You are currently viewing the moon glances away
Jean François de Troy, The Abduction of Europa, 1716.

Language: Romanian
Poet: Ion Monoran
Translator: Marius Surleac & Marc Vincenz
Region: Romania

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the moon glances away

Two poems by Ion Monoran, translated from Romanian by Marius Surleac and Marc Vincenz

Ion Monoran (1953 – 1993), was a Romanian poet and publisher. None of his books were published during his lifetime. Monoran was an icon of Timişoara (Romania) and a cultural hero after the revolution. In December 2019, Timişoara, hosted the first session of the “Ion Monoran” International Poetry Festival.

Marius Surleac is a Romanian scientist, photographer, poet and translator. He has published two books of poetry and translations. His poems and translations have been published worldwide in magazines such as Pif MagazineMadHat LitThe Ilanot ReviewLiterary OrphansAsymptoteSolsticeThe Los Angeles Review, and The Riveter. 

Marc Vincenz is a poet, fiction writer, translator, editor and artist. He has published over 30 books of poetry, fiction and translation. He is publisher and editor of MadHat Press and publisher of New American Writing. His forthcoming book is The Pearl Diver of Irunmani (White Pine Press, 2023). 

O felie de iubire

Icre negre erau scrisorile mamei
în fiecare pachet,
simple şi albe fleacuri
dar atât de binevoitoare
acolo în plin câmp
lipit de peretele gropii
cu hârleţul şi lopata
de culoarea noroiului uscat
în singurătatea apăsătoare
a întrecerii cu tine însuți
râcâind scheletul de bronz al gropii
împotriva frigului şi epuizării
murdărind zăpada
atent să arunci cât mai departe
feliile de pământ negru
în aşteptarea zilei următoare.

A Strip of Love

Mother’s letters were pure caviar.
In each package,
white and simple trifles—
so benevolent
out in the open,
lashed to the wall of the fire pit
with spade and shovel
the color of dried mud—
in that jostling loneliness
racing within yourself,
wrenching out the bronze frame of the fire pit
to combat the cold and fatigue,
staining the snow,
to carefully peel back (as far as possible)
strips of black soil
while awaiting another day.

***

Eu sunt cel care vânează zburători
pe coline.

Pentru asta
trec râul pe un cal vânjos.

Cucul

are întotdeauna
ceva de împărţit cu mine

fântâna
proaspăt văruită
moţăie la marginea drumului.

Eu sunt
cel care striga cu sânge în izvor.

De dragul tău
îmi tremură genunchii.

Urechile

mi se caţără
pe copacul din faţă.

între noi
străluceşte pasărea Phoenix.

Noaptea
lasă trandafirul deschis.

Ca păpădia e cerul

O femeie
arată luna cu degetul.

Luna se uită în altă parte.

***

I am the one who hunts flying creatures
on the hills.

To do this
I ford the river on a stocky horse.

The cuckoo

always
has a bone to pick with me,

the freshly whitewashed
fountain
takes a roadside nap.

I am
he who cries a stream of blood.

For your sake
my knees shake.

My ears

climb up
the tree ahead.

The Phoenix glimmers
between us.

The night
opens the rose bud.

The sky is a dandelion.

A woman
fingers the moon.

The moon glances away.

“A Strip of Love” tr. from Ion Monoran’s Like a Vagrant in a Red Sweater (1996)
“I am the one who hunts…” tr. from Ion Monoran’s I Myself (2009)