[translated fiction] In his account of traveling along the Orinoco, Humboldt describes a strange ritual in which the native people go into the depths of a cave to catch birds with pitch-black feathers that they call tayos. As they penetrate the cave, the men bang together enormous river-bottom rocks and shake rattles made of dried […]

Language Matters

[translated fiction] Just a moment please (they all look at me: they’re recent graduates, twenty-four, twenty-seven years old), then you can try out the program and do what you have to do, but before you download it be aware that it isn’t compatible with Macs or the latest version of Windows. So, if you’re using […]

Feast Days

[self-translated poetry] Feast of the Sacrifice and no sacrifice neither wealth nor goats yet each one a sacrifice— It hurts hurts of hunger and thirst hurts of fear and belittlement sacrifices of the invaluable, the self Feast of the Sacrifice and each one is Ismail under the looming hand sacrifice small and weak witnessing the […]

The Day of the Cats and the World of the Mirrors

[translated fiction] Where was he coming from? The question lacked any possible answer. Other than “from home.” For the following reason: a cat never arrives anywhere, he returns. Each time I see him returning from his walk, I tell myself the same thing. That’s the feeling a cat always gives you. Even when he sets […]

Soldiers Are Sleepless Prey & Love is Blue Bruises on the Body

[translated poetry] Soldiers Are Sleepless Prey Do the coarse fingers of soldiers who are fighting wars touch their children’s soft hands? Did they ever know tenderness? Were soldiers who are fighting wars born soft-skinned babies with a refined laughter? Did their mothers bathe them with hot water and laurel soap and smilingly comb their hair? […]

Rain Away

[translated fiction] The compartment door banged open and the conductor informed us that we’d arrive in Montpellier in one hour. I repacked my things, freshened up, and went out to the corridor, waiting to see the city that would be my new home. I don’t really remember why we’d picked Montpellier for me to attend […]

Selected Poems from Combustible Material

[translated poetry] First Afternoons in Lesbos Remember those afternoons in November. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The rain would make the patio a cloister, and the smell of the earth would reach the window from which we leaned. It was then that the house was our refuge, the island where we made our hands mature, our bodies barely debuted. […]

Poetry by Black Bird

[translated poetry] Rhapsody on Stench Don’t stay at cheap hotels—just don’t, he said prostitutes that knock on doors at midnight, just like disposable containers containing disposable sex disposable toilet paper and paper cups, rusty faucets manageresses who apply too much fake perfume even the artificial lighting and white bed sheets all have stench for forty […]

Poetry From Hebrew

[translated poetry] * This is how, oh so quietly, with their eyes closed, babies are dropped into the world. Like grains of rain, in the dark, from the palm of a giant hand into tubes, into a spider’s tent, a cold apple. The world is quiet, in the transparent beehive cells the babies slumber, estranged […]

Excerpt from XXI Century

[translated fiction] Class struggles had been replaced by racial animosity, which was being replaced by an unprecedented form of resentment, primitive, unclassifiable, unstructured, and all-encompassing. People hated people all day, every day. Days of wrath, days of tremendous anger, and every evening he had to convince these embittered adults to buy a contraption they had […]