Alain Lance

Translated by Erika Luckert

Paris-Prague and Back

The matter finds itself in this circumstance with its fat fingers its warts It came in an official tricolor car It crosses the bridges shows its cuffs the matter makes matters and enfolds us in tunnels toward night when the domestic screen is softly lit

Heels rang in the rooms of history Follow the arrows The steel the blood Tribunes perched over the collaged crowd A veteran was polishing the windows It smelled of the flag of glue of death and later on in this calm quarter where the tombs pile high I erred between massacre and literature

Night cloaks the trouble of antennas The transitory stage is emptied The wind wipes the loudspeakers clean The black ticket-taker comes to check the lock


Temps criblé, éditions Obsidiane et Le temps qu’il fait, collection Les Analectes, 2000.

Alain Lance is a French poet and translator from the German. He has published ten books of poetry, earning accolades such as the Tristan Tzara Prize (1996) and the Prix Apollinaire (2001). Lance has published translations of poetry, prose, and plays from German authors Christa Wolf, Volker Braun, and Ingo Schulze, receiving honours such as the DekaBank Prize of Literaturhaus Frankfurt (2006) and the Eugen Helmlé prize (2012).

Erika Luckert is a poet and translator from the French. Born in Edmonton, she completed a BA in English and Creative Writing at the University of Alberta before moving to New York City to pursue her MFA in Poetry at Columbia University. Erika was a nominee for the Canadian National Magazine Award in Poetry, and her work has been published in journals and anthologies both nationally and internationally. @erikaluckert