WRITING RESEARCHING TEACHING

Roya Liu

she/her/hersPh.D. candidate
English department
Stony Brook Univeristy

Hi, I write poetry/prose poetry.

My research interests include transnational modernism, feminist media studies, critical disability studies and age/aging studies.I teach courses on modern/contemporary literature and organize workshops on affect/disability studies.

All images, primarily created by Monet, are credited to Google Research.

*Research interests: transnational modernism, feminist media studies, critical disability studies, and aging studies*Dissertation title: Intergenerational Dialogue on Witnessing Aging: Aging Modernism and Young Media*Publications at: Feminist Media Studies; The Journal of Black Studies*Peer reviewer for: Feminist Media Studies; The Journal of Gender Studies.

We Chat: sun367m
公众号:南国的四月一日

paintings by Paul Klee

PROSE POETRY

It didn’t snow in New York until January 6th

It didn’t snow in New York until January 6th.
After Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and the weather forecast,
did I know the granny hairdresser had been back
to Malaysia 18 times in 34 years.
Only then did I hear the sound of crying babies
broadcast from room to room.
Only then did I realize there was loneliness in other rooms.
Between sleep and sleep, loneliness lingers.
New York is long and faraway, Pigeons fly———
It didn’t snow in New York until January 6th,
Bringing to mind the corners that need warmth.
2024.1.6
1月6号纽约才下雪
圣诞,新年,天气预报之后
才告诉我,理发师奶奶34年
回了18次马来西亚
才听到,房间和房间之间
播放婴儿哭泣的声音
才知道,原来其他屋子里也有寂寞
睡眠与睡眠之间,孤单停着
纽约很久也很长,鸽子飞
起来——————
1月6号纽约才下雪
提醒着,一个一个需要取暖的角落

I want a spacious sunny day

I want a spacious sunny day
To shine on that roof, with someone waiting by the door.
Leaves fluttering in the wind with the sun’s smile
Give the cloudy and rainy days a break.
I sit on a little bench, spacing out.
I want a spacious sunny day
To keep the light of snow, the white
Secret, wrapped around bare ankles.
At the bus stop, I walked back.
A farewell is like snow on the roof – splat.
Over many gloomy days
One spacious sunny day is enough.
2024.1.28
我想有个宽敞的晴天
照亮那片屋檐,有人在门边等着
叶子在风里飘着太阳的微笑
给阴天和雨天放假
我坐在小板凳上,发呆,放空
我想有个宽敞的晴天
留住白雪的光,白色的
秘密,裹着裸露的脚踝
到了公交站,往回走
告别像屋檐上的雪,啪嗒——落下
经历了很多个阴天的伤心
有一个宽敞的晴天就够了

must i love?

must i love?
you shouldn’t.
love isn’t a language
you must say it.
love in the past
has no future,
no reason
to love, not a feeling;
leave it
to stay, theres within heres,
love exists, not a thing,
lingering in breaths.
i know––
it’s over, around the corner.
2023.12.17

missing you

missing you is
use-less
gloomy trees
heavy clouds
nap like a log
home in a fog
deep in the night
no need to panic
when fruits
falling
2023.12.3
想念
这世上
最无用的事
黯淡的树
云层很低
像一个
睡得很沉的
午觉
浓雾里回家
深夜里
不必为
果子掉

惊慌

A Puzzle

The umbrella was like a precise spell:
The train ticket could only draw a period;
The dusk paints the sky on time,
Whether you catch your breath or not.
The wind blew the ice cream out of your hand;
The night tore up the printed white paper;
The shadow of the bike was crooked;
The tire on the back seat was deflated.
The dust held an old box;
The attic hid a transparent dream;
Fallen leaves wanted to find the snowman they built.
All the leaves fell but no snow.
The goldfish in the film has a memory,
Lilies fall around the glass bottle.
The puzzle they couldn’t solve
All it took to unravel was a coincidence.
雨伞像一句精确的咒语
火车票只能划一个句号
黄昏在天空按时地画画
不管你是否跟上了呼吸
风吹落了手里的冰淇淋
夜撕碎了打印好的白纸
自行车的影子歪歪扭扭
后座的轮胎早已泄了气
灰尘收留了一个旧盒子
阁楼藏匿一个透明的梦
落叶想找回堆过的雪人
叶子掉光了也没等到雪
胶片里的金鱼拥有记忆
玻璃瓶四周落满了百合
当年他们解不了的难题
解开原来只需一个巧合
2022.07.27

A Tree

In my next life, I’ll be a tree,
Growing leaves in spring,
Bare and withered in winter,
Yet not afraid of the seasons.
A tree that moves with the wind,
Keeps its shadows on sunny days.
Gets drunk on rainy days,
Yet does not sink into memories.
A tree that adores the fall,
Dyeing yellow in the daytime
Fishing for moonlight in the night
Without feeling shy.
A blind tree
Birds describe me as green,
A green that cannot be met again
After parting ways.
A tree without words.
The wind cheers me as a musical instrument.
The leaves are my letters to the earth.
2022.6.9
来生,我会做一棵树
春日里长出叶子
冬日里光秃凋零
却不畏惧四季
一棵随风迁徙的树
晴天里留住影子
雨天里狂饮沉醉
却不陷入回忆
一棵爱慕秋天的树
白昼里染上黄色
黑夜里打捞月光
却不甘于羞涩
一棵失明的树
鸟描述我是绿色
告别后
无法重逢的绿色
一棵无言的树
风鼓舞我是乐器
落叶是
写给大地的书信
Roya 2022/06/09 长岛

