“In This Dead End” by Ahmad Shamloo

They come sniffing at your mouth
Lest the words ‘I love you’ lurk within
They come to search your heart
These are strange times, my darling
As for love,
They whip it bloody
All along the city ramparts
We bury Love in the back room of the house
In this gnarled and frozen dead end
They feed the flames
With the kindling of song and poetry
Do not risk a thought
These are strange times we live in, my darling
Whoever pounds on the door at night
Has come to murder light
We bury Light in the back room of the house
And now here the butchers come,
Stationed at every crossroad
They bring cutting boards and bloody cleavers
These are strange times we live in, my darling
They cut corners from smiling lips
Cut songs from the throat
We bury Joy in the back room of the house
The canaries are lain on the coals
Burning with lilies and jasmine
These are strange times we live in, my darling
Iblis triumphant,
Blind drunk at the banquet of our grief
We bury God in the back room of the house

“In This Dead End” by Ahmad Shamloo
Translation of a translation by Yann Rousselot

***

“En cette impasse” – Ahmad Shamloo

On vient sentir ta bouche
Que tu n’aies dit je t’aime
On vient sentir ton coeur
Quelle étrange époque vivons-nous, ma toute gracieuse
Quant à l’amour,
On lui donne le fouet
Le long des remparts sentinelles
L’amour, on l’enfouit au fond d’une arrière-cour
En cette impasse torve, torturée par le froid
Brille l’amour
Par la grâce nourricière des chants et des poèmes
Ne te risque pas à penser, ma toute gracieuse
Quelle étrange époque vivons-nous
Celui qui, nuitamment, martèle à notre porte
Est venu en meurtrier de la lampe
La lumière, on l’enfouit au fond d’une arrière-cour
Et voici que viennent les bouchers
Veillant à tout passage
Ils apportent la planche et les hachoirs en sang
Quelle étrange époque vivons-nous, ma toute gracieuse
Et ils équarrissent le sourire sur les lèvres
Et les chants sur la bouche
La joie, on l’enfouit au fond d’une arrière-cour
Les canaris sont couchés sur la braise,
brûlante de jasmin et de lys
Quelle étrange époque vivons-nous, ma toute gracieuse
Iblis est triomphant,
Ivre, attablé au banquet de nos deuils
Dieu, on l’enfouit au fond d’une arrière-cour.

Traduit pour Libération par Reza Afchar Naderi. Petits Chants de l’exil, 1980.

/

On renifle ta bouche
Pour savoir si tu as dit « je t’aime »
On renifle ton cœur
Drôle de temps, ami-e
Et à côté du garde-fou
On fouette
L’amour
Il faut cacher l’amour dans l’arrière-chambre de la maison
Dans cette impasse tortueuse du froid
Pour alimenter le feu
On brûle des chants et poésies
Ne te risque pas à penser
Drôle de temps, ami-e
Celui qui au crépuscule cogne à la porte
Est venu pour assassiner la lampe
Il faut cacher la lumière dans l’arrière-chambre de la maison
Voici que les bouchers
Se postent aux carrefours
Billots et haches ensanglantés à la main
Drôle de temps, ami-e
Et on mutile le sourire sur les lèvres
Et la chanson dans la gorge
Il faut cacher l’enthousiasme dans l’arrière-chambre de la maison
On fait griller les canaries
Sur un feu de lys et de jasmin
Drôle de temps, ami-e
Le diable ivre de victoire
Fait ripaille à notre banquet de deuil
Il faut cacher Dieu dans l’arrière-chambre de la maison

Traduit par Marie Ladier-Fouladi, à partir de celle de Chahrâchoub Amirchâhi et Alain Lance, Iran Poésie & autres rubriques, Paris, Maspero, 1980.

