Fan Jinghua: Variations on "The Love Song of a Fictive Poet"
Variations on “The Love Song of a Fictive Poet”
Ten years. Another stretch of blankness starts and ends
Under the steady progress of the routine.
Happy like water plants, people drift along
From Food First to Tea Soak, where the sun pours down
Hesitant desires of an unappeasable disciplined husband and once stranded lover.
Nothing can be said but spurts of some scum on a deserted beach of romance,
When they take unnecessary sips of the cooling liquid while puffing away
The ever rising tealeaves before the final renewal of water.
Pills of stewed medicine melt in the mouth
That tries to find words encouraging and light-hearted.
One cannot lose what one has vainly pursued but be cut short and into pieces.
Dear, I was, am and will be. In pieces, in cadence.
Like grains of dust that long to merge, driven by some force molecular.
Want wants itself in the end that does not end. I want you, my dear one, because
Want never ends. What I want becomes the want of you, for the rest of a restless life,
A life behind this one, benchmarked by your name that I write into abbreviations.
I, a fictive poet, process words
Of a foreign language
That is official in a country of my own
Where only one green card is issued for the alien.
Visitor’s pass is void upon exit,
No multiple-entry, no renewal, no reapplications.
You are ineligible to my country,
And my words are open to any interpretations, however farfetched.
For it is written in the sutra, sensationism is mine; I will respond.
That woman in another beardless man’s arms will never attain the spiritual height
As postulated by me, but it is universally acknowledged
Loss can be got used to, for time is a better healer to losers.
Those who do not get with easy efforts do not deserve,
The lesser mortals are born to find solace in self-mockery and theorization
About the desire to possess. Or at least some will so try,
To low-key their loss by putting on a low-key air of a guru.
Dearly beloved, indulge yourselves in your chauvinistic king
While thinking of me occasionally as if missing me is incidental.
Bliss of marriage between vanity and pride is entirely a matter of chance
Balanced by desires of fast, and only in nirvana do we break apart.
Yesterday is night when I see your smile soaked in the sunbeam in the doorway,
Your explosive loose curls blocking the too wide bed in the room,
On which I could have worked out the fantasy that I have practiced for a long time.
You and me, salt and sorrow between skins.
Above the valley of layered autumn, hovering blue is clearing and stilling its distilled purity.
When you close the window to me and switch to your king, my eyes
Downcast, my penis hardens like a cornucopia,
And I jerk off my saddest juice, your pictured dove gaze on my monitor.
I lie down, sagged and naked, spooning with my woman,
Her mutters drowned in the tropical storm howling outside.
Two ten-year blank stretches ago, my hand groped on your body
For stones of love that would now make your favorite necklaces, brooches or barrettes.
Love is a shadow, and everyone knows this is a metaphor but ambiguity is not its beauty.
It comes when it comes, but it eludes when pointed at, like a cloud.
So many souls lost on its treacherous commuting trips on a slow night train.
He who stands by the window at dusk courts evil spirits, and by midnight
He could not even find a sandman to flirt.
He would draw a dancing skeleton and give himself up to words to describe the flesh.
So spacious it is in the hole of words that he wishes to leave his body there,
But there are no virgin tears to sluice down his soul into his mouth.
Unclaimed body cannot survive a day, exposed to the sun and consumed by worming grasses.
He will become mushrooms for Little Red Riding Hood who unwittingly gives an unfair start
To the mouth that swallows her. Yes, the evil one will die (who does not?)
But it is always the naïve ones who suffer the most, from loving, and trade off love with tears.
How deep should one drown oneself in the silence of the great majority
To keep oneself guilt-free and safe?
To love thyself without self-discrimination and knowledge, is it enough?
How clammed up should one keep about the never-gotten and never-forgotten
So that one can always persuade oneself to be flamboyant and buoyant
Undulating along the drift of unknowingness like having fun on a waterbed?
He who has a family to support or be supported by, a woman to love or be loved by,
And at least a body to work and to be worked, everyday, may count himself lucky.
No matter how negligible he is, he is a high-maintenance piece of screw,
Indispensable to a very few, and there must be someone among them
Waiting for him, under a leafless tree by the yellow brick road
To The Reinforced Kingdom of Great Harmony and Lesser Suffocations.
