Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Nhã Thuyên

DON’T HIDE THE MADNESS

this room’s determined to not let in anyone more, someone rumbles, so should i just leave now then, is there still time, sham, someone grumbles, so should i leave and wait for someone to invite me back in then, running that mouth, someone mutters, so should i just stick my feet right to this spot then, a shadow doesn’t just up and vanish, someone sulks, i’m not wakeful enough for thoughts to hatch, to turn inward the head to turn outward the head, to glance up to a ceiling, to look down at some feet, to furrow a brow at the door, to pin eyes to wall, to stand still, sit tight, squat, flat, stretch, lean, against a chair’s back, huddled into a corner, my throat sprouts hair, my throat snags fishbone, someone’s with me in the room, i’m in the room with some other, some other who doesn’t welcome some other one, some other who particularly doesn’t welcome me, so what more am i waiting for, a hot tea, a potent wine, a blank word to erase me clean or an equivocal grammar with the touch of a hand keeps me fluttering for life, i thrust myself toward wall, should keep a determined distance from our delusions, wall says, but in thrusting what’s left to fear of windstorms, i counter, i thrust again closer, don’t face the biting wind, don’t waste an entire life bewildered beside someone you’re unable to talk with unable to talk to the end with unable to talk without ending with, wall advises, someone pours, someone is lifting the cup, i invite wall to a little something, keep me away from light’s infection, wind’s contagion, and fragrance’s bondage, i am darkness-philic, silence-preferring, barrier-constructing, perfume-blocking and all expressive words-intercepting, wall states solemnly, i submit to muteness, my tongue cannot indifferently break open a word, i submit to muteness, lips part in a soul’s blush, my tongue doesn’t know wisdom by way of reason, i submit to muteness, my tongue vines crawling up crawling down, i submit to muteness, my tongue cannot be a wave slapping the face, i submit to muteness, wall suddenly looks at me, looks straight into me, i flush, keep speaking, keep revealing that blushing soul, keep opening words rapturous and naive, keep twisting vines and tangling intestines, keep roaming near and far upstream and down, just go on and howl out one slap in the face, wall reassures me, suddenly my eyes on wall’s face, my hair spills onto wall’s forehead, my hand fondles wall, my leg wraps around wall, my body slips into wall, my shadow melts into wall’s shadow, i flush, i tingle, i stop thinking with absurdity, i blabber babble, my tongue murmurs burbles, my tongue grumbles, my tongue guts tangle and twist, my tongue purrs earthwardly, my tongue reverberates skywardly, my tongue trills birdily, my tongue bobs butterflyingly, is tongue a butterfly or is a butterfly my tongue, my tongue stumbles worldly, my tongue shrouds underworldly, my tongue soars heavenly, my tongue surrounds me in holy traps and earthly nets, perhaps the only way left for me is to push the head in, wrap the self up, coiled tightly, trapped, a snarled knot, i coo, dear wall, i love you, i endure you, i accept you, i response you, i need to have you, i die from of you, i live from of you, like the smell of sweat, the smell of wet moss, the smell of stagnant wind, the smell of curdled darkness, the smell of strangulated fever, as if wall had just expelled a cold breath, as if wall had just been set ablaze, someone pours something, i am sipping something, i invite wall to a little something, keep me from light’s infection, wind’s contagion, and fragrance’s bondage, i am darkness-philic, silence-preferring, barrier-constructing, perfume-blocking and all expressive words-intercepting, don’t let any corner of mouth any slice of tongue any piece of tooth cut my cords and leave me swaying insane, dear wall, i love you, i endure you, i accept you, i response you, i die from of you, i die from of no you, i die beside you, i live beside you, dear wall, i coo, try to raise my volume, dear wall, i love you, i endure you, i accept you, i response you, i die from of you, i die from of no you, i die beside you, i live beside you, dear wall, grant me a crack in and out the antennae of an ant, wall, grant me a slab of broken limestone a stick of bamboo to scribble with, wall, grant me a block of brick the cat can scratch, wall, grant me a morsel of green moss, wall, grant me a scoop of sunshine, wall, grant me a wind hole that passes a fragrance, wall, stop growing any taller, stop growing ever-thicker, wall, my tongue has left only one desperate plea which no one comprehends, please wall, wall

