Li Heng|ink marks of light disperse in the rain

“1975: Mirror“, audio by Li Heng

1975: Mirror (Excerpt from Eye Prison: in Memoriam Audrey Tarkovsky)

As light develops on carbon paper,
your liquid gaze overflows from morning on the oaks.
Tears drop — drumbeats, crystals, spindles —
and the edge of icicles reflects the march from infancy to old age.
First it is Mother, making her way through the ferns, the thorns, and the fences,
through the scalding ground fermented by the winter sleep of animals,
through the skyline twined by enemy spy planes,
through the open terrain all surrounded by alders, 
going around, panting in the tide of morning lights, hands raised,
surrendering herself to the scarring Sun, as if nothing has happened…
A pigeon is rowing a narrowboat of air current;  
your wife, lifting the aperture’s curtain, alights, 
as if she is the only passenger. She knew you before Mother,
walking through you, an ageing passage with peeling walls:
Lenin Street is raining; go and look for an everlasting roof,
hide under it, and, in a trance, become immortal —
Rain falls in 1936, 1966, the Pyrenees, the Ussuri.
What history means: waiting for the food to expire.
We eat, day after day, without saying prayers,
prying open cans to receive the grace of decomposition.
Father is back. You hear that Sputnik I,
having orbited the earth for 22 days, burnt up in the atmosphere.
Turn the TV on, get the radio ready, and ladle out
a basinful of cold water to freshen up. Amidst the buzz of electric waves,
you ask Father: ‘Where are you going?
There are unstable reflections between exits.
I’m picking up my son; he gets lost on his way home.’
As your steaming gaze rises from the swamp of Yuryevets,
ink marks of light disperse in the rain. If you turn around
now, the mirror would take back the last glance before death.

1975:镜子(选自《眼睛监狱——纪念安德烈•塔可夫斯基》)

“光明”在复写纸上显影,
你的液态的目光溢出了橡树上的清晨,
眼泪在下坠,鼓点,晶体,纺锤,
冰凌的锋棱上反射从幼年到晚年的队列。
先是母亲,穿过蕨草、棘刺、篱栏,
穿过被动物们的冬眠发酵得滚烫的泥土,
穿过被敌军的侦察机打结的天际线,
穿过三百六十度的,赤杨包围的空地,
绕圈,举手,在曦光的起伏中喘气,
向即将结疤的太阳投降,若无其事……
野鸽用双翅划动气流的窄船,
妻子推开光圈的帘幕,走下来,
似乎她是唯一的乘客,先于母亲认识你,
经过“你”这条变老的通道,墙皮剥落,
列宁大街下雨了,快去寻找
永恒的屋檐,在下面发呆,不朽——
雨落在1936、1966,比利牛斯、乌苏里江。
历史的意思是:等着食物过期。
我们日复一日地吃饭,不再祈祷,
撬开罐头就像领受了腐烂的启示,
父亲回来了,你听到斯普特尼克1号
环绕地球22天后,在大气层烧毁的消息,
打开电视,调好无线电收音机,
舀满一盆洗脸的凉水,在嗞嗞的电波声里,
你问父亲:“您准备去哪儿?
出口和出口之间,是不稳定的反光,
我要去接儿子了,他经常找不到回家的路。”
你的蒸汽的目光从尤里耶维茨的沼泽上升,
“光明”的墨痕在雨水下消散,这时如果
扭头,镜子会收回死亡前的最后一瞥。

Museum

Your left eye and right eye,
nose, mouth, ears, limbs
are ten museums of
history, beauty and distances. 

Wandering between setups and breakdowns,
blood makes sunrise and moonset
set the stage along the texture of muscle and skin.

Remembrance and imagination
each opens up an
endless glass corridor.
They wait for nightmares to rob
to no avail.

You walk into their museums
like a giant sleeping in Lilliput.

2013

博物馆

你的左眼和右眼、
鼻子、嘴巴、耳朵、四肢,
是十座博物馆,
收集历史、美和距离。

在开幕和撤展之间流转的
血液,让日升月落
沿着肌肤的纹理布景。

回忆和想象,
各自展开一条
没有尽头的玻璃走廊。
等待着噩梦来盗窃,
却一无所获。

你走进他们的博物馆,
像巨人睡在小人国。

2013

Glory

the field has long been empty
forty days of gravel and forty days of rain
the universe stirs its rumbling stomach
you will have to walk, alone, towards the back of some tiny planet,
through the ring of silence,
and start to speak; the future overflows with blood
patience lets the closed doors
be forced open from the seafloor of death by a geyser
your dream is covered in dust; you dream that you keep
walking towards yourself: a country,
a mountain peak, ivory clothes
In decay you wander like a vibrating string

