man who has
stopped to contemplate the moon one beautiful night
suddenly, without taking his eyes off the luminous disk, starts shouting:
- The moon reeks! The moon reeks!
He repeats this several times and finally stops looking at the moon to
continue on his way. When he is long gone, the moon looks down at the spot
where the man was watching it and with great disdain spits on a dead fish
that had been left behind there.
(translated by Steven J. Stewart)
Carlos Edmundo de Ory is one of the major figures of twentieth-century
Spanish literature. Primarily known as a poet, he was fundamental in
modernizing post-Civil-War Spanish poetry by creating work that engaged the
major twentieth-century European avant-gardes, such as Futurism, Dadaism, and
Surrealism. Though Ory's work has been widely translated and read in
Europe, it has never been introduced to English-speaking readers. (Allen Ginsburg helped to
translate a volume of his poetry, but the book never made it into circulation.) He currently
lives with his wife, artist Laura Lachéroy, in the village of Thézy-Glimont in France.
Steven J. Stewart's poems and translations have appeared in numerous journals,
including: jubilat, Hanging Loose, Quarter After Eight, Crazyhorse, Xconnect, Apalachee Review, spinning jenny, Runes
Review, and Tampa Review. His Selected Poems of Rafael Pérez Estrada is
forthcoming from Hanging Loose Press in Fall of 2003. His translations of three shorts shorts by Mr. Estrada appeared
in Issue #8 of The Cafe Irreal.
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story copyright by author 2003 all rights reserved
translation copyright 2003 by Steven J. Stewart