Archive for September 3rd, 2020

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Cloth Birds by Dorothy Tse

There’s no cloth hawker in the bazaar
willing to make dirty deals
with the health inspector
neither will they confess the link
between those bolts of flyaway fabric
and ancient birds
(lo a sage appeared
drilled fire from sticks
transformed the stinking food
and the people were happy)

after the ban on cooking smoke
glug glug swallow
the secret of seawater and its fish
tile cities built up and pulled down
at four in the afternoon
a routine inspection
into the cleanliness of laughter
a hand spread wide in the dark is
splattered with light
a carambola tree sprouts branches from stumps
its remaining fruits sour and shriveled to stardust
swaying in the void
the sky so dull
and the city official
at the newly-sterilized entrance
frantically gouging
a spy hole onto the blankness.


Date: 2019 (original in Cantonese); 2019 (translation in English)

By: Dorothy Tse (1977- )

Translated by: Natascha Bruce (19??- )