(ISSN: 1527-5467)
the magazine of Literature & Literature-in-translation.



JUL 1999




Translated by NGUYEN NGOC BICH


       Where is it, darling, my oxygen?
          How can I breathe now
          The dusk, too, wept with eyes still blood shot
          To the point that lips grew gradually purple
          Yet that moon will never come back
          Not even a faint trace
          Or even a leaf-shaped dreary splotch of darkness
          How can that be? How?
          Memories, memories that refuse to retire into dreams!

          Of course, here I am still, and still breathing
          Still walk, stand, talk, laugh, still gesturing and still
          Problem is
          I am lost at the razor's edge between Happiness and
          Which is why my memory isn't quite straight, shifting
                    as it does like an illusion
          And, darling
          What illusion doesn't fly away --like a lover who
                    has grown wings?
          Our song, then, has flown away
          Broken also are the frets of that ancient instrument
          Flown, too, those impatient rains of kisses
          The soothing wounds no longer awake in me
          And the sea no longer waits for an inebriated step on
                    the beach
          And the waves are done with the doings of sandcrabs
                    every day
          And... and so what remains
          Leaves me the richest person in the world as far as
                    bitterness is concerned
          And you a king shorn of palaces and drunken parties
          Shorn, too, of me as your "beloved" consort

          Who told you that the heavens contained in my eyes
                    are sadder than the July rains
          Who told you that the mirror of my soul will splinter
                    the most recalcitrant tears
          Who told you that Love is a reality?
          Who told you that long-legged women like to swing
          That they are ready to rock-and-roll from one
                    encounter to another split up
          Why didn't you keep the winds bound as in a case?
          O empty clam shells, childhood summers and ashes...
          Had I been able to read the bad omens

          Had I not put all my stakes on flames
          Flames that fell victim to a melancholic
          That froze my poems
          Then today
          I would have a hundred things to share with you and
                    not just a dream
          Indeed, we have not been wholly unfortunate
          For our yearnings then were still so glorious!
          What aspiration, what yearning is without danger
          Of explosion?
          Flee, darling, into my dream!
          Please keep my dream a sweet one
          Let's pull up the sheet to keep that dream real warm
          Who knows
          Memories might feel bone-chilling
          For they are not warmed by our dream...

 Translated by NGUYEN NGOC BICH
(This English translation version has been published in Songvan magazine [ISSN 1089-8123, discontinued in 2000], issue 10, Sept 1997, which is under the same ownership and editorship of The Writers Postís publisher and editor N. Saomai / Nguyen Sao Mai).

the magazine of Literature & Literature-in-translation.


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The Writers Post Jul. 1999
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