journey, one inspired by a misfortune that took place in the court of the Hungarian Prince Esterházy, in November 1772, in the city of Esterháza.…...

Seven Irrational Sonnets

Melancholy So I’ll once more find my old horizons, cherished scent of winds and habitations. Fear not if it seems I’m quitting the place. I leave Paris just to love it better. One tends to…...

Melody in A Flat

in the basement the heroine of a Gainsbourg song on the eighth a top executive smug and cocky on the first a sexually repressed family of bourgeois on the seventh Mr. Fix-It getting itchy fingers on the…...

To sleep, perchance to dream

Censorship We know that the earliest readers of Remembrance of Things Past objected to the length of its incipit narration of its hero’s noddings-off and nocturnal (and diurnal) reveries. A gentleman…...

Anagrammatic Sestina

At the end of the furrow, words staple the page, lashing agile lines. None are spared.  The choice is made: it imbricates, recaps white porcelain, tin, polishes carets, better yet, china clay. Rhyming…...

Infinity, Minus Forty Yearly Installments: Noun Complements (1972–2012)

1. In September 1972, funded by a scholarship, I took the Orient Express to Vienna. Sixteen-hour journey, upper bunk. Less than enthusiastic about sharing a room in the student hostel, I looked for a studio…...

The Life You Save May Be Your Own

Canada Dry Spoonerisms 1. A Sicilian caterwauls, except in Apulia. 2. The archaeologist’s wife does love a serious excavation. 3. How adroit you are with your crocuses! 4. The seafarer takes a pruning…...

Cyarwa cya nyarwaya

Cyarwa is the birthplace of my mother. She left when she was two years old and came back when she was forty, accompanied by her older brother. This poem is the story of their return after years of shared…...

Identity

Distance, miles,  Songs of a Land that is not mine  Pain of exile.  Let me tell you who I am,  I am a child of exile.  I am the child of an encounter  Ivory Coast held me…...

From “A Butterfly in the Hills”

Novelist and playwright Koulsy Lamko came to Rwanda in 1998 as part of a project entitled "Writing by Duty of Memory," which brought a dozen African writers to Rwanda and provided each with a commission…...

A Coward’s Repentance

He had been watching me for a while, but I hadn't noticed him.  I was busy chatting with my cousin Astrida on the doorstep of her store in the center of the capital.  In Kigali, to greet…...

Detour

To Nadève At first Eléonore had been amused.  Why had she taken this detour?  A whim, a random impulse, and seemingly not such a bad one.   But she began shaking her head…...

from “Za”

A man selling sweet dumplings comes up wiz his basket full and asks ze internashonal lady if se would be so kind as to buy one. No? Half of one, zen? — Ma’am iss not espensive, have pity on…...

A Relentless War

There is an atmosphere of intense concentration around the solid wood table. General Makhloufi, Commander in Chief of the Royal Gendarmerie, Tangier Province, stands in front of a giant map of the region…...

The Translator

I am a translator. At first, it is a pleasure a bit like being an actor. You have to get used to someone else, listen to him, understand him, immerse yourself in him, except that a novel, rather than a…...

Ghost Writers

None of the great Spanish authors produced their own works at breakneck speed. Sometimes I had to wait months for an interesting book to appear on which I could exercise my talents as a translator. Actually,…...

The Opposing Shore

The room is covered in dead leaves. Two benches are placed just so, conjuring up a bucolic garden scene, in the first days of fall, in the countryside, waiting for the season to roll by and take our memories…...

The Last Six Days of Baghdad

This morning, I decide on another escape route to dodge the police surveillance of the rigid Mukhabarat we can’t seem to shake off. I will jump in the first illegal taxi that comes near the hotel…...

Primal Needs

They arrived together, a pair of butterflies with green and yellow wings, dappled and tremulous. They landed here and there on the hibiscus blooms surrounding the pool, and the youth marveled at their…...

from “At the Borders of Thirst”

Fito looked at his watch. Ten to seven, he’d be on time for his appointment. The jeep’s headlights shiftily lit up the tortured trunks of the neems bordering Route 1. Traffic was fluid and…...

Time Stretches Out and My Words Do, Too

Mid-August. The beach, for the first time since the earthquake. The water is warm, just the way I like it. I keep saying that Haiti is neither a postcard nor a nightmare. This Sunday more than ever. I’m…...