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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing English-Chinese Edition January 2023
Three Abstract Artworks, poems by Ai-Lin.
Three Abstract Artworks
Solitude is very airy.
It can be also a heavy
force of gravity.
The nude woman’s
sagging breasts are sobbing…
A rose on the dressing table
has long become lifeless.
That man wants to open a window.
The sunset outside
miserably and massively
like a lady who has lost her virginity.
shouts out through his eyes,
because his throat
is knotted and benumbed.
The father, ten blocks away, working.
The mother, vegetative in a hospital.
Just suddenly I feel
it’s time to stop playing the unbalanced game.
Well, you know the rules of the seesaw —
they require sacrificing one side’s fall.
And I am the other side that keeps rising
by your constant pressure.
Like a balloon
inside the bright proud surface
is just inflated nothingness.
You are generous to protect my explosive face.
But I have wished many times —
you could brutally puncture my shield,
then, perhaps we could get
Next, you would silently leave my scale:
For the first time
the weight of nothing
would make the scale balance…
Now you should wake up —
I am a heartless hammer
that cannot match your weight.
English translation © Anna Yin/© Yen Ai-lin
Yen Ai-lin was born in Taiwan in 1968 and graduated from Fu Jen Catholic University. She won the Outstanding Youth Award from Taiwan Publishing, the 40th Anniversary of Epoch Poetry Quarterly Award, the National Outstanding Poet Award etc. She was the First Cross-Strait Poet Laureate. She has authored 20 books and her poems have been translated into many languages and have been selected for various Chinese textbooks in Taiwan and Hong Kong etc.