“Sysetem Failure“, audio by Liang Xiaoman
Produced by The Tenonists
before we speak about this, can we lift you from your body like a saddle being unburdened from a horse the ego is a type of processor not too advanced; sometimes inhibiting the way you run more difficult tasks we use it to solve basic problems in life when feeling ill we’re able to go to the hospital by ourselves engage in simple transactions purchase daily necessities and promote consumption, thereby acquiring a spark of dopamine which benefits us when approaching the opposite sex and arranging a date in a buoyant mood under the influence of just the right amount of alcohol it updates its serial number for the gods before we speak let's upgrade this processor facing the bathroom mirror you embrace yourself like embracing a line of code, you don’t experience love, nor do you feel desire at this point, let's begin by speaking openly, what is love? love is one’s path to the ultimate what is the ultimate? the ultimate is the program that the gods wrote for you what then is death? death is system repair what is poetry? poetry is system failure... what is poetry? poetry is system failure... what is poetry? poetry is system failure...
在谈论这个之前能否 将你从你身上解除就像 把马鞍从马身上卸下来 自我是一种不太先进的 处理器，它有时候妨碍你 运行更高难度的任务 有了它，我们能解决 生活的基本问题 身体不太健康的时候 我们能够自行去医院 进行简单的贸易 购买日常用品 促进消费，并因此得到 某种多巴胺，那有益于 我们怀着一颗愉快的心 接近异性，安排约会 在酒精适度的效用下 为神更新它的序列号 开始谈论前让我们 先升级这个处理器 面对浴室里的镜子 你拥抱自己像拥抱 一行代码，你感觉不到 爱，也感觉不到欲望 这个时候，让我们开始 谈论吧，爱是什么？ 爱是一个人通向终极之路 终极是什么？ 终极是神为你写的程序 死亡又是什么？ 死亡是系统的修复 诗是什么？ 诗是系统的故障 诗是什么？ 诗是系统的故障 诗是什么？ 诗是系统的故障……
at the junction of Shangbu Middle Road and Yuanling there are a few old buildings once used by the Municipal Party Committee downstairs there was a dining hall for the public selling leek steamed buns, food for northerners on the roof of the top floor, ground tiles broken and dirty, but on summer afternoons the pool at the bottom of the building glistens with golden starlight the blue water is rippling, and gently embraces those smooth, sturdy bodies surrounded by lush lychee forests back then, sitting on the wall of the rooftop was a young girl whose thin legs swayed slightly in mid-air the warm summer breeze and the golden pool people’s laughter and words the young girl gazes a long time at the earth the soft sky above this turret in the city, happy people the boundless lychee forest, even more distant as far as the eye (or perhaps the mind) can see, the sides of the railroad track are divided by the train heading north every night the black hole of the universe, the dreams of the young girl are also divided together — they once resonated with the pool at the bottom of the building laughter, words the young girl’s thin legs sway slightly in mid-air she’s counting the hours, counting the twilights little did she know that she would go on to live another twenty-nine years
上步中路与园岭的交界处 有几栋老旧的楼，曾是市委 楼下有面向市民的食堂 卖韭菜包子，北方人的食物 顶楼的天台上，地砖 残缺、肮脏，然而 夏天的午后，楼底的泳池 闪耀着金色的星光 蔚蓝的水波荡漾，温柔地拥抱 那些光滑的、结实的身体 周边生长着茂密的荔枝林 那个时候，坐在天台的围墙上 少女幼细的双腿在半空轻微摇晃 温暖的夏风，金色的泳池 人们的欢笑，言语 少女长久地凝视着大地 柔软的天空 城市的这个角楼，幸福的人们 漫无边际的荔枝林，更遥远 目光所极（也许是意会），铁轨的一侧 每个夜晚被驶向北方的火车等边分割 宇宙的黑洞，少女的梦 也一起被分割—— 那里也曾与楼底的泳池共鸣着 欢笑，言语 少女幼细的双腿在半空轻微摇晃 她在默默数着时间，数着黄昏 她不知道，后来 她又活了二十九年
the little train leaves from the rainbow body dwarfs with round heads, round hands... a round bubble bursts and with a snap of the fingers childhood has departed she remains where she was waiting for a cold-day kiss falling in the eternal desert thirsting for the source of water in water unbuttoning her shirt, with bitter milk overflowing the ever-unredeemed desires as innocent as forbidden fruit they are cast like specks of light into this moment passing by the skylight heading into the past, flies a rainbow train 2019
虹身里开出的小火车 圆脑袋的小矮人，圆的手⋯⋯ 圆气泡裂开，一响指间 童年便过去了 她还留在原处 等待冷昼般的亲吻 落在那旷日持久的荒漠 于水中渴求水源 解开衣裳，溢出苦涩的乳汁 那一直未被拯救的 与蛇果一样无辜的欲念 它们如光斑投射在此刻 天窗前经过的一辆 驶向过去的彩虹火车 2019
