“The City” by Woo Sai Nga, translated by Audrey Heijns

Woo Si Nga_Tonglau Photo_29 MAR 2019

Please scroll down for the Chinese version!

Old-style Chinese apartment buildings have listened to ten years’ worth
of falling rain, they have
listened to the stories of this city
Love and hate have aged him
sharpened time, made it unbearable
chewing him up, along with his times

On the train tall buildings flash past like on tv
passengers anxiously grab seats
then quietly abandon themselves, or leave themselves
watching how history hollows itself out to drive the train,
to take over the responsibility for playing the part of existence

Who cares about those dozing old-style Chinese apartment buildings
with those faded photos of newlyweds on the wall,
the calendars from which no page will ever be torn,
slippers left behind, or a towel that has been used right to the end of a lifetime?

Who will collect
the missing strokes from the Chinese characters in the neon signs
the mannequin from Rose Studio looks transparent and pale
the factory building is like the shed shell of a caterpillar, desolation in the forgetful city?

The compartment is so crowded that only eyes can move
I am berthed in a sea that does not yet exist
allowing the street lights to dissolve, and to make me ebb away
the new city is waiting for us
to lose our way in it, coming from far away

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

〈城〉/胡世雅

唐樓聽了十年雨
聽這個城市的故事
愛與恨使他衰老
使時間尖銳而不可承受
嚼食他與他的時代

車廂播映高樓更迭
乘客急於搶奪位置
靜靜棄置自己,或者離開
看歷史成為渣滓推動列車
負責扮演存在

誰會在意那幢打瞌睡的唐樓
掛著褪色的新婚照
一頁不會被撕下的日曆
遺下的拖鞋,或一條用了終身的毛巾

誰會蒐集
霓虹缺了一劃
玫瑰影樓的女模特透明而蒼白
工廠大廈像毛蟲褪去的殼,荒涼在善忘的城

車廂擠擁得剩下眼睛
我停泊在一片未存在的海
任由街燈溶化,後退
新的城市等待我們
迷路,從遠處走來

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

● Woo Sai Nga, born in Hong Kong, is a member of Fannou Poetry Society. She graduated from the Chinese Department, Baptist University of Hong Kong in 2017 and is now teaching at a secondary school. She publishes poems in literary magazines in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and has won the Youth Literary Award (青年文學獎) and the Award for Creative Writing in Chinese (中文文學創作獎) in Hong Kong.

●Audrey Heijns, based in Hong Kong, is working at Shenzhen University. Her translations of Chinese literature have been published in literary magazines, including Het Trage Vuur, Twee Ronde, KortVerhaal, Terras, Renditions, Exchanges and Poetry International.

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