Monday, May 4, 2009

Fan Jinghua: Two Stars, a Broken Bowl and a Dead Woman

 Two Stars, a Broken Bowl and a Dead Woman
   两颗星 一只破碗 一个女人
                   Fan Jinghua
    Two Stars
Two lonely glitters gazing at each other in the eastern sky
Have had a long night, and now they are
Evaporating, fading out.
I am on this overpass, eyes fixed at them,
Like the butterfly palm souring up from below.
The dazzling flow coming up, the red one of cars and trucks going away.
I am a safety island, in the air but not afloat,
Human figures may flow past me.

This poem comes,
Without any harbinger, without an orbit to follow.
Relativity is all in causalities.
I am a dot, and any dot can relate to me
And claim a line, for any two dots form a line;
We can be any stars….

Early morning, I am standing on an overpass (a point of departure),
Gazing at two very bright stars. I am a body without spirit,
Not knowing the names of the stars.
I think of you, thinking you are perhaps still in a dream, lying or coiling up,
Or it is overcast outside or there is only a borderless haze.

Now as you read this, you see what I see and feel what I feel,
You and I become paired as mutually strange mates,
Damon and Pythias, Two faces of Janus, Calypso and Odysseus,
Galatea and Pygmalion, Dorian Gray and the portrait, or Hyde and Jekyll,
But neither of us knows the other’s face.
There are things we know that can only exist in the unknown space.

Two passengers boarding different boats from the same dock,
Shoulders rub, and they pass,
Turning back, casting a glimpse of deja vu upon the squirming heads.
Someone picks that up,
No words, no nodding recognition.
If there have happenings between us,
They’ve come to pass and gone.

   两颗星
天边的那两滴,孤独的闪光体,
彼此注视,经过了长长的一夜,
将要蒸发、暗淡。
我,独立在天桥上,如一株黄蝶椰,
车流在我下面,旋还,红的去、炫目的来。
我,是一只安全岛,悬空但不漂浮,
允许人流穿越。

这首诗已经开始,
没有预示也不循什么轨迹;
相对就是一切因果。
只要我在一个点,任何点
都可以和我两两相连,成对,像两颗星……。

清晨,我站在人行桥上(我又回到开始),
望着两颗很明亮的晨星,出神,
不确定它们的名字。
我想,你可能还在梦中,或者
你那儿刚好多云,一片含混。

此刻,你看我所看、感我所感,
你与我也只能是隐秘的灵魂知己,
管仲与鲍叔牙,子期与伯牙,
只是我们时空交错,说不出对方的五官。
我们都知道,有些人、有些事,只存在于未知。

码头上两个旅客,擦肩而过,
之后,转身,向攒动的人头投下一瞥,不知道谁
感到了似曾相识,
没有言语、没有点头致意。
所有可能分享或者共享过的故事,
都已发生,都没有讲出。

  A Porcelain Bowl with Blue Motifs
We had a blue porcelain bowl, and I was too young
To ask how old it was and how long it had been with us.
Its lightning-like crack was cemented by ash-colored glaze,
Riveted with six brass thumbtacks, their bold yellowness
Adding metal richness to the blue-and-white.
Among all the chinaware, only this broken bowl
Had a stately high-class quality to serve at the New Year Eve dinner
The roasted pork cubes with bamboo shoots
Around which we six siblings stared like little wolves.
The local parlance was that we were a shoal, not a pack.

I was time and again chastened for rapping bowls with chopsticks,
Because that was an act of railing at the heavens.
That the heavens are made of bowls is crystal clear in the harvest season,
When the sky is full of shards of porcelain, and we call it “tile blue.”
Never has anyone said that a star is the life breath of a soul on earth,
But I was told everyone will go there to claim his or her unbreakable bowl.