at this moment, what makes us hesitate is an ear is it still there - like the sky pressing its vastness down, mist shrouding passing birds, questioning its silence while holding its breath we anticipate this ear, which is acquainted with the falling of sonorous thunder from the sky above, while down in the mire the moanings of insects blanket each other, and we indulge this ear to extract its obscure waves it’s as if the sea derives from its eardrums far away at times, closer at others, while the tide rushes to what it needs to listen to some lines of poetry, or ancient rhetoric it’s words that render us indistinguishable from each other that allow us to give each other lines of poetry as gifts and to denigrate each other that huge ear, as if God were hovering among us
此时，让我们犹豫的是一只耳朵 它是否还在——像天空垂下阔大 雾霭笼罩着掠过的飞鸟，屏息中怀疑 它的静默。 我们期待这一只耳朵，它习惯于 洪亮的雷声从高天坠下，淤泥中 呻吟的虫鸣覆盖彼此，我们纵容 那耳朵，掏出它晦暗的浪声 仿佛大海来自它的鼓膜 它一时很远，一时很近 潮汐涌向需要它聆听的 一些诗行，或古老的修辞 是言说让我们无分彼此 互赠一些诗行，互相诋毁 那只巨大的耳朵，就像上帝 悬在我们之中
the beehive-like, mirrored chest cavity on the clean and polished floor a late arrival only in comparison with the sky a bird lands, then flies away in a state of protracted expectation we chat about disease, how it penetrates the aging body disease is as ancient as the world itself the bird lands, then flies away on TV a great leader is constructing the history of East Asia we start to do some stretches, to show how sinews and bones rectify the growth of muscles in the cochlea the music of utopia rings we start to swallow some hyperreal pills on TV the hands of those political leaders meet, then wave towards the masses we talk about disease the way we talk about politics or the latest Sony earphones outside the landing window, a monstrous fuel-powered lump is waiting the lighthouse has not yet sent out its signal the bird keeps an abstemious distance from people the flight is one of all flights as the bird is one of all birds its eyes are so fresh, while the morning breeze skims the tip of the lighthouse and the shining wings are a kind of nostalgi — idling away our time, we witness our voices slowly fading in this tumorous cavity.
蜂巢状的镜子胸腔 洁净的、发亮的地板上 只比天空晚一点抵达的 鸟儿落下，飞走 我们在延迟的期待里闲谈 疾病，如何 进入衰老的身体 疾病，和世界一样古老 鸟儿落下，飞走 电视机里一代伟人正在 缔造东亚的历史 我们开始拉伸腰肢，示范 筋骨之术如何纠正肌肉的生长 耳蜗响起乌托邦的音乐 我们开始服食超现实的药丸 电视机里领导人握手，向群众挥手 我们谈论疾病像谈论政治 或是索尼新款的耳机 落地窗外由燃料发动的庞然巨物在等候 灯塔迟迟未发出信号 鸟儿与人保持着节制的距离 这一趟飞行，是所有飞行的其中一次 正如这只鸟儿，是所有鸟儿的其中一只 它的目光如此新鲜，晨风正吹过灯塔 与闪闪发亮的机翼 那也是一种乡愁—— 无所事事的我们 在这个多瘤的身体里逐渐丧失声音。
heat waves ebb only at night, the ocean rocks hairs tipped with tiny sweat beads, have the stars been here before the universe is imprisoned in a secret chamber, gazed upon, thus empty a planet in its prehistoric era, where tyrannosaurs reigned now plastic prevails, plastic feeding bottles, plastic dolls, homo plasticus - molecules of plastic invade our veins and brains a planet in its prehistoric era, where tyrannosaurs died of cold we are engulfed in wintry heat waves, the ocean rocks and rushes to the eyebrows, the forehead, the universe imprisoned therein an endless marine snow is falling
热浪只在夜晚消退，大海摇动 细密的汗珠覆盖绒毛，星辰何曾来过 密室禁锢的宇宙，因凝视而虚无 史前的星球，暴龙曾是它的主人 如今塑胶蔓延，塑胶奶瓶，塑胶娃娃 塑胶人——塑胶微粒进入我们血液和大脑 史前的星球，暴龙死于寒冷 我们被冬天的热浪裹挟，大海摇动 涌向眉额，在那里禁锢的一个宇宙 一望无际的海雪正在落下
You will mourn for others, and enter into sorrow
You will mourn for others, and enter into sorrows. —Ovid it is dry, so dry black blood gushes out of the seared and shattered well a metamorphic bird squawks prophecy endless night is but a great fire the ashes fall, the hurried, capricious faces of shepherds and immortals can hardly be recognized the mask transforms you, Cassandra no one listens, God will rebuke his forgetful people, ferocious ravens feeding on waste the throat of the Styx has been strangled, who in the void are mourning the loss of loved ones bite into the pomegranate, mutilated snowflakes deluge the lungs (2020, in memory of Li Wenliang)
你将与哀悼的人们为侣 ——奥维德 干涸，太干涸了 泉井迸裂，黑血冒涌 变形之鸟，尖叫着预言 永夜既是一场大火 灰烬落下，牧羊人与仙 奔走的脸不能被识别 面具幻化你，卡珊德拉 无人听佢，神将训诫 失忆的子民，腐食的凶鸦 冥河咽喉已封锁，虚空境内 谁在哀泣失去的亲人 咬开这石榴，破雪淹没肺腑 （2020，悼李文亮）
summer is cruel hair, skin, fats, veins and muscles all march in one direction the reefs of middle age grow thick you feel their excess slowly, sweat drips onto a sharp blade edging into the heart the people on the playground amount to a zero the people on the playground are a rubber distorted into a shape or size by an intangible force good for transporting, installing, lining up and storing it doesn’t know that your dreamscape lies outside reality it doesn’t know that all your life you’ve loved pranks the rain is delayed; from the playground filled with empty cartons rises the sudden chirruping of birds.