VERBLOEM DE GEKTE NIET

vastbesloten laat deze kamer niemand binnen, iemand mompelt, moet ik er dus nu weer uit, is er nog tijd, veinzer, gromt iemand, moet ik er dus uit en wachten tot iemand mij terug naar binnen noodt, praatgraag, mort iemand, moet ik hier dus mijn voeten vastlijmen, je kan niet zomaar je schaduw kwijtraken, pruilt iemand, ik ben niet wakker genoeg om zoiets te bedenken, het hoofd naar binnen of naar buiten te draaien, omhoog naar een plafond te kijken, omlaag naar de voeten te kijken, te fronzen naar de deur, ogen op de muur te prikken, stil te staan, zwijgend te zitten, hurkend, op de grond, strekkend, leunend, tegen de rug van een stoel, nestelend in een hoekje, in mijn keel groeit haar, zit een graat, iemand is met me in de kamer, ik ben in de kamer met iemand anders, iemand die een ander niet welkom heet, iemand die mij nog minder welkom heet, waar wacht ik nog op, hete thee, krachtige wijn, een blanco woord om me schoon te gummen of een dubbelzinnige grammatica met een nerveuze aanraking om mijn leven vast te houden, ik duw me tegen de muur, afstand tot je inbeelding is noodzaak, zegt de muur, eenmaal duwend waarom nog bang voor de wind, ik protesteer, ik duw nog harder, niet tegen de slaande wind in, verspil je hele leven niet in verwarring naast iemand met wie je niet kan praten met wie je niet tot het einde kan praten met wie je niet eindeloos kan praten, brengt de muur me in herinnering, iemand schenkt, tilt het kopje op, ik bied de muur iets aan, laat me niet besmetten met het licht, infecteren door de wind, onderwerpen aan de geur, nu heb ik het duister lief, de stilte lief, richt barricades op, blokkeer de geur en alle woord-uitdrukkingen, plechtig stelt de muur, ik verkies te zwijgen, mijn stem kan al niet koud klinken, ik verkies te zwijgen, mijn stem bloost zodra mijn lippen opengaan, mijn stem kent geen wijsheid door de rede, ik verkies te zwijgen, mijn stem een stengel die omhoog omlaag kruipt, ik verkies te zwijgen, de golf die tegen het gezicht slaat kan mijn stem niet zijn, ik verkies te zwijgen, plotsklaps kijkt de muur naar mij, mij recht aan, ik word knalrood, blijf praten, blijf mijn schaamte tonen, blijf het onvoldragen naïeve woord nemen, blijf bij de kruipende planten en vervlochten ingewanden, blijf ver en nabij stroomafwaarts stroomopwaarts, blijf schreeuwen, een klap in het gezicht, de muur stelt me gerust, plotsklaps vallen mijn ogen op zijn gezicht, morst mijn haar op zijn voorhoofd, mijn hand betast hem, mijn been slaat om hem heen, mijn leden kruipen in hem, mijn schaduw versmelt met de zijne, ik word knalrood, ik tintel, ik houd op aan het belachelijke te denken, ik brabbel babbel, mijn stem maalt meel, knort klagend, verweeft verward, aardt aardig, zoemt hemels, fluit vogelend, vlindert vluchtig, is mijn stem de vlinder of de vlinder mijn stem, mijn stem wankelt wereldlijk, benevelt onderwereldlijk, zweeft zwalkend hemelhoog, omsingelt me in heilige hinderlagen en aardse netten, misschien rest me niets anders dan me erin te storten, me te laten omwikkelen, strak opgerold, gevangen, warrig verknoopt, ik fluister, muur, ik hou van je, ik bemin je, ik accepteer je, ik antwoord je, ik heb je nodig, ik sterf voor je, ik leef voor je, als de geur van zweet, van nat mos, van ronddraaiende wind, van dichte duisternis, van verstikkende koorts, alsof de muur zojuist koude lucht uitblies, net in brand was gestoken, iemand schenkt iets, ik nip aan iets, ik bied de muur iets aan, laat me niet besmetten met het licht, infecteren door de wind, onderwerpen aan de geur, nu heb ik het duister lief, de stilte lief, richt barricades op, blokkeer de geur en alle woord-uitdrukkingen, laat geen slijmende mond geen stukje tong geen tandschilfer mij stemloos tot waanzin drijven, muur, ik hou van je, ik bemin je, ik accepteer je, ik antwoord je, ik sterf voor je, ik sterf van geen jou, ik sterf aan je zij, ik leef aan je zij, muur, ik fluister, wil mijn stem verheffen, muur, ik hou van je, ik bemin je, ik accepteer je, ik antwoord je, ik sterf voor je, ik sterf van geen jou, ik sterf aan je zij, ik leef aan je zij, muur, geef me een scheur voor een loerende voelspriet van een mier, muur, geef me een plak gebroken pleisterwerk waarop een bamboestok kan krassen, muur, geef me een blok steen waarop de kat kan krabben, muur, geef me een plukje groen mos, muur, geef me een handje zonlicht, muur, geef me een gaatje voor de geurige wind, muur, groei niet hoger, wordt niet dikker en dikker zo, muur, mijn stem is slechts een voor niemand grijpbare smeekbede, muur, muur

ĐỪNG GIẤU CƠN ĐIÊN

căn phòng này đã nhất định không để ai vào nữa, ai đó rì rầm, vậy giờ tôi nên ra chăng, kịp chăng, vờ vĩnh, ai đó làu bàu, vậy tôi cứ ra và đợi ai đó mời tôi vào lại chăng, nhiều chuyện, ai đó quạu quọ, vậy tôi cứ dính chân chỗ này được chăng, cũng chẳng bỗng dưng mất cả bóng được, ai đó lầm lì, tôi chẳng đủ tỉnh mà nghĩ ngợi đặt bày, quay đầu vào hay quay đầu ra, ngó lên trần, nhìn xuống chân, nheo mày phía cửa, ghim mắt trên tường, đứng yên, ngồi lặng, xổm, bệt, duỗi, ngả, dựa lưng ghế, rúc xó nhà, họng tôi mọc tóc, họng tôi mắc xương, ai đang cùng phòng tôi, tôi đang cùng phòng một ai khác, một ai không chào đón ai khác nữa, một ai càng không chào đón tôi, tôi đợi gì nữa, một trà nóng, một rượu nồng, một lời trắng tẩy sạch tôi hay một ngữ pháp nhập nhằng kèm cú chạm tay giữ tôi phấp phỏng níu mạng, tôi xáp vào tường, nhất định phải giãn cách với điều ta vọng tưởng, tường nói, nhưng đã xáp lại còn e gì gió bão, tôi cự, tôi xáp lại thêm, đừng gió táp, đừng mất cả đời chỉ để hoang mang cạnh một ai mình không sao nói cùng không sao nói cho cùng không sao nói cho không cùng, tường nhắc, ai đó rót, ai đó đang nhấc chén, tôi mời tường một thứ gì, đừng để tôi lây sáng, nhiễm gió và lụy thơm, tôi đang ưa tối, thích im, dựng vách, ngăn hương và chắn tất thảy biểu cảm lời, tường nghiêm giọng, tôi đành câm, tiếng tôi cất lời đã khó lạnh lùng, tôi đành câm, mở môi đã thẹn, tiếng tôi không biết khôn qua lẽ, tôi đành câm, tiếng tôi dây leo bò lên bò xuống, tôi đành câm, tiếng tôi không thể sóng đánh vỗ mặt, tôi đành câm, tường bỗng nhìn tôi, nhìn thẳng, tôi đỏ lựng, cứ nói, cứ bày nỗi thẹn, cứ mở lời dại ngây, cứ dây cà dây muống gan ruột lòng thòng, cứ xa gần xuôi ngược, cứ gào lên vỗ mặt một lần, tường trấn an tôi, bỗng mắt tôi đã mặt tường, tóc tôi xòa bờ trán tường, tay tôi lần sờ tường, chân tôi quặp tường, thân tôi lẩn tường, bóng tôi chen bóng tường, tôi đỏ lựng, tôi ngứa ran, tôi thôi nghĩ về lố bịch, tôi mấp máy, tiếng tôi mập mà mập mị, tiếng tôi làm ràm, tiếng tôi tơ vò ruột rối, tiếng tôi âm âm đất, tiếng tôi u u trời, tiếng tôi lách chách chim, tiếng tôi bồng bềnh bướm, tiếng tôi là bướm hay bướm là tiếng tôi, tiếng tôi chập chũng trần gian, tiếng tôi mịt mùng địa phủ, tiếng tôi chấp chới cao xanh, tiếng tôi bủa vây tôi thiên la địa võng, có thể tôi chỉ còn cách đâm đầu vào, quấn mình, cuộn thít, mắc kẹt, rối một mớ, tôi rủ rỉ, này tường, tôi yêu người, tôi thương người, tôi ưng người, tôi phản hồi người, tôi cần có người, tôi chết vì người, tôi sống vì người, như là mùi mồ hôi, mùi rêu ẩm, mùi gió quẩn, mùi bóng tối quánh sệt, mùi cơn sốt ngạt, như là tường vừa toát hơi lạnh, tường vừa bắt lửa, ai đó rót gì, tôi đang nhấp một thứ gì, tôi mời tường một thứ gì, đừng để tôi lây sáng, nhiễm gió và lụy thơm, tôi đang ưa tối, thích im, dựng vách, ngăn hương và chắn tất thảy biểu cảm lời, đừng để một dẻo miệng nào một thửa lưỡi nào một miểng răng nào làm tôi thất thanh điên đảo, này tường, tôi yêu người, tôi thương người, tôi ưng người, tôi phản hồi người, tôi chết vì người, tôi chết vì không người, tôi chết bên người, tôi sống bên người, này tường, tôi rủ rỉ, ráng nâng giọng, này tường, tôi yêu người, tôi thương người, tôi ưng người, tôi phản hồi người, tôi chết vì người, tôi chết vì không người, tôi chết bên người, tôi sống bên người, này tường, cho tôi một khe nứt râu kiến thụt thò, tường, cho tôi một mảng vôi vỡ que tre nguệch chữ, tường, cho tôi một ô gạch mèo cào, tường, cho tôi một thẻo rêu xanh, tường, cho tôi một vốc nắng, tường, cho tôi một lỗ gió đưa thơm, tường, thôi đừng cao thêm, thôi đừng dầy lên mãi thế, tường, tiếng tôi chỉ còn một lời khẩn cầu không ai hiểu, này tường, tường, 

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DON’T HIDE THE MADNESS

this room’s determined to not let in anyone more, someone rumbles, so should i just leave now then, is there still time, sham, someone grumbles, so should i leave and wait for someone to invite me back in then, running that mouth, someone mutters, so should i just stick my feet right to this spot then, a shadow doesn’t just up and vanish, someone sulks, i’m not wakeful enough for thoughts to hatch, to turn inward the head to turn outward the head, to glance up to a ceiling, to look down at some feet, to furrow a brow at the door, to pin eyes to wall, to stand still, sit tight, squat, flat, stretch, lean, against a chair’s back, huddled into a corner, my throat sprouts hair, my throat snags fishbone, someone’s with me in the room, i’m in the room with some other, some other who doesn’t welcome some other one, some other who particularly doesn’t welcome me, so what more am i waiting for, a hot tea, a potent wine, a blank word to erase me clean or an equivocal grammar with the touch of a hand keeps me fluttering for life, i thrust myself toward wall, should keep a determined distance from our delusions, wall says, but in thrusting what’s left to fear of windstorms, i counter, i thrust again closer, don’t face the biting wind, don’t waste an entire life bewildered beside someone you’re unable to talk with unable to talk to the end with unable to talk without ending with, wall advises, someone pours, someone is lifting the cup, i invite wall to a little something, keep me away from light’s infection, wind’s contagion, and fragrance’s bondage, i am darkness-philic, silence-preferring, barrier-constructing, perfume-blocking and all expressive words-intercepting, wall states solemnly, i submit to muteness, my tongue cannot indifferently break open a word, i submit to muteness, lips part in a soul’s blush, my tongue doesn’t know wisdom by way of reason, i submit to muteness, my tongue vines crawling up crawling down, i submit to muteness, my tongue cannot be a wave slapping the face, i submit to muteness, wall suddenly looks at me, looks straight into me, i flush, keep speaking, keep revealing that blushing soul, keep opening words rapturous and naive, keep twisting vines and tangling intestines, keep roaming near and far upstream and down, just go on and howl out one slap in the face, wall reassures me, suddenly my eyes on wall’s face, my hair spills onto wall’s forehead, my hand fondles wall, my leg wraps around wall, my body slips into wall, my shadow melts into wall’s shadow, i flush, i tingle, i stop thinking with absurdity, i blabber babble, my tongue murmurs burbles, my tongue grumbles, my tongue guts tangle and twist, my tongue purrs earthwardly, my tongue reverberates skywardly, my tongue trills birdily, my tongue bobs butterflyingly, is tongue a butterfly or is a butterfly my tongue, my tongue stumbles worldly, my tongue shrouds underworldly, my tongue soars heavenly, my tongue surrounds me in holy traps and earthly nets, perhaps the only way left for me is to push the head in, wrap the self up, coiled tightly, trapped, a snarled knot, i coo, dear wall, i love you, i endure you, i accept you, i response you, i need to have you, i die from of you, i live from of you, like the smell of sweat, the smell of wet moss, the smell of stagnant wind, the smell of curdled darkness, the smell of strangulated fever, as if wall had just expelled a cold breath, as if wall had just been set ablaze, someone pours something, i am sipping something, i invite wall to a little something, keep me from light’s infection, wind’s contagion, and fragrance’s bondage, i am darkness-philic, silence-preferring, barrier-constructing, perfume-blocking and all expressive words-intercepting, don’t let any corner of mouth any slice of tongue any piece of tooth cut my cords and leave me swaying insane, dear wall, i love you, i endure you, i accept you, i response you, i die from of you, i die from of no you, i die beside you, i live beside you, dear wall, i coo, try to raise my volume, dear wall, i love you, i endure you, i accept you, i response you, i die from of you, i die from of no you, i die beside you, i live beside you, dear wall, grant me a crack in and out the antennae of an ant, wall, grant me a slab of broken limestone a stick of bamboo to scribble with, wall, grant me a block of brick the cat can scratch, wall, grant me a morsel of green moss, wall, grant me a scoop of sunshine, wall, grant me a wind hole that passes a fragrance, wall, stop growing any taller, stop growing ever-thicker, wall, my tongue has left only one desperate plea which no one comprehends, please wall, wall

DON’T HIDE THE MADNESS

this room’s determined to not let in anyone more, someone rumbles, so should i just leave now then, is there still time, sham, someone grumbles, so should i leave and wait for someone to invite me back in then, running that mouth, someone mutters, so should i just stick my feet right to this spot then, a shadow doesn’t just up and vanish, someone sulks, i’m not wakeful enough for thoughts to hatch, to turn inward the head to turn outward the head, to glance up to a ceiling, to look down at some feet, to furrow a brow at the door, to pin eyes to wall, to stand still, sit tight, squat, flat, stretch, lean, against a chair’s back, huddled into a corner, my throat sprouts hair, my throat snags fishbone, someone’s with me in the room, i’m in the room with some other, some other who doesn’t welcome some other one, some other who particularly doesn’t welcome me, so what more am i waiting for, a hot tea, a potent wine, a blank word to erase me clean or an equivocal grammar with the touch of a hand keeps me fluttering for life, i thrust myself toward wall, should keep a determined distance from our delusions, wall says, but in thrusting what’s left to fear of windstorms, i counter, i thrust again closer, don’t face the biting wind, don’t waste an entire life bewildered beside someone you’re unable to talk with unable to talk to the end with unable to talk without ending with, wall advises, someone pours, someone is lifting the cup, i invite wall to a little something, keep me away from light’s infection, wind’s contagion, and fragrance’s bondage, i am darkness-philic, silence-preferring, barrier-constructing, perfume-blocking and all expressive words-intercepting, wall states solemnly, i submit to muteness, my tongue cannot indifferently break open a word, i submit to muteness, lips part in a soul’s blush, my tongue doesn’t know wisdom by way of reason, i submit to muteness, my tongue vines crawling up crawling down, i submit to muteness, my tongue cannot be a wave slapping the face, i submit to muteness, wall suddenly looks at me, looks straight into me, i flush, keep speaking, keep revealing that blushing soul, keep opening words rapturous and naive, keep twisting vines and tangling intestines, keep roaming near and far upstream and down, just go on and howl out one slap in the face, wall reassures me, suddenly my eyes on wall’s face, my hair spills onto wall’s forehead, my hand fondles wall, my leg wraps around wall, my body slips into wall, my shadow melts into wall’s shadow, i flush, i tingle, i stop thinking with absurdity, i blabber babble, my tongue murmurs burbles, my tongue grumbles, my tongue guts tangle and twist, my tongue purrs earthwardly, my tongue reverberates skywardly, my tongue trills birdily, my tongue bobs butterflyingly, is tongue a butterfly or is a butterfly my tongue, my tongue stumbles worldly, my tongue shrouds underworldly, my tongue soars heavenly, my tongue surrounds me in holy traps and earthly nets, perhaps the only way left for me is to push the head in, wrap the self up, coiled tightly, trapped, a snarled knot, i coo, dear wall, i love you, i endure you, i accept you, i response you, i need to have you, i die from of you, i live from of you, like the smell of sweat, the smell of wet moss, the smell of stagnant wind, the smell of curdled darkness, the smell of strangulated fever, as if wall had just expelled a cold breath, as if wall had just been set ablaze, someone pours something, i am sipping something, i invite wall to a little something, keep me from light’s infection, wind’s contagion, and fragrance’s bondage, i am darkness-philic, silence-preferring, barrier-constructing, perfume-blocking and all expressive words-intercepting, don’t let any corner of mouth any slice of tongue any piece of tooth cut my cords and leave me swaying insane, dear wall, i love you, i endure you, i accept you, i response you, i die from of you, i die from of no you, i die beside you, i live beside you, dear wall, i coo, try to raise my volume, dear wall, i love you, i endure you, i accept you, i response you, i die from of you, i die from of no you, i die beside you, i live beside you, dear wall, grant me a crack in and out the antennae of an ant, wall, grant me a slab of broken limestone a stick of bamboo to scribble with, wall, grant me a block of brick the cat can scratch, wall, grant me a morsel of green moss, wall, grant me a scoop of sunshine, wall, grant me a wind hole that passes a fragrance, wall, stop growing any taller, stop growing ever-thicker, wall, my tongue has left only one desperate plea which no one comprehends, please wall, wall

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