   一只青花瓷碗
我家有一只蓝花碗,那时,我太小,
还不懂得问那碗已有多少年历史。
一条闪电状的裂缝将碗分成不对称的两瓣,
六颗铜铆钉夹住那沙白的釉泥,
那鼓鼓的金亮补丁给白底蓝花平添一种富贵。

我家所有的碗盆中,惟有这只破碗
具有一种高雅和庄重,可以用来盛
过年时红烧的竹笋五花肉块。
我们六个孩子围着它,像一群小狼,
但我们的方言说,这一摊小鬏。

我从小就被教育,不可以用筷子敲碗,
敲碗就是骂天,天是无数反扣的碗;
这在天高气爽的秋收季节最为明显,
满天的瓷片,我们说瓦蓝瓦蓝的天。
从没有人说一颗星就是一个灵魂,但
每个人都会去天上领一口永远不破的碗。

   A Woman
All the roads I had walked on were white narrow lanes
Between brown soil shoulders, where wild flowers bloomed day after day.
Footprints appeared among the flowers and dung,
And distinct for several days;
Flowers might be eaten but never be pinched off.

At nine, I fell for a big girl in the other end of the village,
When people began forgetting me as “a snotty dragon”
And when she was taken away, tears in her eyes, by a group
Of happy strangers, I hid myself from sweet-treated kids, crying
Behind a stack of cornstalks, the last time my snivel running across my mouth.

Three years later, I learned that her tears at leaving home were expected
As part of the ritual, to show her grief at departing from parental love;
And that year she was married off again, after one-year mourning.
For the second time, she did not shed a tear, as required, too, by culture,
And I did not either, not even upon the news of her ugly suicide
When the year drew toward the end.

   一个女人
我童年走的路都是黏土小路,
路边随时能看到不同的野花和牛粪。
脚印在路沿上可以保持多日,
花可能被牲口吃掉,但不会被人掐走。

九岁,才没有人称我是“拖鼻龙”,
喜欢的一个小姐姐在一个午后哭泣着
被人接走;我,避开所有抢喜糖的孩子,
躲在草垛后,最后一次鼻涕拖过黄河。

三年后,我懂得了她那样的流泪
是一个女儿出嫁时应有的表达,
也是那一年,她守寡满了一年,改嫁,
这一次她没有一滴泪,因为那也是理应如此。
我,也没有,甚至在年底听到她吊死的消息。

  Imagination Becomes Cheating
Between a broken porcelain bowl and a long-ended life,
There is not much relationship.
I am between them, surviving, to fill the immense emptiness
With drops of memory, like two stars trying to anchor the heavens.
I, an incidental star-gazer, think of you, and of the one
Who is reading this poem, out of destabilized order of time and space.

I can convince myself of the truth of imagination,
And then that was when her neck was cracking broken
That our bowl was broken to pieces beyond repair.
Is this fit for a poem? This mysterious thrill?
Possibility may not be discarded as a willful deception.

The truth is I have no further memory of the bowl,
When it was broken again, it was beyond mending,
Or no mending for the mended at all.
I remember a proverb that bowls grow fewer
As a family prospers, and we grow to hope
That a new page is open at every New Year dinner.

   想象成欺
一只破瓷碗,和一个早已结束的一生,
物与人之间并无关系,只是我从它们之间
活到了现在,用点滴记忆填充那无限的空白,
犹如两个星星撑起整个天空,而
我看着星星,想着你,此刻你读着这些
不合章法的字,时空也失去方向和秩序。

我可以想象得令我自己也相信,我也听到了
她吊断脖子时,那只碗再次破碎的声音。
这更符合写作的要求吗?这甚至
有点神秘的惊悚,而可能性并非欺骗

可事实是,我一点也不记得它到底怎么了,
或许碎得无能为力,或者破了两次的碗不该再补。
俗语说一家人的碗应该越吃越少,一年一年
吃得更好,我们也越来越希望万象更新。
          April 29-May 3, 2009
          2009年4月29日—5月3日

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