Four Poems (詩四首) by Liu Waitong 廖偉棠, translated by Lucas Klein

☂☂☂☂☂
Four Poems (詩四首)
by Liu Waitong 廖偉棠, translated by Lucas Klein

TWO MILLION AND ONE

After white snow is black snow
after two million is two million and one.
The numbers that come after will always add onto him
tattoos coming after will always seep blood
you cannot remove his raincoat.

After yellow is a golden torrent
to replace the mud of shopping malls and the central government complex.
You cannot pluck his star rays
one after two million is always just one
pens pierce the armor of the arrogant.

But he flies so that he can oversee this night
and the darkness rising beside us like walls
and he crawls, to pick up the street
to pick up all of Hong Kong’s trampled dust
two million and one.

What’s sold out are always white flowers.
Two million and one, every bend in this road
has him waving as if he’s slicing the air
every curve and every bend
until the guerillas come and take him away.

6 June 2019

二百萬零一

白雪之後是黑雪
二百萬之後是二百萬零一。
以後的數字永遠要加上他一個
以後的刺青永遠滲血
脫不去他的雨衣。

黃色之後是金色洪流
取代商場與政總的泥污。
拔不掉他的星芒
一之後的二百萬永遠是一
筆尖穿刺傲慢者的裝甲。

但他騰空是為了俯瞰今晚
壁立我們身側的無數黑暗
他匍匐,是為了撿起街道本身
撿起香港被踐踏的微塵
二百萬零一。

售罄的永遠是白花。
二百萬零一,這條路上每一彎折
都有他揮手如將空氣劃破
每一彎折再一彎折
直到游擊隊帶走了他。

2019.6.16.

REBORN

In 1980, John Lennon died
eight years later he was reborn in Prague
thirty years later he was reborn in Hong Kong.

The singers do not make a sound
they just pile up silence into a pipe organ.
The writer does not write
he just rolls ink into a ball.
The ones with post-its do not post them
they just call the spirit of the trees to come back.

Build it at the crossroads.
Spread it open on the scar of the city.
Produce a wide, rippling sea.
Live once more.

The ones with bayonets do not stab them
but furiously carve our shouts
into arrowheads and an array of birds.

In 2017, Liu Xiaobo died
one day he will be reborn
as long as there is still sea on the earth, and levees to strike against.

13 July 2019

復活

1980年,約翰連儂死了
8年後在布拉格復活
30多年後在香港復活。

唱歌的人,沒有發出聲音
只是把沈默壘成管風琴。
寫字的人,沒有寫下字
只是把墨擰成團。
貼紙的人,沒有貼上紙
只是把樹的靈魂喚回來。

築在十字街頭。
在城市疤痕上攤開。
滋生一個細浪淼淼的海。
再活一次。

持刀的人,沒有伸刀向前
他們用力把我們的喊聲
斫成箭頭、鳥的列陣。

2017年,劉曉波死了
有一天他也會復活
只要地球上還有海,還有可以拍擊的堤。

2019.7.13.

WORDS SPOKEN INTO THE WIND

Cardboard says:
No, I won’t turn them in
They use me for a shield
and we are cauterised together in the teargas

The umbrella says:
No, I won’t turn them in
I am their boat, their fins
drifting with them through the torrent, five years like a flash flood

The post-it notes say:
No, I won’t turn them in
We smack the hard, high wall with our rainbow
and will make the ripples that soothe their bare feet

The iron horse says:
No, I won’t turn them in
They make me gallop, make my
hooves shoot with the same sparks as their eyes

The people say:
No, we will not turn them in
Cotton tree flowers write the names of the crowd on silent streets
There are drops of mine as well in the blood stains everywhere

1 August 2019

逆風說的話

紙皮說:
不會,我不會把他們交出
他們以我為盾
和我一起領受催淚彈的燒烙

雨傘說:
不會,我不會把他們交出
我是他們的船,他們的翼
和他們潛行激流,五年如驟雨一剎

便箋紙說:
不會,我不會把他們交出
我們一起用虹彩拍擊高牆
我們要做撫慰他們裸足的細浪

鐵馬說:
不會,我不會把他們交出
他們讓我馳騁,讓我
四蹄迸出和他們雙眼一樣的火花

人民最後說:
不會,我不會把他們交出
木棉花在喑啞的街道寫眾人的名字
血跡遍地也有我的一滴

2019.8.1.

