An Elegy for A Living Being
As a gesture of homage to you, I take out a digital Bach and make it
Lie in a sound machine. The organ blows its pipes loudly for your passing,
As if a glowing tree takes two 14-minite sessions to bud and defoliate.
On a certain day in the certain month in the certain year, you stand at one end
Of a long line of poplars, and time stutters for once and disperses some spittle;
One droplet falls on the lineal narration of history and dilutes out a dot.
You calculate in your mind what function will be able to
Express the trajectory of change in the spacing of those trees in relation with
The relation between the crowd and you. This is not that complicated, but
You have to be squatted down and draw the curves on the earth with your little knife.
At the end of the row, there is also your deity over a bodiless tree that glisters
Like an optical Christmas tree, and all the hanging faces on gold-layered baubles
Have huge mouths, menacing noses and dwindling eyes.
Florescent veins grow into unignitable low fever in the untouchable body.
You have been led away into the crowd by a big powerful hand, and like a child too
You’ve handed in your little knife to be used as evidence against you when you grow up.
But of course, you usually grow into anonymity,
Forgetting your bright knife or being forgotten all together.
Jan. 7, 2010
Ordinary Chinese people before the power that be have in recent years invented many phrases to express their “unorthodox” ideas, among which is the passive voice of many non-passive verbs. E.g. be committed suicide (an example is that an assumed suspect commits suicide after opening his handcuffs with a one-dollar note in the closely watched cctv cell with shoelaces during his inmates are taking a nap), be obtained a job (graduates can only have their scrolls when they signed a memo of job offer with some company, for the university authority needs the employment rate of their graduates). Hence, I use the expression: have to be squatted down.
Two 14-minute sessions: a famous dissident, who taught me a course of Introduction to Literature for a semester when I was in university, was sentenced for 11 years’ imprisonment for “inciting subversion of state power” on Christmas 2009. On the court, the defender was given 14 minutes because the prosecutor used 14 minutes, and they said this was to show that they had equal rights.