Isabella Baladine Howald studied philosophy and now directs the Philosophical and Literary Encounters of the Librairie Klener in Strasbourg, France. From 1980-1982 she edited the literary journal ANIMA (Jacques Bremond publishers). She regularly writes reviews for Poezibao.
Eléna Rivera is a poet and translator who was born in Mexico City and spent her formative years in Paris. She now lives and works in New York, NY. She is a 2010 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Translation. She won the 2010 Robert Fagles Prize for her translation of Bernard Noel's The Rest of the Voyage (Graywolf Press). Her poetry collections include Epic Series, Shearsman Books, 2020, The Perforated Map, Shearsman Books, 2011, and Unknowne Land, Kelsey Street Press, 2000.
Phantomb by Isabella Baladine Howald & Elena Rivera (Translator)
“hantome ” (here translated as “phantomb”) is a word the author made up out of two words “hante” meaning “haunted and “fantome” meaning “phantom”. In French, “fantome” carries an additional meaning; it can mean a card that is left on a library shelf to show that a book has been borrowed (see the Larousse definition that Howald uses as an epigraph.) Wanting to give some of the flavor of these various meanings in English, I combined the word “phantom” and the word “tomb” to make the word “phantomb”.
The elegy is the arrival and nothing but. Phantomb is the book for the children, on their behalf--of death.
Crack. Permanent displacement.
Not replaced, look at the space between the inserted cardboard and the metal or wood edges, hovering, not replaced, not replaced the space, not replaced the heart of him, and of him, inaudible beats hovering.