Please scroll down for the English translation!
眼前呢隻蝙蝠嘅飛行形態真係好似同平時見到嘅雀鳥有差別：平時嘅雀鳥因為身體係流線型，可以減少飛行阻力，係空中滑翔時間較多，飛行姿勢較為優美；但眼前呢隻蝙蝠飛嘅時候經常轉彎。原來蝙蝠雖然都係拍翼而飛，但來回拍翼嘅目的係獲得升力。蝙蝠嘅身手十分靈活，雖然佢哋不擅滑翔，但可以猛衝同埋急轉彎。 Continue reading “《蛙文》/ Frogscript 5 • 郭少鳳 Evette Kwok”
I stop there often for dau saa gok ―
flat “cow horns” of pastry
filled with a mixture of red bean paste
and melon seeds thin as the gaps between teeth ―
on my slow walk down from that steep-escalatored
hangar of a railway building,
the MTR station at Sha Tin Wai,
following straight main roads
right to the wide Shing Mun River
Channel. Like giant totem poles,
the estate towers here
are all named after birds ― bean goose,
herring gull, skylark, sand martin, osprey ― but
where are they now? Typical
ravenous sparrows seem to rule what’s left
of the roost, and nature all round
has been deftly remodelled to suit
exclusively human needs (or, at least,
someone’s very human misunderstanding
of what it is we think we want). Some days,
my hair still tinged with the bakery’s sweet smell,
I catch a whiff of the stink of river water
on the wind, its slight salt tang
poignant in the air against
those puzzling twin hungers: the concrete’s ―
and my own.
After a solo smoke, your instincts feel
a cigarette lighter and match for anyone —
even perhaps yourself.
Before the mathematical anthem of your image in the mirror
you pose yourself smouldering
as primary theme and conundrum.
What is a portrait?
It is a feeling through fire
beyond all skin’s extinguishable borders
into the BIGGER PICTURE.
It is the fit of a formal physical likeness
with hard-won, ungainly insight,
like the dot of a glint you dab
painstakingly into the white of one fixed eye with your brush.
This candid-exorbitant star
blazing against all female modelled shadow
is fiercer than “colour” —
than “décor” — than “form” —
than “painting” —
and is so much more fierce
than that little blunt shock-noun the trite mouths blurt:
When banal Winter headaches overpower all chance of sleep,
I walk my retiring but forever curious day-ghost
back along the petrol-fumed blare of 屯門公路 Tuen Mun Road,
consoled by the narrow nature-strip-haven of wild weed-life
which extends tenuously the whole way to the 藍地交匯處 Lam Tei Interchange.
There, echoey stairwells and lifts backhandedly bless
a remnant spot-grove of trees that correct with their flowers’
rock-drilling fragrance the concrete cold science of yellowing blueprints.
From there I go on past descending twin staves
of the light-rail line that promise in vistas such mild infinity
and that come, now and then, back to life — steel-hissing —
as a barrelling hybrid half-tram half-train rockets briskly out
to 元朗 Yuen Long. Then, without fuss, without weak second thinking,
I leave to its own devices the bolted-down track
and turn off to the left at a leisurely angle
where a metre-wide slip of fresh water still rivers
an ample flood-channel’s rock solid dictation
just enough for a miracle fish or two to swim by in
and where even, white egrets stake out meagre prey
through famished bird-hours of patience. And alongside this,
rubble and car-parking lots. Opportunistic new flats
stacked up inside bamboo scaffolding. Uninhabited containers
mid-dreaming vertigo’s maritime upsurge and swell
the full length of rust-scabbed and corrugated panelling.
The screech and snap of power-tools. High-pitched
jet-engine whine researching for the skies
over 青山 Tsing Shan Mountain. Dull unmusical traffic
prowling 五柳路 Ng Lau Road, which means,
ironically meaningless now — for the trees were battered
to wood chip long ago — “five willows”. But then
again for the first time I hear direct out of ringing, thin air
across the felled courtyard of the bare 前陶氏宗祠 Tou clan temple
the commanding stern rap of an expert drum
beating grand, final rhythms from deep — deeper — blood
and it is here, in the playground of the otherwise deserted Tuen Tsz Wai school,
that I see with disbelief, roused from workaday physical torpor,
the electrically steady line of wide-awakened lion dancers
dressed in bright yellow silk pants and embroidered cloth shoes,
astonishing the bruised wasteland, as the tall men among them
weightlift effortlessly their slighter, more agile companions
vertical against gravity’s press and hold them up trophy-wise
over their heads — one second, two seconds, three seconds, more? —
before, synchronized, pouncing them deftly back down
to Earth on nonchalant, grounded soles, pawing and ready
instantly to take the next step, through the late noon atmosphere
we all breathe in and the quasi-Summerish Autumn sun’s heat
that makes each and every one of us sweat from outright planetary joy.
Casually chatting after a lesson
on time, I ask Mr. Quyên
how long he’s been in Australia.
He stares through his glasses
up at the low ceiling
as his wife bashes squid on the kitchen floor
with the flat of a huge knife.
When he’s ready with his answer
he looks straight at me smiling and says:
“Half-past five years.”
Please scroll down for the English translation!
Continue reading “《蛙文》/ Frogscript 4 • 郭少鳳 Evette Kwok”
— Plus je connais les hommes, plus j’admire les chiens.
The slow progress of aimless cloud
Satie hears in his fingertips
as chords, levitating along bar lines
with shy discipline — melodies
crooked as a dog’s hind legs.
He borrows the rain pianos make
for his own nervous weather:
soft sound waves towards rare feelings
newsreels try to neglect in us
and to a doggedness that undoes
all show of self-esteem. Tender,
quizzical, his repertoire
of entirely minor force kennels art
and sweetness join hands in that voice
blue as the mild forget-me-nots we so often
forget we forget we forget
till revived within Satie’s poise.