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City at the End of Time：Poems by Leung Ping-kwan
作者：Esther M. K. Cheung
Leung Ping-kwan, better known under his pen name Ye Si, is the author of Foodscape (1997), Clothink (1998), Travelling with a Bitter Melon (2002), Islands and Continents (2006), Shifting Borders (2009), Hong Kong Culture (1995), and Hong Kong Literature and Cinema (2011). He is Director of the Centre for Humanities Research and Chair Professor of Comparative Literature at Lingnan University.
Esther M. K. Cheung is Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature and Director of the Centre for the Study of Globalization and Cultures at the University of Hong Kong.
At the North Point Car Ferry
The chill was through to the bone.
Bussing all day along dusty streets,
in a window slid wide open,
one knew the muteness of the lines of trees.
On an afternoon of numerous dull errands
one hardly saw the earth at all, just concrete.
His eyes were as black as coal;
the fine smoke made his silence visible.
A tire factory across the bay was aflame,
plumes of black smoke billowing.
Rolling black clouds worried the day.
Stifle yourself, save electricity!
The suns of our good old songs go out, one by one.
Up close to the body of the sea
her rainbows were oilslicks.
The images of the skyscrapers
were staggering giants on the waves.
We came through cold daylight to get here,
following a trail of broken glass.
The last roadsigns pointed to rusty drums,
everything smelling of smoke and burned rubber,
though we couldnt see fire anywhere.
In the narrow shelter of the flyover,
cars and their people waited a turn to go over.
Streetlamp and Tin Leaf
Nightly here by the public garage I
shine your pale sheen to cold, slick life.
So cautiously your glimmerings begin flashing from
the metal youre made of, that fatigues like the look of the buildings
in the empty, perfect distance nothing can fill
and nothing crosses. Id like to brighten
you to real-life feelings. Id never harm you;
I’d just like to turn your mesh of sharp
grievances to steady shining. But I dont know how
to melt you down to live again, not trembling in rush hours.
Your blurred, wet reflections laugh at simple me,
unlikely to dazzle, and yet youre so tired of shimmering.
Once in white heat you melted and formed a tearless tear
and a puff of white smoke. Against despair you played
in shattered light. Emptiness held neither struggle nor pain.
What comfort am I, dim shining that I am.
I’d dry the raindrops on your skin, pass
the dank evenings with you, not fire and scar.
I just want to talk until your original love of light
is not a mistake, to glow with you against the hectic dark.
In the Great Square
After days of Spring rains we awakened
in a shabby parlor jammed with beat-up furniture
and no place left for the waking to really live,
between ourselves and the piles of old bedding.
There scattered in the eye were the travels of generations.
One poked in the stuff for what one loved.
Memories evaporated; the walls sweat them out again.
The antique tile dragons were cracked badly.
Surrounded by the piles of used-up words and junk
that made us, we’d make our own windows and doors.
In the grandest of plazas wed set up fluttering tents,
our hearts as many and wavering as the avenue headlights.
We’d begun again housecleaning, sorting importances,
but we’d lost the roof and our parlor’d been ransacked.
We’d searched for new lines to lay out and measure ourselves
picking our way carefully in the ruins. Desperately one
tried to hold on to oneself, but things were beyond control.
At midnight, pandemonium! We only wanted to change a few things,
to draw the curtain over that blemished picture —
wild sands scattered our signs, thunder blasted our tables and chairs.
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