Chris Song “pomegranate” (trans. Lucas Klein) × Steven Schroeder “via crucis”

Chris Song is a poet, translator and editor based in Hong Kong. He has published four collections of poetry and many volumes of poetry in translation. Song received an “Extraordinary Mention” at Italy’s UNESCO-recognized Nosside World Poetry Prize 2013. He won the Young Artist Award at the 2017 Hong Kong Arts Development Awards, presented by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. In 2019, he won the 5th Haizi Poetry Award. Song is now Executive Director of the Hong Kong International Poetry Nights, Editor-in-Chief of Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine, and associate series editor of the Association of Stories in Macao. He also serves as an Arts Advisor to the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

His flying island pocketbook, mirror me, was published in 2017.

pomegranate

how many flames wrapped in this

riddle? tongue drunk in

agate flesh, each and every

one a bitterness in white crystal

seeking your deep-seated

seeds. you give me drops of sweet

and leave unripe slices

will all a face’s patience be kissed up

by a to-and-fro tongue tip? I remember

you as a literature lover, blushing

like a bud’s first burst, ripening at

changing seasons, uninterruptible

by worry, each tight

against each, piled up

pent up veins, who says calm

isn’t a seclusion, inducing

your flames? at times

reality is like a storm, branches

smacking anxious windows, an unirritated

you always under silent

lights quietly counting out

each day, my patience

time and again resolving

the riddle of your flame

(translated from Chinese by Lucas Klein)

石榴

裹著多少火焰的

謎語?舌頭沉醉在

瑪瑙的肉汁,在一粒

又一粒白水晶中

苦苦尋覓你深藏的

籽實。你給我幾滴甘甜

又留下幾分乾澀

舌尖來回會吻盡

臉肌的耐心嗎?曾記

你含英咀華,紅暈

如蓓蕾初綻,季節更迭

使你成熟,煩憂

卻無從間斷,一粒

緊挨著一粒,疊起

鬱結的脈絡,誰說平淡

不是一種幽困,把你的

烈焰歸納?有時候

現實猶如風暴,用樹枝

鞭打焦慮的窗臺,安靜的

燈下總有不慍不火的你

沉默地一粒又一粒地

算著日子,我的耐心

一次又一次解開你

火焰的謎語

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