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văn học
Song of myself
Translated by Nguyen Tien Hoang (2012)
from the original version in Vietnamese, “Tự khúc” (2003)
With the sense of time encroaching
I live
A tree with its violent roots
cutting through layers of soil, digging-in.
Roots that skillfully escape pores of rocks, deftly move its octopus-tendrils
towards a self-constructed map
of hidden madly burning desires.
On the surface, the visible limbs and branches of leaves
reach out to the plain sky, casting plain and ordinary shades
conflicting and contradicting with itself:
The core root
that would have rather been bursting
with young spring buds, or with seas
of generations of its multiples, generating and multiplying millionfold,
thus it would be able to move against such encroachment.
Like a rain that spurts out upward from the earth
I long to propel myself, my yearnings
towards space, layers and depths
regions that no one has never ever landed.
The little ants build their nests on my body, singing about their kingdom
Birds of all shades of feathers dance on my body celebrating their fleeting festivals of vanity
Insects and worms taking their time eat into my body, tearing me, stressing me out, inflicting pains
White ants diligently do their tidy work on me making sure I will be hollowed out, like a day carves into the core of a night
The honey bees spread their offspring on my body, leaving in my mind a faint shade of the one who brings me into being
And the people, they carry the fearsome silence to round me up with their palings.
Less and less of me, Time goes on with its encroachment over everything.
The once burning aspiration is now old, dated, deficient and useless
It stares at me with its failure to nourish the other side of the soul
I collapse on an unassorted disparage mass of mirages, miles away, drifted.
In the deep layers underneath
The roots also start running
Their own destruction.

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