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“Everyone is looking for me” from Polonaise

"Tout le monde me cherche"
by Emmanuel Moses
Translated from French by
Marilyn Hacker
Issue 30 Online Exclusive

Tout le monde me cherche. Ma mère me cherche, la meilleure amie de ma mère me cherche, mon ex-femme me cherche, ma petite amie me cherche, mes enfants me cherchent, mon voisin du sixième me cherche, mon patron me cherche, mon chat aussi me cherche en miaulant à cœur fendre, mon poisson, tiens, même lui me cherche, derrière la paroi ronde de l’aquarium, mes créanciers me cherchent, rien d’étonnant à cela, mes débiteurs également, c’est moins courant, un cousin me cherche, une vieille tante, la belle-mère de ma sœur me cherche, mon neveu me cherche, un certain Lifschitz me cherche, et un ivrogne notoire, Fischgrün. Mais ils ne me trouveront pas. Vous devriez voir mon sourire en écrivant cette dernière phrase. Un sourire pareil, on n’en rencontre pas tous les jours. Ceci est une histoire vraie.

Everyone is looking for me. My mother is looking for me, my mother’s best friend is looking for me, my ex-wife is looking for me, my girlfriend is looking for me, my children are looking for me, my neighbor on the sixth floor is looking for me, my boss is looking for me, my cat is looking for me too, meowing to break your heart, my goldfish, goodness, even he is looking for me from behind the rounded wall of the aquarium, my creditors are looking for me, nothing surprising about that, my debtors too, which happens less often, a cousin is looking for me, my sister’s mother-in-law is looking for me, my nephew is looking for me, a man called Lifschitz is looking for me, and a notorious drunkard, Fishgrün. But they won’t find me. You ought to see my smile as I write that last sentence. You don’t see a smile like that every day. This is a true story.

 

___

 

Moses, Emmanuel. “Everyone is looking for me” from Polonaise. Paris: Flammarion, 2017.

Emmanuel Moses was born in Casablanca in 1959. He spent his childhood in France, lived in Israel for fifteen years, and then returned to Paris. He is the author of fifteen collections of poems, most recently Polonaise (Flammarion, 2017), and Dieu est à l’arrêt du tram (Gallimard, 2017), and of nine novels and prose texts. He is a past recipient of the Prix Max Jacob and a Prix de poésie de l’Académie Française. He is also a translator of contemporary Hebrew fiction and poetry, notably of Yehuda Amichai.
Translator
Marilyn Hacker is the author of thirteen books of poems, including A Stranger’s Mirror (Norton, 2015)  Names (Norton, 2010) ,and Desesperanto (Norton, 2003) ,an essay collection, Unauthorized Voices ( Michigan, 2010), and fourteen collections of translations of French and Francophone poets including  Emmanuel Moses, Marie Etienne, Vénus Khoury-Ghata, Habib Tengour and Rachida Madani. DiaspoRenga,   a collaborative sequence written with  Deema Shehabi, was published in 2014. Her awards include the Lenore Marshall Prize in 1995 for Winter Numbers , two Lambda Literary Awards, the 2009 American PEN award for poetry in translation, the 2010 PEN Voelcker Award and the international Argana Prize for Poetry from the Beit as-Sh’ir/ House of Poetry in Morocco in 2011. She lives in Paris.