夏天是残忍的 毛发、皮肤、脂肪、血管 肌肉往一个方向正步 中岁的礁石丛生 你感受到它们的多余 汗水缓缓地流向 即将插入心脏的尖刀 操场上的人是一个零 操场上的人是一块橡皮 被无形的力扭成一种形状与体积 适宜运输、装置、列队、入库 它不知道你的梦境在现实之外 它不知道你这一生热爱恶作剧 雨被延迟，堆满空箱的操场 忽然响起了鸟鸣——
animals fleeing in the dark belonged to dreams and hepatitis A in quarantine a black chimpanzee on a swing gazed at your eyes gazing at her too many beasts and exiles in those past nights there was always a gunshot behind your head boiling your blood and squeezing your bladder at night, the black ape you gazed at gazed at you, a small companion night imprisoned the fleeing beasts upon your liver grew nocturnal flowers 2019.4
趁着夜色逃亡的动物 属于梦与隔离的甲肝 秋千上的黑猩猩凝视着 你凝视她的双眼 那些过去的夜晚 有太多的野兽与逃亡 脑后永远有一声枪响 让血液沸腾，小便失禁 被你凝视的黑猿于夜晚 凝视着你，一个小小的同类 夜晚幽禁着逃亡的野兽 你的肝上长出夜之花朵 2019.4
years later, from the spirit of the mortal you were to recollect a dying instant of that dusk — scratching the evening star, outside organic glass, a hawk, returning from the underworld, blew its whistle finally, from a distance, you saw the prophesied fire city— it’s an infinity too, flashing her nine stars from below, born in the abdomen of fire, banished from the city every night ‘it is not you that moves; it is the dark’* from the land of sunrise to the boulevard of sunset the tired mortal, having taken a long trek, reached the city of Christ, an uninhabited desert and saw a towering mushroom cloud rising in the East an upside-down city, a one-legged priest… the bird in her spirit had yet to fly out it had been waiting its whole life for one signal: fire *Robert Penn Warren, ‘Immortality Over the Dakotas’
多年以后，从必死者的神中 回忆那个傍晚将逝的瞬间—— 与晚星擦身，有机玻璃之外 冥界返回的鹰它吹响的哨音 终于望见那预言的火城—— 它也是一个无穷，在底下 煊赫她的九大恒星，从火的腹部 诞生，每一个夜晚被拒之城外 移动的并不是你。是黑暗* 从日出之国来到日落大道 疲倦的必死者长途跋涉 曾抵达基督的城，无人荒漠 曾见高耸的蘑菇云在东方升起 倒悬的城市，单腿的教士...... 她神中的那只鸟尚未飞出 它这一生等待着一个信号——火 *移动的并不是你。是黑暗”——引自罗伯特.潘.沃伦
Liang Xiaoman 梁小曼 Liang Xiaoman, born in Shenzhen in 1974, is a poet and translator. She has been composing poems since 2009, and her poetic work have been published in magazines including Today, Enclave, Hong Kong Literature, Ming Pao Weekly and Poetry East West; she has been featured in Selected Poems of Chinese Female Poets (2018 and 2019) and Anthology of Chinese Female Poets (to be published in Mexico); she published her poetry collection System Failure, and appeared in a collection of poems by ten female poets, The Night is Brighter than the Day. Liang also has several translated books published.
“Playground”, “Nocturnal Animal” and “Fire” – translation: Shen Zhi (沈至) and Stephen Nashef
“Travel”, November” and “You will mourn for others, and enter into sorrows” – translation: Cui Yixiong (崔奕雄) and Stephen Nashef
“System Failure”, “Golden Pool”, “Rainbow Train” and “Ear” – translation: Jia Wei (葭苇) and Stephen Nashef