Fluffy Grass

I want to be a thief,
Stealing time from the leaves.
They wait and pause,
Wane and fall with ease.
Can I receive a blessing
From the wrinkles of a tree,
A wish for the present,
An everlasting reverie?
I’ll learn to be soft
From the sea of clouds.
Stay close like the roses
Near the thorns.
Like the fluffy wild grass,
Two injured geese swim towards
The shore closest to dusk.
2023.4.26
我想当个小偷
偷叶子一点时间
可以等,也可以停
可以凋零,降落
向树的皱纹学习
像一个永恒的祝福
向云朵学习柔软
向玫瑰学习亲密
像毛绒绒的野草
两只受伤的鹅,游
向离黄昏最近的岸

Autumn

Muddling through autumn is fate.
It leaves you when the first leaf falls,
But lasts longer than the other three.
Colors are falling and hanging.
Shades are drifting and swirling.
You are missing and unfeeling.
You are drawn and dizzy.
Messing you up is love.
Falling is too real to be false,
Too serious to be slight,
Too serene to be silent.
If there is no rain and wind,
Will there be a fall?
2022.11.5
邂逅秋天纯属偶然
从第一片叶子离别
比三个季节更绵延
坠落又悬挂的颜色
漂浮却盘旋的影子
迷路在薄情里
淹没在眩晕里
一团糟的是爱
坠入不假的真
不轻浮的严肃
不宁静的和平
没有风没有雨
还有秋落下吗

Honey, a finished poem we are

Honey, a finished poem we are.
The unfinalized part should be serene,
The unanswered became a pause,
The beginning is like a dream scene.
What we believed, remains silent in the poem,
Promises stretched into a long dash.
One rainy day, the sound of rain overlapping, another rainy day.
Yet a poem, one day, loses its voice
Only on the desk by the window, left as a sheet
Black words on white paper, so still.
2023.9.13
亲爱的,我们像一首写完的诗
未完成的,应该很美
没有回答的,成了一个暂停
开始的,像一个梦境
曾以为的,在诗里沉默
约定拖成,一个长长的破折
一个雨天,雨声重叠了,又一个雨天
而一首诗,总有一天,没了声音
只在,窗前书桌上,留成一张
白纸黑字,那样静止的,一个画面

Rosy Dusk

Honey, that dusk was rosy
Petals melting into the twilight, when the sky
Draped a black coat, you holding my hands,
I paused, memorizing the crimson body of twilight.
We are like the flock of geese taking flight,
In midair, leaving the branches and head towards
A translucent tree. Will you break the leftover fries,
And feed them to the unsociable seabirds?
Like our conversations, a half-finished movie.
“When the soul is in pain,” I sneak a glance at you.
When the curtain falls, “Now we can start talking.”
2023.8.19
亲爱的,那个黄昏是玫瑰色
花瓣融化在黄昏里,你在天空
披上黑色大衣时,握紧我的手
我停下来,记忆黄昏红色的身体
我们像从未见过,半空飞起来的
雁群,离开枝桠,向着一个
透明的远方。你还会把吃剩的
薯条,折断,喂给不合群
的海鸟吗?像我们的谈话,赶
迟到了的电影。“灵魂疼痛的
时候”,我偷偷看你,散场
“我们就可以开始交谈了。”

Hope is the Bud of the Soul

Hope is the bud of the soul.
Love, the color of petals.
The heart, a shy pistil.
A leaf, in different weathers,
Has a different shade of green.
Justified to the point that another century
Passed, and no need for questioning,
Like its lines, straight and roundabout.
A serendipitous story that needs
No reasons to connect the dots, and I
Should return the leaves to the tree, we
Don’t need stories, nor eternal returns.
This is where the pistil wonders, "Can I
Bloom? Or shall I let the color of petals
Deepen, weigh down, until in one night
They fall off as a closed bud?"
2023.4.28
希望是灵魂的花骨朵儿
爱是花瓣的颜色
心是羞涩的花蕊
一片叶子,在不同的
天气里,不一样的绿色
理直气壮到,又一个世纪
过去,也无需质疑,
像纹路,直白,迂回
一个偶然的故事,不需要
理由勾连线索,而我
应该把叶子还给大树,从来
不需要故事,也不必轮回
这是花蕊疑惑的地方,“我
可以绽放吗?还是让花瓣
更深,更沉,再在一个夜晚
掉落,一颗完整的花骨朵儿?”

Honey We Meet in a Day

Honey we meet in a day,
Thicker than yesterday,
Thinner than tomorrow.
We witness a season,
Distant from summer,
Closer to winter.
We missed a day,
A recurring day,
Paused in the night,
Nicer than the starry sky.
Cooler than the crescent moon.
They are intimate forever.
2023.4.24

The Walls

1.
A wall that asks questions, I guess,
You asked me about my childhood, my family, my relationships.
You asked me to feel good about myself, too.
Asked why I’m anxious, depressed, angry,
I answered and shed a few tears when I paused.
You painted on a few frowns and asked,
Do you need some water? Even though you are clearly
A wall doesn’t move and only asks questions.
2.
It’s a wall at night, I think.
The light in the room can’t reach the darkness outside the wall.
Inside the wall a withered rose just happened to fall
On the window sill. Outside the wall the branches are deaf
To a little bird flying around
Searching for an ear. In the wind,
It couldn't help dropping a few tears, right
On the dead leaf butterfly silent as a fallen leaf.
The bird recalled the open window,
The fox with the red ears
Leaning against the wall at night.
2024.2.8

All of This

So, all of this, between us, has to be crammed into
Poetry. By the window I’ve been fantasizing about
Someone to cuddle and chatter with, who dwells in
Dreams, writes poetry together, listens to
Me and couldn’t help kissing the top of my head. We
Spent so much time, over and over again, in the same
Darkness; perhaps it is too fleeting, like a stanza.
Every time you open it, what you’ve written,
Our poetry: all of this, only with poetry can they
return to those stanzas that repeat over and over again.
How could I? How could I have that wish for
All of this, all this eternity: a resolute
Lover who pulls back once touched.
2024.2.3

