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a summer closing ceremony

Đặng Thơ Thơ
Nguyễn Đức Nguyên translates from "lễ bế mạc một mùa hè"

our own afternoon
ready-made food prepared
an indulgence of laziness
the weekend
anticipating a feeling
liver pate’, hand-whipped mayonaise
rolls of lee sandwich
open the first bottle
not a bordeaux wine
nor barton guestier nor the familiar paradis casseuil
these days australian wines command gold prizes
I drink
penfolds bin 407
savouring the taste of others
(from the day a damau poet arrived mid summer
before the opening ceremony
we opened a bottle but still could not finish
the olympic)
the stupendous bird nest
thousands of flood lamps brightly lit
the second bottle now worth just 5 cents
(while I wander inside Bev & Mo
buying 20 bottles paying for 10
feeling a rocking sensation)
turn the tv on
sausage and vinegar-cured onions
mixed with fireworks
athletes swim, jump, run, the last time
a pop singer
some English lyrics, uncouth lines censored:
“Shake for me, girl, I wanna be your backdoor man.” *
definitely I am drunk
warmth pulsating the chest
bin 407
occupying the screen
an oriental woman & an occidental man
mouthing meaningless sounds
let’s munch grapes to dissipate
alcohol effects
the iron tower rises tall like a gaol
the torch goes puff
one truth
no-one passes the flame on next
medals will find way to their new homes
I stagger with a pain, half a headache
half asleep falling
upon half a world
half a lesson of freedom no longer fresh
the afternoon
and the closing ceremony
rest themselves on the table overnight
in greasy plastic plates
in the morning we will wrap them
into plastic bags
just in time
for the garbage collection

đng thơ thơ 

*  a line from Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love,” deliberately not sung during the closing ceremony of Beijing Olympic 2008

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