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Three Poems

September 1, 2017

 

Three Poems by Shen Haobo

Translated from the Chinese by Liang Yujing

 

 

崆峒道士

 

好不容易

爬上山顶

山顶有一道观

名叫玉皇殿

殿门口

坐着一位老道

专门为

敬香的游客敲磬

左手拿着

敲磬的棒槌

右手拿着一只苹果

敲一下磬

啃一口苹果

再敲一下

再啃一口

敲磬的时候

无精打采

啃苹果的时候

眼神发亮

 

 

A Taoist Priest on Mount Kongtong

 

With great effort,

I climbed to the mountaintop.

There was a Taoist temple,

named Palace of the Jade Emperor.

At its front door

sat an old Taoist priest

striking the chime stone

for the pilgrims.

With a mallet in his left hand

for hitting the stone,

he held an apple in his right hand.

He struck the stone,

then gave his apple a bite,

struck again,

then bit again.

When hitting the stone,

he looked listless.

When he bit the apple,

his eyes shone.

 

 

 

木匠

 

裸露着

上身的木匠

正在奋力用刨子

刨一段木头

一朵朵刨花

像浪花般涌起

轻柔,卷曲

散发着木头的清香

他在木头上游泳

伸出双臂

又收回

 

 

Carpenter

 

The carpenter,

stripped to his waist,

is striving to shape a block of wood

with his hand plane.

Shavings

surge up like sprays,

curly and soft,

giving off the scent of wood.

Swimming among wood,

he stretches out his arms

and draws them back.

 

 

 

墙根之雪

 

马路上的雪早已融尽

变成水,渗入地下

加大了地表的裂缝

 

而墙根的雪已经不是雪了

它是雪的癌症

它吃力地扶着墙根,它将

继续黯淡下去,直至消失

 

沿着墙根行走

每走几步,你就会发现这些

令人心颤的细微之物

它们看上去甚至还很新鲜

而它们到底形成于何时?

 

呵,在夜晚

竟会有那么多人匆匆奔向墙根

他们解开自己的裤子,或者

把他们的手指抠向深深的喉咙

他们在排泄和呕吐,加深了雪的肮脏

 

 

 

Snow Under the Wall

 

The snow on the road has melted,

turned into water, gone underground,

enlarged the fissures of the earth’s surface,

 

while the snow under the wall is no longer snow

but snow’s cancer.

Leaning against the wall, it will

become increasingly dimmer and disappear.

 

Walking along the wall,

every few steps, you’ll find this

heart-trembling matter.

It looks even rather fresh,

yet when did it take shape anyway?

 

Oh it’s unbelievable, in the night,

so many people rushed to the wall,

unfastened their pants, or

stuck their fingers deep down their throats.

They excreted and vomited, deepening the dirtiness of snow.

 

 

 

Shen Haobo, born in 1976, is considered one of the most controversial voices among the new generation of Chinese poets for being both wickedly erotic and politically satirical in his poetry. As the leading poet of the Lower Body Group, he is the author of four poetry collections.

 

Liang Yujing grew up in China and is currently a PhD candidate at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He is the Chinese translator of Best New Zealand Poems 2014 (Wai-te-ata Press) and the English translator of Zero Distance: New Poetry from China (Tinfish Press)

 

Image courtesy of Peter Heeling

 

 

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