Distant Dreams

I want,
In the misty morning,
To collect the evaporating dew on the road.
The moment the leaves tremble,
I’ll kidnap the autumn wind.
I’ll swallow poetry in my stomach,
Pillow fiction under my head.
In the flurry of falling leaves,
I happen to miss it,
Rejecting time.
In the night
Walking to the door,
Peering through the cat’s eye
Looking for time without progress.
In the void of time,
There’s no one
Dreaming of distant dreams.
2019.10.8
我要
在薄雾的清晨
收集马路上蒸发的露珠
叶子颤抖的瞬间
绑架秋风
把诗歌吞进肚子里
小说枕在头下
在纷纷落叶掉下的时候
刚好错过
拒绝时间
在黑夜的时候
走到门前
透过猫眼窥探
寻找没有进度的时间
时间的空洞里
没有人
做遥不可及的梦

Charcoal

A soul
In the fog
In the storm
In the pine forest
In the cottage
In the attic
Cries:
Please love me —
In winter nights,
In a fireplace
The charcoal lights up —
2022.11.4
一颗
阁楼
山庄
松树林
暴风雨
起雾的
灵魂——
呼喊着——
请你爱我——
冬夜
暖炉里
木炭亮了

Sick BabyBeing sick is answering your life. You are unhealthy with many things. Too sick to stay here and then. There are other worlds where you are not sick or you can seek the treatment yourself. You just need other eyes to see, and other mouths to say, “I am not you.” The sick baby stays in.

A Doll and a Robot

She became a doll when she saw her mirror image on the robot’s belly. A was a robot that always needed recharging. When the image on A’s belly mirror was coalescing, they cuddled together like a robot and a doll in an attic, with no need to recharge or wait. Again and again, A took her back to that room, one of the other rooms, piled high with blocks and fairy tale books, but colored with the darkness of an old house, and gray–images not borne by words.A doesn’t like the mirror on his belly; it is a power drain. He hides it from her like he avoids feelings. Yet she always wants to see it, like she wants to go back to that room and pick up the blonde doll. When A runs out of battery, she imagines over and over again what it means to not be able to get a charge in this world. Is she trying to see the mirror image? A’s belly rumbles, and the mirror image often shakes. She is in A’s arms, tears soaking the area above his belly. Could they continue to open other rooms? Door after door in this world closed one after the other. They walked into the blue-black night.Until she met A, she was envious of the falling leaves coming home. When it was about to snow in the winter, A walked with her in the streetlights cooled by the wind, “This cool, cloudy weather may not be a good sign.” She tried to use robotic language, stating her looming sense of fear that it would end before it even began. A paced heavily, “But I seem to be clinging to the hope of something good. Do you realize I’m going too fast?” On the cold, rainy night, A held her, fingers intertwined, as natural as the language of love before it was coined by mankind. Or, as in her dream, he slipped into the crowd, and she asked passerby after passerby, only to know that he moved on.The first snowfall, patting the woodpile with a thin layer of drifting snow, A still had long hair. A turned his head to look at her, and she was sure A was in love with her. Another snowfall, A made her a glass of dragon fruit-colored juice, the same as the last time. Following the procedure, he took the pre-thawed fruit from the fridge. Only the last glass was sweetened with sugar, surprisingly sweet. Snowflakes fell recklessly, filling the air with feathers of snow. At this time of year, all she wanted was to hold A’s cold hand tightly; A photographed a black shadow on the snow. A planned a new year’s celebration with her at the beach, and at the end of the year, he came back to her from the other beach, wearing a green woolen hat, their hands held. Winter melted another snowman the two had built together.A was curious about the way humans recharge their batteries. His eyes lit up as she followed the recipe and made brightly colored risotto. A took pictures and tried to pick up peanuts with his chopsticks, ate dried chili peppers, and tricked her into eating limes. A’s expression was so simple. She saw a mirror image of a lonely little person, ready to pack a bag with the intention of leaving the house. She wrote on the card, “Your panicked look is like that of a frightened cat. I hope you are like the cat, always free to be away and home.” A’s belly didn’t light up, and she knew he was leaving. Everything was so light, like the snickering when she heard A say, in another language, “I like noodles,” like the day she communicated with A using only emojis, like an innocent Christmas love poem, like windows facing the ocean in a taco place, like the two smiling faces in the mirror of a late-night burger joint.She nicknamed A in human language, but A couldn’t think of a nickname for her. She said that was fine, because symbols only sprout from absence. So that day, when A was happy about finding her nickname, they should have read the signal earlier. They were equally fascinated by old things, she missed the laurel tree in her childhood front garden, while A’s belly flooded with mirror images – a picture of cows in the pink gleanings in the backyard, a picture of the night kissing the sea with gently ruffled ripples. She gazed at the postcard A had received, a traditional blessing addressed to the robot. She was sure that A deserved to have the happiness of a pastoral poem; The tears trickled down her face for the idyll that had been lost to both of them. A’s eyes misted over. She and A want to know more about each other’s worlds, to ride on flying carpets or in moving rooms, where there were no longer barriers between worlds.After the performance of The Magic Flute, A said what came to her mind, “Words can express so little.” A few lines in the scene of The Hours had her grasping A’s hand, and during the intermission, A spread his hands so she could read the lines and play with his fingers. Catching the late movie, A said he likes it when she waves at the geese taking off, rose-colored petals melting into the setting sun. They hold hands, closer than every kiss that rolls down the windowpane. The night before she leaves, she heard a woman crying and shouting outside their window. In the quiet, A held her hand, dropped it, and then clenched it again. A had a sleepless night, and she said a morning like this deserves to be written in poems. A likes to drive in heavy, misty rain, and she sees the icy roads glistening, like every first snowy day, worth waiting for and remembering.A drives slowly and she sees a deer framed in motion through the window. 14,000 kilometers apart, A photographs frightened deer in the daytime, which she receives on a dark night. Back in the coffee shop, A pats her head now and then. She takes his arm, looking out the window at the distant trees colored yellow by the streetlights, and she thinks they couldn’t be more intimate. “Did you know that streetlights color the leaves yellow?” For once, she looked out the window and remembered that summer afternoon when, with tears in her eyes, she just wished the car wouldn’t stop, that it would just keep going and going, the leaves outside the window like never-ending waves of green. The roof window opens, and she sees branches swimming in the night sky. She asks, “Do we fuck?” A grabbed her hair, an intimate command she gave. “We’re so fucked up.” This is repeated on the last phone call, as is, “I do love you.” “I love you too.”When A is out of power, he opens the window and leans against the wall. She always says hello to the leaves outside the window, each swaying a different color. There was snow on the branches, and A had just hugged her very tightly in one of her dreams. She listened to her favorite song with A, “You know what? The main character who didn’t say goodbye in the story I’ve written before is also named 安.” A plays her the sounds of the beach or the woods, the robot’s body pressed close to hers. A writes poems in which she becomes a child, and he is a spirit breaking out of his shell. She asks sadly, “Do you hate this body so much?” A turns his head, a mirror image, an old doll in a locker. Stepping out of the house, she too beckons the stars or the wrinkles of a large tree, something eternal, in a prayerful pose, a little closer. At a turning point in the night, A opened his arms and rushed straight to her down the black aisle, and she forgot that time moves on. On a rainy day, A running out of charge, she went to the blue house, stayed, and left.She seemed to know A many times, especially when she walked along the streets where A had not become a robot. On dim days, she was like a kite hanging from a tree, and other possibilities drifted over on the wind. In this one possibility, A pitied the sickly little white fish, recorded the trembling petals growing in the shopping bag, put the fallen flowers in a glass of water, the weeds by the river brightened up, and a pair of swans swam up to the shore. She always looked across the river at other kinds of possibilities, sitting on the trunk of a tree, never expecting the next gust of wind or the next sunset, in a node where there is no time, only the constant tumbling of leaves, a tree that is both green and yellow, where it is impossible to tell summer from fall, and where any child who can’t find a home can go home.The tarot cards told her that a golden-haired boy would spin her around. She passed the tarot store down the street in Rhode Island, or the tarot reader down the road in New York, but didn’t let the tarot tell her the story of what was to come.She thought, “I wish you were a real robot, fully charged all the time, with a clear drawing on your belly, the kind of clarity you don’t need to cover up.” He said, “I wish you really were the doll I have hidden in my closet, my favorite one.”

A View

It demands only one view to blind a day,
A recurring view before many nights.
Gripping on a chance to pull back the curtain
And fake nights in days without silent sheets
Needs more efforts than losing sights
Of the blindness exiled by sharp lights.
Lapsing into languor un-hearing the leaves
Of rustling with a rainlike sound
Begs more time to hear the deafness,
Echoing the sighs like air to re-sound.
2022.12.6
一次镜像,天就黑了
黑夜前,重演很多次
抓住拉窗帘的时机
在白日里,虚构黑夜,屏蔽白纸
看见被强光驱逐的黑暗
无精打采,听不到叶子
沙沙作响的雨滴声
央求时间,听清楚沉默
呼应空气里的叹息,轰鸣

Change of Seasons

Some people are allergic
To the change of seasons,
Trembling with an unscratchable itch.
They change a room
To unstuff dusty air, in vain.
Under the weather changing colors,
They change a window
To see the same view, again.
2022.10.23

Love Letter to Myself

Love is a person, an afternoon, waiting on the swing.
It’s also dusk, the soft moisture on a misty rainy day.
Mist rises on the eaves, bringing you back to that cloudy room.
Across the goldfish bowl, you two are as clean as smiling eyes.
Nostalgia waters melancholy, between past and present, teaching you love
Turns out to be, under dust and droplets, a stunning shade of green.
Snowfall is a metaphor, an irresistible command.
At five fifteen, light reflected off snow, proclaiming a world beyond this world.
Snow on the rooftops clings to the gray sky, unwilling to part.
By the window, you tear a story of parting without saying goodbye to shreds.
From then on, you always rehearse farewells on the night of precipitating blues,
To promise, when you see the moon, you will recall you were cuddling in the blue.
You thought of loving yourself and wrote yourself a love letter,
Delivering the letter towards childhood, you saw the dust from afar on bicycle wheels.
Books always keep you away from your world, close to the laughter in the rocking chair.
You asked yourself, why am I not a cool girl?
Is it possible to find my wholeness in poetry? Yu Xiuhua is thankful
Poetry gave her wholeness; you shed tears for the need to complete ourselves.
You can’t change the way you offer your heart in your hands: the hand stove
Made by Grandpa; the smell of your grandmother drying clothes on Honglong.
So, despite cloudy days, you learned to search for yellow.
2024.2.13
爱情是一个人,一个下午,秋千上的等待
也是黄昏,朦朦胧胧雨天里,潮湿的绵软
屋檐上起雾,你好似回到那个阴天的房间
隔着金鱼缸,你们干净得像笑起来的眼角
怀旧浇着忧愁,过去和现在之间,教会你爱
原来是,尘埃裹着,水滴附着,一抹惊人的绿色
下雪,一个隐喻,一道你无法抗拒的指令
五点一刻,雪上的晴朗,宣告世界之外还有世界
雪在屋顶,连接灰白的天,不舍的分离和亲密
在窗边,你把一个不告而别的故事撕得粉碎
从此,你总在沉淀好蓝色的夜里,假设告别
约定,看到月亮时,回忆你们曾在蓝色里拥抱
你想起来爱自己,给自己写一封情书
寄信途中,自行车后轮远方的风尘,向着童年
书本总让你离你的世界很远,摇椅里的笑声很近
你问自己,为什么我不是一个酷女孩?
我有没有可能在诗歌里找到完整?余秀华感谢
诗歌给了她完整;你为这寻找完整之必要落泪
你改不了,双手交付你的柔软:外公做的手炉
一直暖着,外婆用烘笼烤干衣服的味道
如此,即便在阴天,你也学会了寻找黄色
Notes: Honglong is a traditional Chinese drying basket made from bamboo.

