Hieu Minh Nguyen
Note: Bài thơ B.F.F của Hieu Minh Nguyen, trong tuyển tập Thơ Mẽo hay nhất 2018, Gấu đọc, không thấy thú. Bèn nhớ ra là trong số báo Thơ, Poetry March 2018 có 1 câu thơ của anh được bệ ra bìa sau, và, bèn mua.
Đi hết mấy bài của anh, rồi dịch sau.
HMN như Tạp chí Thơ cho biết, là 1 thi sĩ Mẽo gốc Mít, và còn là 1 nhà trình diễn a performer, tác giả của Not Here (Coffee House Press, 2018), và This way to the Sugar (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014)
HIEU MINH NGUYEN is a Vietnamese American poet and performer.
He's the author of the forthcoming Not Here (Coffee House Press,
2018) and This Way to the Sugar (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014).
HIEU MINH NGUYEN
Past the congested interstate, past the long lines
outside the Dorothy Day Center, past the cheering bleachers,
the steam rising from the coach's face, the fathers straining in prayer,
past the rusting letters on the marquee, the dim lights along Main,
the couples who will fuck during the movie & the couples who won't,
past the frozen orchard, past the defaced statue of a saint, a dog
chews thin the leather cord around his neck. The opposite of hunger
is not satisfaction, it is birth. It is what makes a man chisel a face into
It is what drives the body to lie in the fresh snow. It is what quiets
when she pulls you in close. It is the winning pass, the crowd too busy
counting down to notice. The world puts its mouth on you
& you don't say a thing. The world digs a hole in your yard
& it's up to you to fill it, up to you to find something useful
to do with your sadness. Strange, the yellow beetle, dried
between the pages of the dictionary, staining the page
with its flattened body - its outline, a dirty halo circling
the word pleased - please, you've circled the same two blocks in search
of a place to park, circled the yard howling a name that won't respond,
but you still think you know enough to call that enough?
The boat smacks against the dock it's tied to. Your mother
fixes your father's tie before closing the casket.
Everyone you loved refused to die in this town
before they died in this town. The woman beside you
on the plane wants to know where you're going.
Once, a man named a thing beautiful & so we wore it,
buried it, turned it into currency. Somewhere, maybe here, maybe now,
I stand completely still until he looks in my direction. Sometimes I don't
believe I exist until someone calls me beautiful. Sometimes
any warm thing will do. Sometimes it's me, a warm thing in the low
light. Beautiful is what the man called me after he did
what he wanted with - I'm running out of ways to describe it
- my body, my silence. Beautiful. Why, I ask, in order to love
yourself must you, first, be loved? A bone sucked clean
of its marrow. A trail of ants magnified into ash. & of course,
I'm asking no one. & of course, I know the answer.
Of course, I know it's not me they're looking for, the men, I mean.
& I wished he didn't feel the need to speak, really wished -like me
- he just kept quiet, but no, he had to speak, he had to say beautiful-
& now, goddamnit, my body appears, trapped in the long tunnel
of a telescope. & now I am here attending the aftermath
of my own ruin, with nothing but beautiful to keep me company.
Maybe he meant the city beyond the window.
Maybe he was talking to himself. Maybe beautiful, as in good job,
as in look what I just did with my own two hands.