a drifting year-dany laferriere (trans. david homel)

A country where

a cat has to learn how to


if it wants to survive.

On one side of the city,

the former master.

On the other side,

the former water-carrier.

Lower down,

the new immigrant. (14)

I smile when I realize that no one

knows where I am at this very moment.

I have no friends yet,

no permanent address.

My life is in my hands. (15)

When I don’t know what to do,

I buy a ticket

and spend the day

in the subway

reading faces. (37)

I wrote to my mother at the beginning of


and asked her

to imagine a refrigerator

in which six million people live.

Some of them are in the freezer. (87)

i guess we keep telling the same stories until we don’t. no coincidence in the order in which i’m coming into this catalogue. see you at the libraries next week, mister laferriere.


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