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  SERGEI STEPANSKY’S NARRATIVE

I gamble mylife!
It wasn't worth much!
I have lost it
hopelessly!

Erik Fjordsson

I gamble my life, I barter my life,
I have lost it
anyway...

And I gamble or trade it for the most puerile mirage,
I give it in usufruct, or I give it away...

I gamble it against one or against everybody,
I gamble it against zero or infinity,
I gamble it in a bedroom, in an agora, or in a gambling den,
in a crossroads, in a barricade, in a mutiny;
I definitely gamble it, from beginning to end,
breathwise and deepwise
—on the periphery, in the middle,
and in the underdepth...

I gamble my life, I barter my life,
I have lost it
hopelessly.

And I gamble it, or trade it for the most puerile mirage,
I give it in usufruct, or I give it away...:
or I trade it for a smile and four kisses:
all is the same to me:
whatever is eminent and base, trivial, perfect or bad...

All is the same to me:
there is roorn enough for everything in the minute horrid abyss
where my brain is knotted like a snake.

I trade my life for oid lamps
or for the dice used to gamble the seamless tunic:
—for the most anodyne, the most obvious, the most futile:
for the pendants the simian mulatto girl
hangs on her ears,
as do the Nubian terra-cotta,
the pale brunette, the yellowish oriental woman, or the hyperborean blonde:
I trade my life for a tin ring
or for Sigmund’s sword,
or for the orb Charlemagne held in his hands: to let the bali go rolling. —.

I trade my life for the idiot’s or the saint´s
candid halo;
                      I trade it for the red collar
the fat Capet got around his neck;
or for the solid shower that fell upon the neck
of Charles I;
                      I trade it for a romance,
                      I trade it for a sonnet;
for eleven Angora cats
for a doggerel or a saeta,
for a song;
for an incomplete pack of cards;
for a large knife, for a pipe, for an ancient harp...

or for that doll that cries
like any poet.

I trade my life —on credit— for a factory of sunsets
(with red glows);
                        for a gorila from Borneo;
for two Sumatran panthers;
for the pearls swarthy Cleopatra drank—
or for her little nose that must be in some Musseum
I trade my life for old lamps,
or for Jacob’s ladder or for his pottage of lentils...

or for two minute holes
—on my temples— through which in gray rotten humors flow
all the boredom, all the nuisance, ah the horror I keep in my head...!

I gamble my life, I barter my life
I have lost it
anyway...



León de Greiff
Translated by Jaime Tello


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Voice: León de Greiff Voice: León de Greiff
Voice: Rodrigo Correa Voice: Rodrigo Correa
Voice: Fausto Cabrera Voice: Fausto Cabrera
francés French Translation
alemán German Translation
ruso Russian Translation
italiano Italian Translation
sueco Swedish Translation
español Original version


Biblioteca Virtual Luis Ángel Arango: http://www.lablaa.org/blaavirtual/literatura/antolo/antol38.htm