Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Zhang Zao

Edge

Like a tomato hiding on the edge of a steelyard he is always
lying down. Something flashes past, a warning or a swallow, but he
doesn’t budge, maintaining his place beside small objects.
The second hand moves to
10 on the dot, an alarm clock departs in the distance. A cigarette
also goes, taking  with it several pairs of misshapen blue handcuffs.
His glasses, clouds, German locks. In a word, everything that hadn’t gone
has now left.
    Emptiness, enlarged. He is still further removed, but always on
some edge: the edge of cog-wheels, the edge of water, the edge of
his own self. He looks often into the sky, index finger pointing into the air,
practising a spidery, delirious calligraphy: “Come back!”
Sure enough, all those things that lost their shape regain their original form:
the windows of a new housing development are full of evening wind
the moon is brewing a large barrel of golden beer.
The steelyard tilts with a violent jerk, there, without limit
like a becalmed lion
reclining beside the tomato.

EDGE

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Edge

Like a tomato hiding on the edge of a steelyard he is always
lying down. Something flashes past, a warning or a swallow, but he
doesn’t budge, maintaining his place beside small objects.
The second hand moves to
10 on the dot, an alarm clock departs in the distance. A cigarette
also goes, taking  with it several pairs of misshapen blue handcuffs.
His glasses, clouds, German locks. In a word, everything that hadn’t gone
has now left.
    Emptiness, enlarged. He is still further removed, but always on
some edge: the edge of cog-wheels, the edge of water, the edge of
his own self. He looks often into the sky, index finger pointing into the air,
practising a spidery, delirious calligraphy: “Come back!”
Sure enough, all those things that lost their shape regain their original form:
the windows of a new housing development are full of evening wind
the moon is brewing a large barrel of golden beer.
The steelyard tilts with a violent jerk, there, without limit
like a becalmed lion
reclining beside the tomato.

Edge

Like a tomato hiding on the edge of a steelyard he is always
lying down. Something flashes past, a warning or a swallow, but he
doesn’t budge, maintaining his place beside small objects.
The second hand moves to
10 on the dot, an alarm clock departs in the distance. A cigarette
also goes, taking  with it several pairs of misshapen blue handcuffs.
His glasses, clouds, German locks. In a word, everything that hadn’t gone
has now left.
    Emptiness, enlarged. He is still further removed, but always on
some edge: the edge of cog-wheels, the edge of water, the edge of
his own self. He looks often into the sky, index finger pointing into the air,
practising a spidery, delirious calligraphy: “Come back!”
Sure enough, all those things that lost their shape regain their original form:
the windows of a new housing development are full of evening wind
the moon is brewing a large barrel of golden beer.
The steelyard tilts with a violent jerk, there, without limit
like a becalmed lion
reclining beside the tomato.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère