Thursday, February 1, 2018

YANG CHI-CHU,


YANG CHI-CHU

PINEAPPLE CAKE
鳳梨酥

As the Taiwan-island-shaped pineapple cake is savored,
Packaged with food quality assurance,
Stuffed with Guanmiao’s local pineapple,
Sour ‘n sweet,
That old-time wax-gourd filling has been forgotten.

Decades ago in the countryside
Teeming with big wax gourds,
Neighbors shared pineapple cake,
Piling up kindness piece by piece,
And the leftover cake went to
The pastry chef, to be
Fully cooked and fried--
A tradition of cherishing food.

The insipid wax-gourd filling--
A test of the chef’s ingenuity--
Blended with various aromas,
Surprisingly played up to
The yearning of sweet desert.
Kneaded into dough in pieces, the pineapple cake
Wafted a hometown sentiment through the air.

Today the island-shaped pineapple cake
Goes for local pineapple filling instead,
Cased with the island’s splendors,
Along with a tropical flavor, sour ‘n sweet,
Spreading across shopping malls:
The genuine Guanmiao pineapple cake
Tourists
Know nothing but Taiwan in their mouths.






ONE LITER OF TEARS 
一公升的眼

I’m growing up to
Have feet and hands.
Suddenly I hear the sounds--
TONG, TONG, TONG--
Smelling of fear,
Stamp, and hide deep in amniotic fluid.

I begin thinking,
Fingers grasping and toes paddling
Habitually in all directions--
RONG, RONG, RONG--
Staying in the warm bed
Humming—fiddling with the fluid to sleep.

I feel music
Wafting from far away.
A nocturne, it’s said.
DENG, DENG, DENG--
Fragmented
Notes—I’m waving a baton in dream.

A voice’s telling a tale about
Love of tears night after night.
I’ve not learned to cry yet,
Amniotic fluid readily serving as my tears.
Not till one liter of tears are filled up,
Not till I leave the warm bed,
Do I realize--what love is.






FORT SAN DOMINGO
紅毛城

The rise and fall of the nations
And their checkered past
All remain
Jockeying for the marine power

In the red-brick house
The owner’s language
Smelled of something
RING-RING-RING...
Service ring
Spanish, Dutch, English
Transmitting the wisdom of the butlers
Transmitting the influence of the time

In the Empire’s hand
Who, would let go of it

Translated by
WANG Ching-lu王清祿

YANG CHI-CHU,

YANG CHI-CHU,b. 1981, a doctoral student in Comparative Literature at Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan, specialized in East Asian Literature in the period of 1930s.  She published her master thesis “Interdisciplinary Adaptation: A Study of the Narrative and TV series of the Trilogy of Wintry Night” in 2010,as well as poetry books “Living Among Cities” in 2016 and “In the season of Summer LotusBlossom” in 2017. She participated 2014“Tras las Huellas del Poeta” International poetry meeting in Chile, 2016 Formosa International Poetry Festival in Tamsui, Taiwan, and 2017 Capulí Vallejo y Su Tierra in Peru.


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