2010

光荣

旷野早已无人
四十天的暴雨和四十天的沙石
宇宙蠕动着饥饿的胃
你要独自走向哪一个小小的星球的背面
穿过沉默的光环
开始说话,未来一直涌出鲜血
忍耐,使紧闭的门
从死亡的海底被喷泉顶开
你的梦盖满灰尘,你梦见你不停地
走向自己,你自己就是国家、
山巅、洁白的衣服
你在衰朽中成为流浪的琴弦

2010

Dead Yaks at the Roadside

one afternoon in the summer of 2006
my friends and I journeyed from Namtso to Lhasa
through a peaceful valley
something, strangely quiet, loomed, waited
we stopped the car, high on the blue sky
mists being caught and wrapped
blue flames glided not far above us, a blue bucket
fetching water from the universe
the shadows of clouds were still, while the lone stream
flowed, like a length of khatag being ceaselessly drawn
something, strangely quiet, loomed, waited
a dozen or so yaks lay, a jumbled chaos
most of them dead,
a few were floundering sadly in a pool of blood
that stained the road red, someone pointed at the other side:
an overturned bus
the yaks must have dashed down from the hill
crashing into the hurtling bus
in the past few days, as we travelled through the hinterland of the plateau,
whether by train or by bus, yaks were always seen along the road
distant, speck-like, they endured the hushed abyss
at dawn, at midday, or with the arrival of dusk
the sky was always low
absolute, vast, as something being hushed
lurked behind it, yaks were secret-keepers
taciturn, flocking, solitary souls, like the aged
as I saw the dead heralds before me
I felt that something was lost, the yaks were
the blind that crashed against the world
what was lost of which we could not speak

2010

公路边死去的牦牛

06年夏天的那个下午
我和朋友们从纳木错返回拉萨
汽车经过安谧的溪谷,前方静得出奇
我们停下来,蓝天敛起雾气
蓝色的火焰在低空跳跃,蓝色的
篮子在宇宙中打水
云的阴影不动,溪水兀自流走
像一根哈达不断抽去,前方静得出奇
十几头牦牛横七竖八地躺着
大多已经死亡,还有的
在血泊中悲伤地挣扎,公路
几乎染红,有人指向路的另一侧:
一辆客车翻倒了。听说,
一定是牦牛从山坡上冲下来
正撞上疾驶的旅游大巴
这些天,当我们穿行在高原腹地
乘火车或汽车,沿途都是牦牛
远远的小黑点承受着安静的深渊
不论破晓、正午,还是
黑夜将至,天总是那么低
那么绝对那么浩瀚,像有什么秘密
不能说出,牦牛是沉默的保密者
老人一般孤独地群聚
看着眼前这些死去的使者
我感到有什么永远失去了,它们是
瞎子撞向了世界,那失去的我们说不出

2010

Firework, Firework

instant, just an instant
weary men rise aflame
down their secret paths, whips of meteors
the bird you released
sings me the requiem
as an elevator, the winter in the
skyscraper of night, plunges 

焰火,焰火

一瞬,只是一瞬
疲倦的人们开始燃烧
各自的道路是流星的鞭子
你放飞的鸟
也是我的安魂曲
冬天像电梯,从黑夜的
高楼下降

Dinner at the Town of Nothingness

I eat my left ear
they are babbling things I don't understand.
one fiery day gulps the next
daylight closes in, a snowball growing
then I eat my right ear, I cannot hear
my own words, plain daylight
enshrouds me, descends and faintly drones
in the daylight all the faces of the People
melt into deformed steam, which
binds my left hand, so I eat,
flesh in the shape of a fist, of a lone arm reaching out
desperate for help, so I eat,
now my right hand is a gathering of all possible hands  
an ignoble fistfight between Labor and Revolution
I could have left my footprints everywhere
yet everywhere the solid ground scorns them
so I’d better eat them.
what I am, I cannot say
fierce rain and bold winds rage nationwide
I eat the last, sole remains of myself, my mouth

2011

乌有镇的晚餐

我吃掉自己的左耳
他们说着我听不懂的话
炽热的一天吞掉下一天
日光的雪球越滚越大
再吃掉右耳,自己的话
我也听不见,只有日光
在我周围扩大并微微轰鸣
日光中人民的面孔
熔化成扭曲的蒸汽
缚住我的左手,于是我吃下
拳头的形状、求助的独臂
的形状,我吃下,这时
我的右手是所有手的集合
劳动和革命羞辱地互搏
我可以去任何地方
但哪儿也不是我的土地
那不如把双腿也吃了
我是什么,我说不出
急雨带着烈风覆盖整个国度
我吃下最后的唯一的嘴

