The More Car the More Far
She amasses all manner of colored jars, cucumber marinade of varying vintage. Punctually waters the flowers with Sunday's froth. In this house there is a cow, a man and a stone for grinding ink. Often strikes a slanted line across the yard. Now and then capers across some Cheshire cats without really meaning to. Explosions are all one to her, even if there's barking in the pot. Likes to write larvae-like words, larva by larva. In her belly she raises a saucer of baby debris, as brilliant as glass marbles.
One day they drag a railroad track over for her, teach her how to belch black
smoke from her fontanelles.
So then she cars up. Facing the track, facing the eaves.
I am the acme of precision. I am very naughty. I am gravity.
How can we avoid being bushed?
Who is at the boundary of whom?
As she drives by below the windowsill her man is at the window watching
Hand grasping an alternating current.
He makes a long face, like a truck full of cinnamon gone stale.
Her cow is at the window watching her. Her inkstone is at the window
They're so perplexed their eyes ooze drops of milk of ink.
Drip drop tick-tock.
Solitude is somewhat sweeter than water.
Fish are crunchier on the outside, softer in the middle than the sea.
From this day henceforth I will go forth and wilderness the wilderness.
The more car she is the more far.
2 Nights 9 Secrets—for Turning 29
The escape slackens its pace as she continues to compose her crummy
Drinking her scalding tea rebuffing tough subjects
Eyes are post-it notes sometimes aglow and sometimes black
Sometimes they withdraw like a flood
After all these years she still prefers the window-seat
In scenery there's sea there's snow there are people there are timeworn
And gentle dromedaries on the wing
When dark clouds gather she describes herself like this:
Fun-loving with a big carbon footprint. The hotter it gets the greater the stability.
The colder it gets the more in bloom.
In any case she can become a lamp a tree
An oven or a crossword puzzle
No matter what it's solely a question of shape she said.
She experiences some intrinsic risk-taking
Often cutting off the power to her heart
What is dreamt of exceeds what is seen and words, letters, characters
Of course mostly she hides inside the body of a child
And with a child's height takes the measure of the world
I Didn't Know You Didn't Know I Didn't Know: For "Sis"
Didn't know how far the spring of youth could go
but in the end up there among the clouds before they turn to rain or fish
in the bounding main
that crow-wakeful night
we'd quite finished off the crème brûlée
it all began with the black orange
we were in a fog
his voice when he sings is very like a long fishing line
on which is hooked line and sinker a river that won't stop reeling
in the swirling whirlpool
when the seasonal nor'easters begin to boil and rage
the time is ripe to trim back the portobello
pop them in a circular pot burbling with laughter
this is our fall and winter commemorative signature
the train sidles into the station at the stroke of noon like a tidy row of
you toss off your mackintosh and fly, fly away
calling to mind a practical exercise slanting rhymes
bite off the break
skirt the precipitous brink
the ghosts in the first-level basement
the coming of the man from mars
you open up your backpack
knock back a bottle of Español
for that next tastefully unfamiliar excursion
translated from the Chinese by Steve Bradbury