Two ten-year latency period of amnesia is almost over,
And memory is now being systematically rewritten by grids of red flags and firework.
They also install innumerable fire extinguishers, as storms of sand and snow are unavoidable.
The wind has always been benign, and each day a new sun rises to announce their progress.
The exiled angry young men are returning to the great cradle one by one,
Where the over-slept cats, attracted by distance, offer pillows and mattress, gratis.
No Atlas to shoulder boulders for Sisyphus, there is no slope to heaven but cliffs
On which Seven Commandments of the Wingless are writ,
With Amendments semi-covered by wolfberry shrubs over the clefts.
To shelter it from erosion, sixty-seven majestic pillars stand at a two-body’s distance
From the stern wall of escarpment, to which snails stick their houses and their boneless bodies
With saliva, like barnacles on a ship in its mossed grandeur.
Midway on their life’s journey through a jungle, parent snails, for fear that when they are dying
Their words would be too lenient, break to their sons and daughters
The truth only the dead will know better
That neighbors are steppingstones, their bodies stoppers to the three representative beasts.
Statistics is truer than truth, and anyone alive and kicking in the muddy bed
Is enjoyed, unless suicided, with the average value of social satisfaction.
The Gini coefficient between births and partners is to be pre-archived as required
For reference index only, and there is no injunction to fruitless procreative activities,
As this is the basic right for the non-oviparous.
Free fuck is at everyone’s own discretion, and never try this at home.
Privacy takes priority over continental law, not limited to the virtual reality.
Behind the dialogue boxes flickering in a dark room, everyone is beautiful and gallant,
With boundless imagination, updated with the most recent version.
A mortal being belonging to the human race that sets up a high morality for everyone to fail
Has every potential for us to marvel with the agape of an open mouth.
With love, anyone can be anyone else, but there is only one origin in human flesh.
To be a cosplayer, go eBaying in the LAN of CN.
Open-mindedness here opens to open-bodiedness.
After all, there are so many great lovers with fleshes tender and staunch
To be dumped without the sensation of hurt.
Ask not what you can give under the sun; ask what you can take from the underground.
Low expectation is the virtue that founds the kingdom of euphoria.
Look! How beautiful is the flight of birds at dusk before they disappear in different trees. Tonight, I want to be your shameless lover. Call me dear from your heart, through whispers or through moans or you may nod like a silkworm into its cocoon or a flower in the autumn wind.
This is the only name I want. This is the seed with which I can hope to replant the memory of my trust. I can then walk without inferiority complex through the valley of mockery, through the destitute valley of spectacular consumption. I can be affluent for being in want, and I may sound native in the alien air.
Oct. 30-31, 2009
The poem starts with variation on Geoffrey Hill's "The Songbook of Sebastian Arrurruz" but goes astray. So the title is changed.
The structure of "is enjoyed" & "is suicided" is a sarcastic neologism invented by contemporary Chinese netizens. They may be understood in such situations: when Gini coefficient is increasing, the government statistics shows that "average" income is increasing, so the poorer becomes in the official report richer(!), and therefore they "are enjoyed" economic progress. The same goes to those who are forced to commit suicide or are found dead as "suicides" (according to police report).
LAN of CN refers to the fact that in China www. is never actually world wide, but the ordinary people can only browse the web with cn address. Therefore, eBay is not eBay in the western users, but only Chinese counterpart like taobao.com. In fact, this website (blogspot)can not be accessed in China, since mid-May, although before that time it could be accessed at times. The bureaucratic logic of practice is like this: When there is a need to shut down some "beyond control" websites, there will be some unofficial notification (without archivable documents of specific instructions), and the net-police in the lower rank will understand what to do. But after the sensitive period of time is over, there will be no one to lift up the curtain, and the net-police dare not or won't bother to turn on the green light. When some foreign complaints may be expected to arise or have already been made (for example, maybe President Obama's visit may be one such occasion), they may show a gesture of "opening." Of course, the ordinary netizens do not need a www., the open-bodiedness of cn is sufficient to "entertain."
"Two ten-year latency period of amnesia" may coincidentally remind one of 1989 Tiananmen Square Incident (the official parlance changes to this now, from the earliest "anti-revolutionary riot), but of course I claim its personal significance.