***

دهانت را می بویند مبادا گفته باشی دوستت دارم

دلت را می پویند مبادا شعله ای در آن نهان باشد

روزگار غریبی است نازنین

و عشق را کنار تیرک راهوند تازیانه می زنند

عشق را در پستوی خانه نهان باید کرد

شوق را در پستوی خانه نهان باید کرد

روزگار غریبی است نازنین

و در این بن بست کج و پیچ سرما

آتش را به سوخت بار سرود و شعر فروزان می دارند

به اندیشیدن خطر مکن

روزگار غریبی است نازنین

آنکه بر در می کوبد شباهنگام

به کشتن چراغ آمده است

نور را در پستوی خانه نهان باید کرد

دهانت را می بویند مبادا گفته باشی دوستت دارم

دلت را می پویند مبادا شعله ای در آن نهان باشد

روزگار غریبی است نازنین

نور را در پستوی خانه نهان باید کرد

عشق را در پستوی خانه نهان باید کرد

آنک قصابانند بر گذرگاهان مستقر با کُنده و ساطوری خون آلود

و تبسم را بر لبها جراحی می کنند

و ترانه را بر دهان

کباب قناری بر آتش سوسن و یاس

شوق را در پستوی خانه نهان باید کرد

ابلیس پیروز مست سور عزای ما را بر سفره نشسته است

خدای را در پستوی خانه نهان باید کرد

خدای را در پستوی خانه نهان باید کرد

                                               احمد شاملو

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Published in Paris Lit Up Magazine, vol. 2

Good tidings: my poem Notes from Across the Lithium Bridge was published in volume 2 of Paris Lit Up Magazine.

Brought to you by Paris Lit Up Press at the affordable rate of 10€, PLU magazine is a collection of contemporary work by some seriously good writers, poets, artists and photographers, all wrapped up in a beautiful coffee table edition. Featuring John Hegley, David Leo Sirois, Alex Manthei, Pansy-Maurer Alvarez, Samuel-Lopez Barrantes, and many more.

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The magazine was put together by the PLU team, who it is fair to say represent one of the pillars of the Anglo writing community in Paris today. They do more than most realize: curate a calender of events, host workshops and open-mic nights, publish a magazine and soon collections of poetry, and generally militate for budding writers with the selfless energy that only true fanatics can display. (It takes one to know one.) It’s been a pleasure and an honour to know them, work with them, and now to be published with them. Check out their website where you can pick up copies of the magazine, and as always to keep up with what’s happening in the Paris writing scene.

Published in Gard Literary Journal, in Turkish

Turkish literary magazine Gard Siir (which I think means Gard Poetry) is publishing a translation of Dawn of the Algorithm in their Winter 2013 print issue. Emre Cengiz, poet, translator and editor of Gardsiir, got in touch with me after reading the poem on the Poet & Geek website. He then took it upon himself to translate the work. It’s a first for me, being translated for publication. As a translator I know what it means to take on this kind of challenge. You really must delve into the work, cram yourself into the tiniest corners of its syntactic, semantic structure and try to capture the flavour of every word. For this I am honoured, and grateful, and really excited! If you are in Turkey, check out the website to see where you can pick up a copy.

For entertainment purposes, here is a Google back-translation of my bio in Turkish: Technical translator and creative writer. Is living in Paris. English and French works of The New York, Thought Catalog, the Bastille Magazine, the Belleville Park Pages and Two Words For as has appeared in print and electronic journals. Among the issues of interest to SETI, the universe, biology, fantasy literature, and linguistic anthropology is located.

Ah, Google translation algorithms… You kill me.

Published on Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog(ue) is an interesting place; good comedy, an intimate, minimalist style, has a sort of gonzo 2.0 thing going on. I’ve always found the editors consistent and the writing often quite good, so it’s an honour to be featured alongside kickass writers like Chelsea Fagan (forthcoming novel, keep your eyes skinned), Christopher Hudspeth, Ryan O’Connel, and two poets I highly recommend, Brandon Scott Gorrell and Tao Lin.

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Decoding the philosophical subtext in financial translation segments

Sometimes, at work, I find meaning in the strangest places. Then again, maybe I put it there myself. In translation, especially when you use software that chops up text into bite-size nuggets in disorder, “segments” are interesting because they are isolated, taken out of context and, honestly, could mean anything. If you play around with them long enough, you begin to see the numerous paths they can take you.

I should probably be working harder.

*****

Total reste a réaliser
Total remaining to do

Reste au-dela
Remaining beyond

Reste a dépenser
Remaining to spend

Ecart plan à fin de
Plan deviation at end

Itération version nulle
Version iteration is null

Au-dela dernière marge connue
Beyond last known margin

Répartition dernière activité
Last activity breakdown

Plan au-dela
Plan beyond

A super short story about arachnids

The prompt on Peirene Press’s short story contest post on FB was to write a short story in 3 sentences, under 30 words, inspired by the following image.

This was me: “I a Redback, she a Wolf – there are laws, but for love. She’ll bite off my head, liquefy me; no matter. I will be inside her, one way or another.”

This entry won: “His patterning thrilled her. He rounded on her though ambition tugged him towards a different fate. She, entangled in the silk he spun, wound it around her like a shroud.”

Ok, that was pretty good.