Sunday, March 15, 2009

Poetry by Ma Lan: This Kind of Man 这样的男人

This Kind of Man

There was a man who may have become a bird, a great legendary bird
He might have even made his shadow move forward with time on the wall
This man often thinks of others, taking off his gloves and putting them back on, in winter
This was his greatest trick; the repeated movements emaciated him, innocent
Finally he found a reason to climb a tree, wishing to touch the sound of the air currents
Wishing even to breathe to make the winds flow. But how did he separate
His not having married from his career-building dreams? Never again could he be punished on this earth, even if it is walking
He heard sounds flying up from the past and the future. At this point he grew feathers
His companions running wild on the barren wastes, their feet gradually leaving the ground, dramatically their bodies
Transformed into soaring bird bodies. Long afterward people on the ground were still looking for him
Inquiring into how he disappeared, how he died. Legends and gossip blurred into booming winds
Children, happy as you please, watch movies and listen to stories in their wildly fantastic games
They gaze at flocks of birds in the sky, arranged in a "man"-shaped formation
Can they imagine a man becoming a bird? Under the transitory, clear skies, countless possibilities
Appear and vanish, countless editions of romances: a man dies or comes back to life.

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