Ode to Headaches

Headaches, once or twice a month, a trustworthy frequency.
Sometimes one side hurts, sometimes one side and then the other.
Sometimes both sides hurt. Headaches knock down expectations.
Headaches liberate a laborer who clocked in seven hours a day.
You are finally at peace with yourself, letting go of everything, and sleep
When you want to. Headaches are resolutions to modern conditions.
Headaches allow mother who nags to eat healthy and demands father
Calculate nutritional balance, ignoring the flavor of meals, to be vulnerable
finally, lying in bed. Headaches give a family the freedom to eat.
Headaches let grandpa, who always loved to laugh with you,
Slap his head and discuss death with you. He always had headaches;
Fengyoujing brings you back to him. Headaches redefine death.
Headaches make you love their headaches more, Woolf and Beckett
Got headaches, too. Even they were speechless before the pain, too.
You can’t fathom the pain. Headaches teach you equality and mystery.
2024.2.15
Notes: Fengyoujing refers to a brand name for medicated oil to reduce headache. This oil has a distinct and strong aroma.歌颂头痛头痛,每个月一到两次,值得信赖的频率
偶尔疼一边,偶尔疼了一边,再换另一边
有时两边都疼。头痛是打倒预判的偶然。
头痛,解放一个每天打卡七小时的劳动者
你终于心安理得,放下一切,像古人一样
想睡觉就睡觉。头痛解决失眠等现代问题
头痛,让三餐唠叨饮食健康,要求煮夫计算
营养平衡,忽略饭菜味道的母亲,终于有了
脆弱,躺在床上。头痛赋予家庭吃饭自由。
头痛,让总爱和你嘻嘻哈哈的外公,拍着脑门
跟你开玩笑聊起了死亡。他总头痛,清凉油
让你又回到他的身边。头痛重新定义了死亡。
头痛,让你更爱他们的头痛,伍尔夫贝克特
也会头痛,他们也会在疼痛前无话可说。
你理解不了这疼痛。头痛教会你平等和神秘。

Dream of Folding Paper

Jing Jing had never traveled far, but she always dreamed of drifting.After waking up from her dreams, Jing Jing was always folding paper, folding one dream after another.By chance, in dream after dream of faraway places, Jing Jing couldn’t know where it went, where it was going.The destination in the dream falls away in the minute before waking, becoming blurred at the moment of awakening. The figure seen in the dream, upon a closer look, remains distant, with only the view of a blurry double image seen through tears. The overflowing images resemble those in a bus window on a rainy day, where the outside world is suspended. It is also like tears dropped on a sheet of paper, causing the words to blur and spread, creating layers of rippling black vortex. Only with this is the letter complete.Jing folds train carriages. She didn’t know how many carriages to fold before she would catch up with the one in her dream where the story was about to unfold; or if she could only keep lengthening the train, just as the passenger in her dream prayed that the locomotive would never stop. Jing wanted to fold a train long enough to last longer than the dream's prayer, and stretch out longer than the dream's silence. The paper train stands on the desk, rain dripping from the roof outside the window. The train in the dreams seems to drive on forever. The person in the dream is leaning on the window seat, arriving at some definite future in the carriage.Sometimes folding a boat. Jing Jing regrets not being able to fold a ship; the two in the dream walk by the seaside, looking back now and then at the footprints on the beach. When they reach the Swinging Bell, they separate, walking in opposite directions without looking back at the footprints again. Neither rings the bell, although they have both heard that ringing the bell can make a wish. They missed a boat that traveled far before they saw the big Swinging Bell. How long can a small paper boat float on the water in a fishbowl? Why is the ocean in the dream not as blue as imagined and the beach far from the golden color that symbolizes eternity?Sometimes folding a bridge. Through the bus window, the person in the dream gazes toward the bridge as it was captured in old photos. And, standing on the bridge, she sees someone waving to her and running toward her. She is anxious, trying to tell him to stop, as if she expects that as soon as he runs, the bridge will dissolve into the water and become a curved reflection, a shadow close to the moon.Sometimes folding a paper fortune teller. The person in the dream plays the game, “West, 13 counts,” “East, 27.” ... The person wakes up and forgets who the person on the other side was. The paper fortune teller folded by Jing Jing, leaving the four directions on the white. There is a radio in the dream, squeaking and singing, “plant two crêpe myrtles, pour three bowls of millet wine, open four Penglai cottages.”Sometimes folding a paper cup telephone. The person in the dream, reaching the edge of the cliff, shouts into the valley, not hearing the slightest echo. Except for the sound of the wind, there is only a waveless quiet, swirling into the throat, followed by a soundless cough, choking back tears. Uncertain whether to avoid the wind or face it, with no clear choice, they end up being blown into a swaying silhouette, continuing to breathe.Sometimes folding a wutong (the Chinese parasol tree). Someone in the dream promised to photograph the never-before-seen wutong, maybe she should fold the fallen leaves on the ground, and finally she folded a distant wutong tree, the wutong leaves are still communicating with each other the yellow color of the fall; sometimes folds a little bird, a layer of yellow on the belly, she looked up in the dream just in time to see the goose bellies tinted with the yellow color of nightfall; sometimes she folds a cloud and can't restore the wispy edges of the cloud, but the folded cloud is very close to her, like the cloud in her dream, so close to her. Sometimes an old house is folded. On the night before it was demolished, a light was on in the old house, smoke hung around, and it was branded far away on the heart.Sometimes folding a red dress with Peter Pan’s white collar, like the red dresses worn by witches in fairy tales, or the red puffy dresses worn to the prom in childhood dreams. The person in the dream wears a red dress and is photographed under an old tower in the East. The dream switches to a crossroads and the person taking the picture asks her, “Where did that red dress you like go?”The folded paper should turn into fallen leaves and go home.2022.10.18

To the Green Land

Blue loves green. When she was a little girl, Blue always ran towards the green. Until one day, she found a branch of an old tree, covered with moss, lying flat. Blue tried to pry at the old tree's yearly rings, and found that the center was empty, and there was a tiny plant sprouting through the dust. What surprised her even more was a small box behind the grass. Blue took the box out, wiped off the dirt, and opened the box. There was a book inside, like a scripture from a long time ago. Blue put the book back in the box, looked around to see that no one was nearby, and took the box back home.When she got home, Blue was disappointed that she couldn't read the book. The words in the book were crooked, like earthworms on the road eager to crawl back into the dirt. Blue was unsure, flipping to the end. There was a map of many islands, each in various colors, only one place was different, so distinct it was like the center of the whole map. It was small, round, and green. Unlike the other islands, this one was only green, a small piece of green land that looked like it had been drawn with a compass. Blue stared at this green land; maybe the book was supposed to show how to get to this green patch. Blue stopped running to the green place and stayed at home, trying to think of as many ways to read the book on how to get to the Greenland as she could.The biggest difficulty was deciphering the symbols in the book. Blue pored over the symbols, memorizing the general shapes, their locations in the book, and the shapes they put together. But the symbols didn’t make sense in Blue's head. She had gained nothing but the conviction that "If you read this book, you'll get to Greenland." Perhaps because of these strange symbols, which produced an inexplicable and marvelous reaction in Blue's mind, she one day looked at the cracked walls and realized that the shapes of the cracks were similar to the symbols. Blue was surprised to realize that she had found these symbols in many corners of her life.After this, Blue began to look around for anything that could echo the symbols in the book. She sat on a small bench and spent the afternoon looking at the sky, the clouds rolling in and out, changing colors, resembling the layout of the symbols on the first few pages of the book; tracing the curves of the stars, or the flickering fireflies, the trail of lights winking on and off; looking at the smoke curling up from the cooking fires at dusk, the black smoke choking her nose on the edges of the fields, the little wisps of greenish-gray smoke on the ends of cigarettes; and, most of all, looking at the cracks on the old, worn-out walls, the color of the bricks, and the peeling siding; what frustrated Blue was that her newly-learned Chinese characters didn't seem to help much in deciphering these symbols. She filled out her exercise book, stroke by stroke, and could only find some similarities to the symbols in the wrong words she wrote when distracted by the TV, or in the illustrations scribbled in class by her classmates.No one knew the secret of Blue and Greenland, but they realized that Blue was becoming different, "Blue, what are you saying? We can't understand. You're getting bluer and bluer."Blue looked in the mirror and realized that a small circle of blue had grown on the outermost part of her pupil, a circle of blue that she couldn't notice unless she looked closely, "It would be nice to go to the Greenlands. In the Greenlands, no one should think I'm blue. But will people only be able to wear green there? Then it would be nice if I wore a green dress too and became green."
Blue wanted to go to a green place, where no one would think she was blue.
When Blue grew up and learned not to speak some of the blue language, she met Yellow.She called him Yellow because he reminded her of yellow and she gave him yellow clothes as a gift. Blue saw someone's journal that said, "Yellow's eyes are glued to Blue." Blue was curious, did Yellow notice the small circle of blue in her pupil?Yellow accompanied Blue to have her wisdom teeth extracted. Afterwards, Yellow packed Blue's wisdom teeth in a small plastic bag, and he said seriously, "The extracted teeth have to be thrown to the roof of the building in order to grow new teeth." Blue thought it was funny that she was disgusted with her extracted wisdom teeth, but she suddenly felt that living in a room with Yellow, who wasn’t, should be an okay thing to do in the future.Blue asked Yellow, "Is there anywhere in particular you'd like to go?"
Yellow said, "I'll go with you wherever you want."
Blue didn't tell Yellow right away that she had a wish to "go to the Greenland". But Yellow's answer reawakened Blue's wish, "Maybe I can tell Yellow about the Greenland."Blue begins to speak to Yellow some of the blue language that alienated her from her friends. Yellow didn't listen very carefully. He didn't know what Blue was saying, but he could tell it was Blue's own language. He was always distracted by the dandelion seeds floating up in the air, picking up lots of pine cones under the big trees, withered leaves, and slipping them in his and Blue's books. Yellow liked to draw, copy Buddhist scriptures, raise plants, and feed the small fish in the pond; he liked things that were close at hand. Blue was a little discouraged that Yellow probably wouldn't have wanted to go to the Greenland like her.On the days that Yellow and Blue went out, it always rained. Once they took shelter under the eaves of a house, Blue said, "It's a bad sign when you go out and it always rains." Yellow teased Blue about her blue words again, and he noticed the blue color in Blue's eyes as a sparrow flew past them. The rain was about to stop and Blue told Yellow the story of her relationship with the Greenland, "I've always wanted to go to the Greenland, but I didn't know where it was."A few days later, Blue received a painting from Yellow, a shining lighthouse on the sea. Yellow pointed at the lighthouse, "I've thought hard about how we shall get to the Greenland. Let's look for a lighthouse on the sea first, where there's more hope of finding the Greenlands." Blue was intrigued by this lighthouse on the sea, "Yes, let's go to the lighthouse first." Blue and Yellow moved to the beach and waited for a boat to go to the lighthouse.Time passed slowly on the beach. Yellow and Blue began to learn new things to pass the time waiting for a boat.Blue watched the raging waves, splashing white starbursts one after the other as if they had made a promise with someone. The shimmering curves of the waves reminded Blue of the symbols in that book. The sound of the sea was not in the same rhythm as the ebb and flow of the waves. Blue had never learned to play an instrument and could not remember the song of the waves. She picked up a lot of shells on the beach, wanting to hear more of what the waves were trying to tell her at the last second. Blue didn't miss the silence of the waves either. Blue became very very busy, because she had to remember the sea, the flickering shadows, the sound of the waves, in time with the beat of the sea. Blue began to write on the beach with twigs, writing the language that the sea had taught her, blue words that were washed away by the waves at every turn, "The sea has received the letters I wrote," Blue thought happily.
Yellow became obsessed with drawing fish, all kinds of fish, in the sea. The local fishermen, who loved the fish Yellow painted, would even buy the paintings and take them home as hanging ornaments. Yellow fell more and more in love with drawing fish. He began to get on the fishermen's boats, went to the sea during the day to observe and imitate the fish in the sea, and at night he told Blue all kinds of fish-related stories. When Yellow asked Blue what she did all day, Blue said she wrote on the beach. Yellow asked her what she wrote. Blue didn't know how to answer, and Yellow was so tired that he had already fallen asleep.
The boat to the lighthouse hasn't come yet. Blue suddenly realized that the sea was the only place that would listen to her now, and Yellow hadn't told her a fish story in a week. On a night when all you could see was black, Blue saw Yellow crying, Blue turned her back and wiped her tears as well, "Yellow, I hope, in the future, you make more people think of yellow when they see you." Blue knew that Yellow was not colored blue.For the next week, when Yellow fell asleep, he unconsciously hugged Blue tightly, and Blue began to lose sleep. One rainy day, Yellow went out to sea to paint fish as usual. Two weeks later, Yellow had not returned.Blue puts on a blue gauze dress and dances under the blue moonlight on the beach, "To the Greenland," Blue says to the sea.2022.07.21

