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From a Story about Shoes

♦ Chuyển ngữ: 0 bình luận ♦ 10.08.2010

Translated from the Vietnamese original “Từ chuyện đôi giày” (Da Màu April 23th, 2010)

          “as I heeded your advice
          to wear shoes instead of slippers
          ever since
          my feet became slaves
          – Phan Chí Thanh

one nice day
the prophet came
throwing me a pair of shoes
he said
they will bring you to the horizon of freedom

I hurried to whittle off my feet
and hit the road
one already stacked with prophets

each with pairs of shoes chained to his shoulders
soliciting passers-by

a glimmering horizon was half-visible
of spring
and a dream
too bad my rustic feet
dared not pull out from the shoes
because of their hundreds of scars
scars in the shape of dreams

the day before Jesus was crucified
there were still friends who washed and embalmed his feet
the day Siddhartha was born
each of his bare steps made a lotus bloom

they all seemed to walk barefoot

glory to the deities
free to go and be

the temples
their gleam of lights
their sweet smell of incense

the angels flying with wings
so they’d never step on shit

singing a hymn with wide-ranging octaves
each afraid of losing their own voice
the songstresses
sent their private words towards the night
worshipping a realm of darkness

the fairies bursting in laughers
on poems of praise
by poets
whose rhetorics
like condoms
were used many times
sculpting a linga
on the altar of passionate love
within the shadow of a restive horse
on its day of rut

a group of pilgrims
bore a cross through the skies of exile
on combat boots
one crusade
one dreamland
from behind the night swallowed one by one
their memories
a road so remote

their worry was there’s no more war
and chance of revenge

the pseudo humans
drifting through their parents’ gardens
tried reading from their own dreams
and betted the last coins from the land sale
into a gamble of draw

the earthen genies
occupying the stunted fields
at the time of year would miss the smell of gun powder
they brought cannons
and shot into the sky
flowers of fire
like an omen of freedom


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