An excerpt from Beyond Elsewhere (White Pine Press, 2016)
by Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac,
translated from the French by Hélène Cardona
“I know a paradise that is a gateway to the stars,
where one can drink the sun’s blood, where one
staggers naked on the back of constellations. I speak
to you about over there, the horizon at the end of the
shadow: toward clarity.
I hold the keys to another world: a solar dynasty
triumphing over the arbitrary triumphs as well over dust.
Beyond this day-by-day too narrow for our wings
exists a place toward the supreme star; and this is where
I take you: toward clarity.
I’ll take you where the wind-people exile themselves,
far from the despairing herd, away from its inhuman
devils and too human gods.
I speak of the horizon at the end of silence: you will
hear unparalleled psalms, forbidden hymns, songs that
have always burned inside you.
Beyond this day-by-day too narrow for our wings exists
a place revealing the perfect supreme star; and this is where
I take you: to Yourself.”
(Excerpt from Beyond Elsewhere by Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac, forthcoming from White Pine Press in 2016, translated from the French by Hélène Cardona.)
Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac is the author of the acclaimed Plus loin qu’ailleurs (Editions du Cygne, Paris, France). He has been published in four anthologies in France and Dhaka, many literary & philosophical journals in France, England, USA and Asia and contributed to the book Irak, la faute (Éditions du Cerf). a Romanian translation of Plus loin qu’ailleurs was published in 2015 (Dincolo de nicăieri, Junimea Editura), translated by Gabriela Mocanasu and introduced by Basarab Nicolescu, member of the Romanian Academia. An American translation of Plus loin qu’ailleurs, recipient of an Hemingway Grant 2015 by the French Embassy in the US, is forthcoming in may 2016 (Beyond Elsewehere, White Pine Press), translated and introduced by Helene Cardona. Persian and Bengali translations are forthcoming. Arnou-Laujeac graduated from Sciences Po (Institute of Political Studies) and holds a Research Master’s in Human Rights (Fondements des Droits de l’Homme). He studied Western philosophy and Indian classical philosophy with hindu scholars. Visit his website for more information.
Hélène Cardona is a poet, literary translator and actor. She is the author of three bilingual poetry collections: Life in Suspension (Salmon Poetry, 2016); Dreaming My Animal Selves (Salmon Poetry 2013), winner of the USA Best Book Award in Poetry, the Pinnacle Book Award for Best Bilingual Poetry Book, and the 2014 Readers’ Favorite Award in Poetry.
Beyond Elsewhere (White Pine Press, 2016), her translation of Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac, was awarded a Hemingway Grant. She also translated Dorianne Laux: Ce que nous portons (Éditions du Cygne, 2014), and Walt Whitman’s Civil War Writings for the Iowa International Writing Program’s WhitmanWeb.
She holds a Master’s in American Literature from the Sorbonne, taught at Hamilton College and Loyola Marymount University, and received fellowships from the Goethe-Institut and the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía. She is Managing Editor of Fulcrum: An Anthology of Poetry, Co-International Editor of Plume, Essay contributor to The London Magazine, and co-producer of Pablo Neruda: The Poet’s Calling. Publications include Washington Square, World Literature Today, Poetry International, Irish Literary Times, The Warwick Review, TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics, Plume, The Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere.