Trương Đăng Dung – 3 works

(Translated from the Hungarian parts of this book.)

This drifting is silent
(Anh không thấy thời gian trôi)

This drifting is silent,
A deaf cloud swimming up there,
Yellowing leaf holding branches,
The wind shaking then tearing it bare,
Bidding farewell to the tree it once were.

This drifting is silent,
I notice colors withering from the leaves,
in the still night, the rain drips completely away,
my footmarks of yesterday are a drying up bay.

This drifting is silent,
The autumn is strange, then known as my hand,
faces, motions, laughs when we met,
after barely a few days, it’s a wholly unknown land.

This drifting is silent,
I want to dissolve in the color of the sky,
who could wring back the fallen threads of hair,
Dreamless awakening. My things will lie
yet here, long after my last cry.

This drifting is silent,
even when hiding in the blood,
breaking the mirror of eyes, sitting on the mouth,
crooked as a staff, writing on the ground:
life was a major forest, then now a minor bud.

Physical evidence
(Vật chứng)

I’m afraid, when the light pours in,
after opening up the window,
our bodies will stop shining.

I’m afraid, time moves into our threads of hair,
when our lips float apart,
and our warm breath drifting to the past – just cold air.

I’m afraid, this room becomes nothing,
when you make the bed,
as memories burn away in here from everything.

I’m afraid, of the sound of your rattling steps,
on the sleeping rocks in the garden,
what will love become, when you have already left?

Don’t smooth the sheets,
Don’t unpin your hair,
Don’t paint your lips,
This room needs no care,
With our clothes left on a chair,
I need physical evidence,
a piece of the past in our present.

(Tự bạch)

My first work was being a question mark for nine months in my mother’s belly, being born after training on questions without answers.
My birth was next to a river, between the blue sea and a green field running to the distance. How poor my village was. The sea waves, the wave pushes the air higher, the air pressing the sky upwards. The stars are shining like grains of rice, like they were the dots of hope thrown there by the millenniums.
I listen to the sound of footsteps, the hungry children’s crying as they beg for food, I listen to the terrible yowling of cats, to the rain sobbing for dawn. It’s so difficult to make out any shadow of the fathers, they are like elongated stains of blood spilled onto the wall. Mothers sow their tear and yet they are happy, as they feel tiny legs kicking from the inside.
Language is not capable of manifesting our emotions. Words wear different clothes every time, have their own life, they just keep changing. I walk between people, between silent rows of trees. I could be grateful to the tree – I think to myself – that will be cut down, and sawed into planks it will hug me in a crumbling world under the ground.
My being was not anything new under the sun. As everyone else, between past and future, I’m just a kid growing ever-older.