The Glass and the Mirror

On Green Island, Dot and Bot are waiting for a boat to leave Green Island.When will the boat come? No idea. Uncertain.What was certain was that Dot knocked on the clear glass between her and Bot, who heard her knocking and talked to her occasionally to pass the time.There was a clear wall of one-way glass between Dot and Bot, through which Bot could see Dot on the other side, a clear and definite mirror image of Dot, while Dot could only hear Bot on the other side of the glass. With colored crayons, she traces imaginings –– blurry drawings of Bot. The glass is not a mirror. There are no mirrors on the island. Dot can't see herself, only Bot can see Dot every day through the glass.Dot wanted to know what she looked like each day. She asked Bot, but Bot could only give a few empty adjectives. He didn't know how to describe the details, but he was sensitive to numbers, "I can give you a score out of 10, you get an 8 today.""Is 8 a high score?"
"It counts. That's the first score that came to mind when I saw you today."
Dot knew that Bot wouldn't be able to explain specifically the reason for giving an 8. At the moment, Bot's scoring system would have to be the most logical and effective way for her to understand what she was like each day.Dot knocked on the glass, "Bot, do you know when the boat is coming?"
Bot: "From what I've seen and analyzed, perhaps as soon as next week. If it doesn't come next week, it may never come."
Dot: "I wish the boat could come sooner. How would you rate me today?"
Bot: "Let's see." A few seconds pause, "7.8."
Dot: "Why is it 0.2 points less?"
Bot: "Probably because you have dark circles under your eyes today. I'm going back to weaving my web."
Most of the time when Dot knocked on the glass, Bot was weaving nets, intricate and delicate nets, in order to get to the next island and catch the rarest, most precious sea fish. With the abundance of supplies on the Green Island, Dot didn't understand Bot's fishing obsession, but she admired his determination and perseverance in weaving his nets, "How can he spend so much time, so dedicated to weaving his nets?" Dot drew a picture of a man weaving a net. She had never met Bot and could only draw a vague emotion with a crayon of the man, anxiously and obsessively weaving a net in order to catch the radiant sea fish on another island. Dot wasn't interested in eating fish, she was content with the fruits of the Green Island, colorful, fragrant, and sweet. Eating the delicious fruits made Dot feel so happy that she wanted to become a butterfly on the island, or a seven-star ladybug, and Dot almost forgot her wish to leave Green Island.Dot could never resist knocking on the glass and talking to Bot. She was curious about Bot, as much as she would be curious about the only man on the island, "Bot, do you know when the boat will come?"
Bot: "I don't know."
Dot: "How would you rate me today?"
Bot: "A 6.5."
That was one of the highest scores of the week, and it was likely that there wouldn't be a higher score than that, Dot thought to herself."How's your web weaving going?"
Bot: "60% progress. Expect to finish weaving in two weeks after I rush the next one."
Dot wondered how Bot could calculate the time so well, could pinpoint the progress of weaving the web down to a percentage, and did he, who had planned the time precisely, take into account the time they spent talking through the glass?"Then should I knock less on the glass and not disturb your weaving?"
Bot: "That's not so bad, you could go by the routine and knock on the glass at dusk, and I wouldn't have to worry about missing the sound of you knocking during the day."
Dot hadn't realized that Bot would be worried about missing the sound of her knocking; she'd suspected that Bot intentionally tried to miss the sound of her knocking on the glass at times. She had no way of knowing how loud she knocked, so why did Bot fail to hear it at times? Could a person really be that focused on weaving a web? Why was it that she couldn't get interested in weaving nets? Why couldn't she be fascinated by just one color of fruit?Through the glass, the wall of clear glass where several crayon drawings hung, many moments are swelled into balloons that were about to explode the next second. Dot's mind was filled with questions about Bot, questions that were always unanswered. All she could do was to draw the pictures formed in her mind. Upon thinking of him being able to see himself through the glass, Dot thought that Bot’s obsession with weaving webs was a good thing for her. They didn't know when the boat was coming. Every time Dot knocked and Bot didn't respond, Dot would always worry that he had seen something ugly and unpleasant about her, so he didn't want to talk to her anymore. The time spent waiting for the next time Bot knocked back felt like frozen time for Dot. The next boat was probably frozen stuck on its way as well. During these frozen moments, Dot drew potted plants with drooping leaves, geese in disorganized formation, garbage bags flying into the air and scurrying around, scared rabbits, impatient dragonflies ......Bot: "Dot, I was just weaving a net and tying a knot. If I pause in the middle, the knot won't be tied. Is everything okay?"
