Shuijing Zhulian (1981-). Translated by Simon Patton.
Where the Disappearing Stops What I’ve Done These Past Few Days New Lover Secrets of the Bedroom Intimacy Love at First Sight Waitress X In Memory of Some Trees Envy A Certain Tall Wall
Where the Disappearing Stops
the first thing to disappear was a name followed by endless road-signs the hand I hold out the window is urged by an opposite wind to stay if it’s not Beijing that becomes a ruin then it has to be me in the joy of my one-woman disappearance, as far as everyone in my past is concerned I am nearly as secret as decease. through identical entrances we return once again to Beijing Beijing’s clock time Beijing’s air temperature Beijing’s anxieties none of these stop simply because of my momentary dying. in the time that I’ve been out of town I have not been mourned have not be called on have not been asked after the sun we use now is the same one we used in the past once more Beijing has brought me unforeseen lightness and heartache
What I’ve Done These Past Few Days
I’ve found out night-times are long and slippery every dream is wringing wet I’ve found that the cotton you pulled out from under my body was something I can not explain I’ve found out the scent my body emanates when I’m swaying back and forth in a chair is not as sweet-smelling as you said I’ve found myself squatting in sunshine’s prison-cells busily writing verse and to all the people I meet I’ve said: Do not let any poem too easily finish
perversely you bring me here to the seaside in imitation of my first love as a silent tribute to my wonderful first-time sweet-heart I can no longer bend myself without the least precaution out over the ocean like sea-grass growing ashore this is part of the ocean a filthier noisier portion so many years have passed and thanks to many more first loves and true loves the ocean is old and dirty just like me right now in new love-affairs far more practised than this bustling frenetic wharf here together we process the sea both still believing that we’re doing so out of respect
Secrets of the Bedroom
I’ve drunk a little wine beside me a few simple clues are all that remain: there to my left I could reach out and switch on the light there to my right I could reach out and touch the pillow impressed by your head you still haven’t returned on the sheet to my left I’m sketching out an everyday you reclining upon it on whatever any day filled with vicious conceptions and memories and always I think of those wounds recently carried off from busy high-strung excitable streets
it’s been ages since we’ve lain down together relishing a fine cool breeze blowing in through the window under the coverlet my hand rests on your chest politely seeking its place your heart-beat is like a freakish sea-tide breaking against my arm how quickly one tires of this action I cannot be certain whether or not you’re comfortable if the breeze really isn’t that cool then can I continue to leave my hand where it is checking all these incoherent heart-beats?
Love at First Sight
him and I: love at first sight due to excess yearning this slice of romance only lasted a day and a twilight this slice of romance had only just shown up jiggling its hips when it left right now I can’t recall any of it right now I’m like someone who’s not ever loved: utterly spotless and clean
with Man Y I came to this restaurant Waitress X still you were standing in the same old spot holding spoons, or sometimes not, and just like last time you loved observing your customers my handbag you recalled recalled how I treated other people still not that old but no sign of love in my face you stared at my handbag I kept on opening and closing it is this the one thing you’ll keep in your memory of me— that opening and closing for no real reason?
In Memory of Some Trees
several trees faraway enough to make me feel quite flattered in big cities there’s no comparable distance in big cities my viewpoint’s sealed off between insteps and the eyeballs’ inspections right now I must go all out to spy further trees their calm and serenest greening passionate greening brings me—teasingly—good-natured laughter: Look here, you confident city slicker Please let go the beasts stowed in your point of view everything you yourself think cannot be let go off according to them is merely another now wind-blown small grove of trees growing far off in the distance
I notice certain endless-eternal things: heavens, oceans, grasslands, grass-eating creatures lacking—with love—even the slightest connection endless-eternal innocence, appetites making them careless of heart-break
A Certain Tall Wall
cut off by a wall one portion of a great ship appears up above the wall we are forced to welcome this suggestion: the bit hidden by the wall is the sea we are all of us—endlessly, tedious— imagining it this wall that we’re imagining gets higher and higher longer and longer it makes us all feel much more dismayed than real sea would do fragile sea—o before I’d looked on you, the thought that intrigued me: Why was it such a vast colossus could be so effortlessly hidden away?
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