THE LONGEST SUMMER

a generation has been changed
two months of heat and light
accumulating in deep eye sockets
“blood that’s too red turns black”
but whose blood, in the ring-shaped mountain
being pounded into a moon like a copper drum?

supported by our bones
we walk out of our own Egypt
carrying memories of years of famine and cattle so hungry they bite
“so beautiful, just like hell”
that’s the praise I heard some kid give
in the last twilight of freedom we saw

sand seeps into the lines on my palm
and inlays itself in your soles’ lacerations
but it doesn’t stain our knees or our foreheads
“you’re here to look at the snow, aren’t you?”
yes, mama, I am your unborn child
come here to dip my brush in snow and write the strokes of my city

a generation has overtaken drunk summer with its self-determination
its ending cannot be rushed
the bandaged blueberry has not been tasted
“is that the Mohist in the sun?”
yes, if you stare into it long enough you will see me
we harvest each other because we don’t want the knives of autumn

13 August 2019

最漫長的夏天

一代人被改變了
兩個月的熱與光
積賺在深深的眼窩裡
「血太紅了會變黑」
是誰的血,在環形山裡
敲打成一片銅鼓般的月?

柱著自己的骨頭
我們走出自己的埃及
攜帶著荒年與噬人餓牛的記憶
「好美啊,像地獄一樣」
我聽見那少年如此讚美
我們看見最後自由的暮色

砂子滲進了我的掌紋
嵌進你腳底的撕裂
但不會沾染我們的膝蓋與前額
「你來看雪,是麼?」
是的,媽媽,我是你尚未出生的孩子
我來到這裏,為了蘸雪寫我城的筆畫

一代人自決了盛夏的酩酊
不可以貿然結束
那裹進繃帶裡的藍漿果未品嚐
「你可是陽光中的墨者?」
是的,你朝烈日凝望久了就會看到我
我們收割對方因為不想要秋天代刀

2019.8.13.

注:詩中四句引文分別出於
1、網友給我的留言
2、從機場走出東涌的一名示威者的感嘆
3、西西《手卷•雪髮》
4、謝雪浩《電車過革命廣場口占一首》

(Photograph © Oliver Farry.)

Liu Waitong 廖偉棠 (poet) is a poet, writer and photographer. He has been awarded several literary prizes in Hong Kong and Taiwan, including the China Times Literary Award, the United Daily News Award, and the Hong Kong Arts Development Award for Best Artist (Literature). He often receives invitations to participate in local and international literary events, including Poetry International Rotterdam in 2013 and Singapore Writers Festival in 2016. Since his debut in 1995, Waitong has published 13 collections of poetry, including Cherry and Vajra, The Cup of Spring, and Wandering Hong Kong with Spirits. He is also a photographer with several works, such as In Search of Tsangyang Gyatso, Lonely China, Paris: Photos de scène sans titre, and The Darkening Planet.

Lucas Klein (translator) is a father, writer, and translator. His scholarship and criticism have appeared in the monograph The Organization of Distance: Poetry, Translation, Chineseness (Brill, 2018), as well as in Comparative Literature Studies, LARB, Jacket, CLEAR, PMLA, among other places. His translation Notes on the Mosquito: Selected Poems of Xi Chuan (New Directions, 2012) won the 2013 Lucien Stryk Prize; other publications include his translations of the poetry of Mang Ke, October Dedications (Zephyr and Chinese University Press, 2018), and contributions to Li Shangyin (New York Review Books, 2018). His translations of the poetry of Duo Duo, forthcoming from Yale University Press, won a PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant, and he co-edited Chinese Poetry and Translation: Rights and Wrongs (2019) with Maghiel van Crevel, downloadable for free from Amsterdam University Press. He is an Associate Professor in the School of Chinese at the University of Hong Kong. (Photograph of Lucas by Zhai Yongming.)

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