Yang Xiaobin 中国诗人杨小滨

杨小滨


Yang Xiaobin, born in Shanghai,  China, is Associate Research Professor at the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica (Taiwan). He obtained Ph.D. from Yale University in 1996 and subsequently taught at University of Mississippi until 2006. He has published three poetry collections and has won several awards including the 1994 Award for the First Book of Collected Poems. He has served as chief editor of Modern Poetry Quarterly (Taiwan) and is co-editor of Poetry East West.

 

The Clay Pot in Tennessee

 

I brought a clay pot to Tennessee,

smashed it, and the aroma of fish soup bloomed,

lifting and wafting like flower petals in the spring air

before settling onto the muddy pond of a grocery store.

All the catfish grinned. So happy, they almost devoted

themselves to the broken pieces – even with a pot of noodle soup,

their kisses still would only reach the lady-boss’s rosy cheek,

to stamp the seal of the Overseas Chinese Association.

An unpatriotic clay pot cannot grow into a mushroom cloud,

nor have the time to nurture a nation’s fine taste through small talk.

I lie down in Tennessee, twisting the fish lips still licking the clay,

as if only through breaking can a pot’s fragrance become strong.

Translated by Yang Xiaobin and Neil Aitken

 

田纳西的砂锅

 

我把一只中国砂锅带到田纳西,

砸碎,盛开鱼羹的鲜香。

它纷纷扬扬,像春天的花瓣

飘落在一池浑水的杂货商场。

鲶鱼们咧开了嘴。它们高兴得简直

想委身于碎片,再来一锅粉皮汤,

却只能吻到老板娘嫣红的脸颊,

盖上华侨联合会的印章。

一朵不爱国的砂锅,既然长不成蘑菇云,

也就没工夫熏陶美食的民族,拉家常。

我趴在田纳西地上,捏弄舔锅底的鱼唇,

仿佛只有碎的时候,砂锅才会更香。

 

Post-Poison-ism

 

In the grasslands, there is a cloud called vomiting.

But this is not yet the most beautiful sight.

Nutrition ripples like waves above the tops of drowning heads.

There is a rain shower called stones that grow out of the milk.

Under the rippling waves, whenever the mermaids weep

they steal sugar from the water. Do you hear it?

It’s the oysters whistling for them—

the delicacy of pearls as subtle as a conspiracy.

Come, let Lake Kunming fall under poisoned wine.

A cow walks on its banks with black eye circles,

too beautiful to remember that pandas are fake –

swallowing the heartbreak grass, she’ll grow into a saber-toothed tiger.

Translated by Yang Xiaobin and Neil Aitken

 

后投毒主义

 

在草场上,有一朵云叫呕吐。

但这还不是最美的。

养分,像涟漪淹过头顶——

有一场雨叫乳汁中长大的卵石。

而涟漪下面,美人鱼一哭便偷腥了

水里的糖。咦?听见了?就算是

牡蛎替她们吹几声口哨——

珍珠的精致,也不下于阴谋。

来吧,让昆明湖倒在鸩酒下。

母牛在岸边眼圈发黑地散步,

美丽得忘了熊猫是假的——

吞下断肠草,她就能长成剑齿虎。

 

To the Sea Nest

 

On our way to the Sea Nest, we run into

members of our family, ex-lovers and several specters.

Waves sound like sunrays striking our faces.

When a gust of ocean wind blows in, you

are combing your hair. You lean over the window sill

as the window melts into water, then is taken away

by the tide. You keep combing, and hand it over to me:

“That’s our future,” you say.

“Only what hurts can be beautiful.”

“But is a future broken short still a future?”

You smile, remain buried in the glassy water

as if nothing has happened.

The sound of the tide recedes.

Looking at the green sea at noon, you forget

I’m behind you, consumed by fire.

You shed your thin dress, and fold the ashes

into the shape of memory. But

it’s not ashes — I’m running on the waves

– a grey horse.

“How far is it now?” I ask.

You turn around and make a face: “Let the wind of the Sea Nest

blow, like our cries.”

Translated by Yang Xiaobin and Neil Aitken

 

到海巢去

 

在去海巢的路上,我们遇到了

家人、旧情人和几个幽灵。

海浪的声音像阳光砸在我们脸上。

一阵海风吹进来的时候,你

正在梳头。你趴在窗沿

窗融化成了水,被潮流带走

你接着梳秀发,递给我:

“那是我们的未来,”你说,

“痛的,才是美丽的。”

“可是,咬断的未来还是未来吗?”

你笑了笑,依旧伏在玻璃的水里

仿佛一切都没有发生过。

潮水的声音渐渐远去。

望着正午的碧海,你忘了我

在你身后,已经被火烧完。

你褪下纱衣,把灰烬

叠成记忆的形状。但

那不是灰烬,我在浪尖上奔跑

一匹灰色的马。

“还有多远?”我问。

你回眸,吐舌头:“让海巢的风

吹奏,就像我们的叫喊。”

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