2011

Drinking Tea

the taste of tea plays piano on the tongue
that’s when you feel your body is water
while the curtains and teapot become steamed up
with arms loose, the afterglow-like living room
is filled with an endless sea horizon
a boat is drawn from spleen and stomach,
the ever-spreading lotus clusters
behold, a watery message is coming through
with a watery staircase descending

2008

饮茶

茶香在舌头上弹着钢琴
这时你才感到身体是水
窗帘桌几是雾
手臂在四散,晚霞状的客厅
撑满了悠长的海平线
脾胃中拨出小舟,脾胃是
不断延展的莲丛呀
你看这水样的短信传来
水样的楼梯朝下

2008

A Lonely Potato

the rainy villages of the Andes
roadless snow, coast of the face of the deep
Native Americans arrived at the end of the world, in the ground
they dug for the sun as a mundane affirmation
against the continuous chill

eight thousand years later, Spanish sailors brought it to Iberia
two hundred years later, donkey riders took it over the Daba Mountains
in 1988 or 1989 I was waiting for winter
waiting for a blackout
leaving the living room with only the stars of the charcoal fire

with her fireplace poker, grandma dug out
a scalding potato for me from the cave of stars and clouds
a small steaming station, illuminated by a cluster of stars
peeling what seemed to have been reaped from a dark field
awaking, I found I had been carried far away by a long-distance train

upon disembarking midway, I found the potatoes had now
turned into a muddy map of humanity, rolling them around
one by one, all the children held them up in their hands
I traveled alone, a long way; feeling myself
buried deep within the earth; falling asleep: waiting

2010

孤独的马铃薯

在安第斯山阴雨的村庄
无路的积雪,渊面海岸
印第安人到来世界尽头,从地下
挖出太阳,像一种平凡的肯定
抵御着重复的寒冷

八千年后,西班牙水手把它带到伊比利亚
两百年后,骑驴客带它翻过了大巴山
一九八八或一九八九年,我等待着冬天
等待着停电的一刻
堂屋将只剩下炭火的星星

外婆将用火钳,从星云的洞穴中
为我刨出一颗滚烫的马铃薯
一个星星映照下的,热气腾腾的小站
剥开它,像黑暗田野上的一次收割
醒来我已被长途列车载远

我曾在中途下车,发现马铃薯
成了人类的地图,带着泥巴,一颗颗
四处滚动,所有的儿童捧起它
我孤身一人走了很远,感觉自己
在土地的深埋中,睡去并等待

2010

Night Visit to a Grave

everyone is flashing a torch, little by little light
cuts through the path in the mountain pass
I perceived the rocks, weeds, and mud
merging into a dark slit like scrolls
where I could no longer see myself
nor could they see
how this slit swallowed me
then the deep ravines, and the mountains
then that night became a point
or it may well be that this point
is great-grandpa's lonely grave
which has never been sought out

2007

夜间上坟

大家打着手电,亮光一点一点
剖开山坳的路
我看见石头、杂草、泥巴
随后它们就像卷轴
合成一道黑暗的缝,我看不见自己
他们也看不见
这道缝怎么收拢了我
接着收拢深沟和群山
接着这个夜晚成为一个点
或者这个点,就是我们还未找到的
曾祖父的孤坟

2007

Some Place

some place you’ve been, and edited into an old film
some place you always spoke of, and sketched out
but those with whom you planned to meet
left you early for the grave
that place becomes a cinerary urn, crystal and clear
some place is your snug harbor, reading each and every day
a poorly spelled love letter
some place will burst into you,
upon arrival you’ve reached yet another place
folding the map, you ask, ‘am I here yet?’

2007

某地

某地你曾经去过,后来把它剪成
一部老电影
某地你总是说起它、计划它
你约好的人过早死去
那个地方成了一具
透亮的骨灰盒
某地是你的安身之处,每天读它
读一封错字连篇的情书
某地会突然闯进你
一到那里就到了另一个地方
叠好地图,你问:“我来了吗?”

2007

“1975: Mirror”, “Museum” and “Glory” – translation: Shen Zhi (沈至) and Stephen Nashef
“Dead Yaks at the Roadside”, “Dinner at the Town of Nothingness” and “Firework, Firework” – translation: Cui Yixiong (崔奕雄) and Stephen Nashef
“Some Place”, “Drinking Tea”, “A Lonely Potato” and “Night Visit to a Grave” – translation: Jia Wei (葭苇) and Stephen Nashef

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