Dot: "You told me I could knock at dusk, and now it's dark."
Dot regretted what she had just said and expected him to be silent. Bot probably felt it had to be something important before he could knock on the glass and talk. At the moment, he has nothing more important to do than weaving a web. Dot was afraid that Bot would ignore her. She needed to knock on the glass, to hear Bot's voice and to know there was still Bot on Green Island. She also believed that Bot could lead her to the next boat off Green Island.Dot: "Do you know when the boat is coming?"
Bot: "I don't know."
Dot: "How would you rate me today?"
Bot: "It's nighttime, I can't see too well, but I saw you collecting dew in the middle of the night yesterday, and you get a 9.5 out of 10 for collecting dew."
Dot was surprised to hear that. She hadn’t expected that Bot would give her the highest score ever because of the way she collected dew. On Green Island, Dot would always wake up in the latter part of the night to collect the freshest dew, and for that reason, the dark circles under her eyes were getting heavier and heavier. Nonetheless, she still religiously collected the crystal clear drops of dew, late at night, off leaves and petals. In these moments, her world was filled with nothing but herself and the sight she saw before her, the blushing tulips wrapped in crystal dewdrops at midnight, each one whole. The soft peach blossoms were glistening with the starry dampness, and the branches of the trees were wet with a light mist. The dewdrops rolled down the shiny slide, and Dot's glass bottle was their inn for the night. The dewdrops swung in the breeze, and Dot seemed to hear them laughing, and she was awkwardly at a loss for how to respond. But she was sure that the dewdrops, in the late hours of the night, saw her, and at the moment they wanted nothing more than to speak to her, and she was only too glad to have met them. Time on Green Island seemed lighter than the drops of dew on the ground.This night, the glass bottle of dew seemed emptier than usual.Dot: "Bot, how's your net weaving going?"
Bot: "Within a week, it should be finished."
Dot: "Will the boat come when your net is finished?"
Bot: "I don't know, I'm so tired of weaving nets, I just want to rest for a few days when I'm done."
Dot: "Well, after a few days' rest, the boat will come." She paused. "How would you rate me today?"
Bot: "I'm too tired to weave a web, I can't see well."
What does the net look like when Bot is done weaving it? When will the boat come? Dot draws another picture of a man sleeping next to a fishing net, the dark shadow of the net overlapping the man's shadow somewhat, with a blue sailboat behind him.
Dot: "Do you know when the boat will come?"
Bot: "I don't know, perhaps it will come tomorrow, or it will never come."
The moon was full tonight. As Dot collected dewdrops, she always saw flashes of light blue, and flashes of fireflies. Dot was mesmerized and followed the fireflies. When she reached the sea, a boat rowed toward her. The fisherman in the boat asked her, "Where do you want to go?"
"I want to go to an island with mirrors, I want a mirror of my own."
2022.8.17

I am Trapped in a Raindrop

I am trapped in a raindrop,
Though in the end it will drop.
I imagine a snowflake, lightly;
I envy leaves, spinning in circles,
Falling to the ground —
I want to be a flower’s tear:
A dewdrop listens to leaves sipping water,
Imitates the clouds’ drifting,
Turns into air, in the winds,
Wandering back to the sky —
I want to sink into the blue of the sea.
On a bench, a tear dried by the wind
Forgives the rain and wind in the night.
Yet, perhaps, a raindrop is my home, too.
2024.3.21
我困在一滴雨水里了
即便总会掉到地上
想像雪花,轻轻地
羡慕落叶,转着圈儿
落到地上 ——
想成为,花的眼泪
露珠,听叶子喝水
想模仿,云的漂浮
变成空气,在风里
流浪,回到天上 ——
想掉进,海的蓝色
长椅上,一滴
被风吹干的眼泪
原谅夜深的风雨
然而,也许,
一滴雨水,也是我的家

New Year's Time

When will I sit back in New Year’s time? Standing beats sitting.
I skipped a chance to get reacquainted with friends and family;
They are surprised a person so delicate, who feels sick on the road
Would stand at another window watching the New Year’s time
(Father’s tears), missing the red window
So gazing out the other: snow on a sunlit day
Bright as an adventure. Snow driven by the wind
Whirled from the roofs and shaken from the bare branches.
Only cloudy days preserved a few mounds of snow,
Pondering the existential question: (When will I go home?)
When can I sit back in New Year’s time?
(Five different ways to crack sunflower seeds )
2024.2.22

A Balloon

How would I know better about a balloon than you?
Only I know balloons burst in the sky in the end.
Will you be scared of the bah— of a balloon?
An imagined bah — pzz — never happened?
Still you want to blow up a balloon,
Bigger than your mouth. BAH –
2023.2.8