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Đêm tiếng hát | Memories of Nocturne
 

Ðêm tiếng hát

tặng Lê Uyên Phương
 
Đêm tiếng hát cất bay chim xao xác
Cánh ngói xanh trăng lên môi xanh
Trong tóc rối rừng cây choàng xiết
Tay suối run lệ đá sương ghềnh
Mùa mới chớm âm ba trời đất
Dội vang sâu trong ngõ ngách thầm
Ba mươi kiếp lang thang đồng bật
Sáu dây căng thớ máu ra âm
Nghìn khuôn mặt cho riêng đôi cặp mắt
Đêm sao khuya ướt rũ tay cầm
Một nốt cuối rồi chao vỡ sóng
Tháng năm kia biết mấy là xa xăm
Đêm còn đọng những ngọn đồi trăng và biển ấm[*]
 
1-1984
 
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[*] Bản như đã in trong tập Ngoài Giấc Ngủ, với thay đổi ở câu cuối.
 
 

Memories of Nocturne

for LUP
 
Nocturne, the young moon
flock of night birds, high lines of Mexican roofs, a glistening
nocturne, leading me to your night, you and your guitar
in middle of a song, hanging out as if a drink
from your hands, and her hands, beside you, strands streaming down, blue-
as-in-dream, that blue of nights in LA,
a destination, in the half-covered bosom of a university, it was UCLA in fact
Finally, I found the building, crossing an enormous hallway, the last row available,
looking at the huge stage
The invitation was verbal, the doorman betted his job on my words,
one from thousand miles away who comes, anyway now the audience
a crowd of young people, how youth always look gorgeous, and you two
glistening, singing them songs about the green-ness that runs in leaves and trees
then what you called the cities of exile on earth.
I could rewind that sequence all over again, UCLA – LUP, that one night
that would repeat, running along one single track, old and not unfree of scratches
on the surface [ everything could only be viewed on the surface]
Nocturne, fingers looking for the right chords, right feels, never could exactly be right
the hills in Dalat, a summer, a violin, Tartini’s trills
you would never know how your life would unfold
in her city, a city you could never catch, under even
the last of your breaths
Youth, the enormous love encrypted, such a mystery you wrote songs to understand
the exile came sudden, the destined city beyond catch, now you would never be able to come back
Nocturne, one more, a city you could never leave, you don’t want to
Thus you kept treading, songs under the stylus
Quite a vast surface that, a cruel yet finally benevolent sea
Like that night, reaching the shore of Indonesia
on a pitched dark beach, the only word
you could utter was ‘Terima Kasih’, thank you.
Nocturne, who knows, how many lives we would repeat
Thirty? One after another, and the given: an instrument, its six blood-strings
Nothing has been written yet, then suddenly everything, Nocturne.
I could only snap a blur of your head, a shake of her hair in the background
You both were having a smile, gentle sort of smiles.
The crowd, Encore!, nights seemed so far ahead of me, as I walked out
Behind me, UCLA, the faint echoes, of your songs, Nocturne, Cảm tạ, Terima Kasih.
 
23 April 2016
 
 
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