Fiona Sze-Lorrain

Fiona Sze-Lorrain (www.fionasze.com) is the author of a book of poetry, Water the Moon (Marick Press, 2010). Also a guzheng concertist, she writes and translates in English, French and Chinese. Currently, she is working on a French critical monograph on Gao Xingjian, as well as translations with Ye Chun. Her CD, In One Take will be released in Europe in the spring of 2010. Co-creator of Vif éditions, she also works as one of the editors at Cerise Press. She lives in Paris, France.

What is (or has been) your favorite editing project and why?

Silhouette/Shadow: The Cinematic Art of Gao Xingjian
Contours, Paris (2007)

(Available from AbeBooks.)

Working with Gao Xingjian and my husband on making a book of images interwined with lyrical writings and poetry was an intense yet enriching period. We listened deeply to one another, and made time to address every minute detail that would make a decisive different in making the book a lasting object of life and labor. Other contributors (like Gao's film collaborators and translators) who helped make the book possible — despite geographical distance — are humble, efficient yet uncompromising when it comes to making ethical choices of aesthetics. Because this book was a predominantly visual project, text was a challenge and I learnt to confront without fear the various delicate relationships/dialectics between word, image and thought.

Another favorite editing project is Cerise Press, an international journal of literature, arts and culture that I co-create with two very dynamic, rigorous and creative women, Sally Molini and Karen Rigby. We work and communicate daily, build strong ties of mutual trust while handling different queries and submissions from all over the world. Cerise Press turns out to be more than a journal; it is a platform, a window and a friendship that grows like a tree.

Along Ludlow Street

Read to me your favorite Italian ode
about Cupid’s fat fingers raking a silk dress,
as we stroll a Peking dog along Ludlow Street.

Clusters of white peonies in a local park,
a newspaper booth is soaked in the dark.
Read to me your favorite Italian ode.

At this hour, beggars rest in the square.
White peonies droop in the local park.
We walk a Peking dog along Ludlow Street.

At this hour, no one sees the oval plaque
below the fat statue near the local park,
where you once read a favorite Italian ode.

Tell me what clusters close to your heart —
no interruption, no bills and dinner plans,
we’re alone with a Peking dog at Ludlow Street.

Although I’ve put on such a flamboyant dress,
I’ll take care of your silence as Zen retreat.
Read me again your favorite Italian ode,
as our Peking dog skitters down Ludlow Street.

(first appeared in Water the Moon (Marick Press, 2010)

Seventh Visible Poem
by Paul Éluard (1895-1952)

An immense torrent unties itself unceasingly
Its flakes strew over the riverbanks

An immense torrent hungry for warmth
And for snow in black silence

An immense marble torrent in motion
Where the sky of a storm drenched itself

An immense torrent like a ruin en route
Towards an eternal moonlight

An immense torrent chewed and rechewed
Like the clock of boredom.

(Translated from the French by Fiona Sze-Lorrain and Tony Brinkley)

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