the kitchen song

so strong a wind

blows from the facing mountain range

to the hanging apron in the kitchen,

the roof swings along like a rusty pendulum.

 

we are farthest from the ambulance

in the street and the cemetery in front of the mountains,

just as we love the peony-embroidered apron,

we love every colored illustration of history.

 

there is a kettle and a few bottles of wine,

a pear, its moisture sucked dry by the air,

and the chopping board rests modestly next to the water pipes.

in the sunlight,

the kitchen looks like a wild duck combing its feathers.

 

the kitchen looks very much like its owner,

or his lover’s vanishing hands.

strong winds flip open cupboards.

and blow the apron down by his feet.

 

scrape grime by the stove,

the box of desire opened brighter by autumn,

we need to sprinkle salt more calmly on wilted grass,

and stir pepper into sleep.

 

a powerful wind,

brings a special kind of gold

to give to the jewelry maker.

we wait merely in respite between hungers,

what to accept, what is worth a meticulous description.

 

 

厨房之歌

 

多么强大的风,
从对面的群山
吹拂到厨房里悬挂的围裙上,
屋脊像一块锈蚀的钟摆跟着晃动。

我们离街上的救护车
和山前的陵墓最远,
就像爱着围裙上绣着的牡丹,
我们爱着每一幅历史的彩图。

有水壶和几瓶酒,
水分被空气偷偷吸干的梨子,
还有谦恭地邻近水管的砧板。
在日光中,
厨房像野鸭梳理自己的羽毛。

厨房多么像它的主人,
或者他的爱人消失的手。
强大的风掀开了暗橱,
又把围裙吹倒在脚边。

刮除灶台边的污垢,
盒子被秋天打开的情欲也更亮了,
我们要更镇定地往枯草上撒盐,
将胡椒拌进睡眠。

强大的风
它有一些更特殊的金子
要交给首饰匠。
我们只管在饥饿的间歇里等待,
什么该接受,什么值得细细地描画。
 

 

Zhu Zhu was born in Yangzhou, P.R. China. He is a poet, critic and curator of art exhibitions and has published numerous volumes of poetry and prose, such as Drive to Another Planet, Salt on Wilted Grass, Blue Smoke, The Trunk, Stories, Vertigo, and Grey Carnival—Chinese Contemporary Art since 2000. Zhu’s honors include Liu Li’an and Anne Kao national poetry prizes, the French International Poetry Val-de-Marne Fellowship, Chinese Contemporary Art Award for Critics and Henry Luce Foundation Chinese Poetry Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center.

 

 

 

Dong Li was born and raised in P.R. China. His honors include fellowships from Akademie Schloss Solitude 2015-2017, German Chancellery–Alexander von Humboldt Foundation 2015-2016, PEN/Heim Translation Fund, The Corporation of Yaddo and elsewhere. He has poems in Kenyon Review, Conjunctions, Cincinnati Review, manuskripte (Austria, in German translation), and others, as well as translations in World Literature Today, PEN America, Guernica and others. His book-length translation of the Chinese poet Zhu Zhu The Wild Great Wall will be published by Phoneme Media in late 2017. His trilingual anthology of contemporary American, Chinese and German poetry in response to a poem by the late C.D. Wright will be forthcoming from the German independent publisher Matthes&Seitz Berlin in the fall of 2017.

Issue #62 September 2016
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