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梅健青:诗二首

得一忘二 译


  梅健青(Boey Kim Cheng)1965年生于新加坡,与新加坡同年,毕业自新加坡国立大学,并曾在政府部门任职,后来于1997年移居澳大利亚。他被认为是建国后最好的英语诗人,获得过青年艺术家奖,他的诗作《战备军人》列入O-Level英语文学考试篇目。他出版的英文诗集有《有所往》Somewhere-Bound (1989),《另一个地方》Another Place (1992),《无名之日》Days of No Name (1996),《火化后:诗选新编》After the Fire: New and Selected Poems (2006),《清明》 Clear Brightness (2012),散文集《此站到彼站》Between Stations (2009),以及有关杜甫的传记小说《天地一沙鸥》Gull Between Heaven and Earth (2017)。梅健青在十多年移民之后回到新加坡,目前是南洋理工大学英文系教授。这里的译文遵从新加坡当地的用语。



火化后

火化场的人将托盘
送过来,喷气助烧后剩下的
都在这儿。你的全部,
含着我们的生命。我不懂
有多少灰烬来自棺木,有多少
是你,一个生命怎么就粉化、
简化到一小盒那么多。
但那男人神情庄重,
让我信得过。是他把你
收拾到一起,在你死后
重建你的一生。
是个残损的人,他边说
边捡起零碎的块块,
合成一个完整的人。
他要我们一块块检查,
确保你一块不少。
他说,对生者、对死者
他都有责任,都得处理
对头。他从底部开始,
用福建话讲一堂解剖课,
指出人活着时我们看不出来的,
哪儿出了问题,那侵入
胫骨的溃烂、骨支架上
致命的缺陷。他补充说,
这位吸烟,也喝酒,
还有一道骨裂从未痊愈。
说完了颅骨,也就全说到了,
然后把骨灰倒进瓮中。
他说,我们必须按顺序
拼搭,从脚开始,
那样你在来世,才能挺直腰杆,
脚踏实地,站得平稳。
他很懂,他是个神通,
在人与神之间传话。

他的话,我当作圣礼,
我接过玉绿色的石瓮,
捧着那令人意外的重量。
人在时,身子就已破损,
各块难以合缝,碎块块
无法固定,碎了还要
再碎,而今你把它们
收集到瓮中,石瓮似乎
比它装的筛过的内容更重。

我可以看到你在天堂
从瓮中化作实体,
残块和尘土
组成一具有骨有肉的
梯子,你的脚
站得直直的,不瘸,
掸掸灰尘,
随时准备走,
回到我们的生活。



After the Fire

The man at the crematorium 
brings us the tray, all that is left 
after the gas jets. All that you were, 
our lives in you. I wonder how much 
of the ash is coffin, how much 
you, how a life can be pulverised 
and reduced to an urnful. 
But the gravity of the man 
assures me. He pieces you 
together, his post-mortem 
reconstructing your life. 
A broken man, he says, picking 
the slivers, the bits that sum up 
the whole man. He wants us 
to go through the pieces 
to make sure you are all there. 
He has a responsibility 
to the living and the dead, he says, 
to get it right. He starts from the base, 
an anatomy lesson in Hokkien, 
showing us what we didn't see 
in life, where it went wrong, the rot 
attacking the tibia, the fatal flaw 
in the scaffolding. A smoker 
and drinker, and a fracture 
that never healed, he adds. 
The cranium piece completes 
you and the ash is poured 
into the urn. He says we have to rig you up 
in sequence, from the feet, 
so that in afterlife, you will be upright, 
standing on even feet and ground. 
He knows, he is a Buddhist shaman, 
a messenger between men and gods. 

I take his word like sacrament, 
take the jade-green stone urn, 
and cradle its surprising weight. 
Broken vessel when alive, 
whose edges didn't fit, whose pieces 
wouldn't stay, that wanted to be broken 
again and again, you are now 
collected in this urn that seems heavier 
than the sum of its sifted contents. 

I can see you in heaven 
materialising from the urn, 
the scraps and dust 
assembled into a ladder 
of bone and flesh, up 
on your feet, the limp gone, 
dusting the ash off, 
and ready to walk 
back into our lives. 



地名

生命最后,
我父亲开始数说消失的地方:
巴弗罗路、罗敏申,
雅吉拱廊和沙爹俱乐部,
这些地方现在远若星辰,
在一个已经灭绝的星系中。
他吸着烟,
但呼吸却是凉的,
嗓音灰暗,
好像他已经死了。
黑夜听着那一串名字,
听着那背后的回音,那男人的
地理学中的空白。
我不知道是那些死去的地方
呼唤我父亲回家,
还是我父亲召唤它们
陪他散最后一次步。他念诵着
庄士敦码头、马六甲街,
旧世界、新世界,
仿佛把他身体的里巷、
街道和邻里拼凑
到一起,重新组装
他丧失了的自我,
那已毁损的城市。
他的香烟灭了,
烟灰还悬着。
很快,他的名字将会被抹除,
就像那些街名,
而我将会接着念诵:
莱佛士坊、真者里,
把死去的地名
和我父亲喊回家。

    

Placenames

So late in his life 
my father starts naming the vanished places:
Buffalo Road, Robinsons,
The Arcade and Satay Club,
places now remote as the stars
in a galaxy already extinct.
He draws on his cigarette
but his breath is cold,
his voice ashen
as if he is already dead.
The night listens to the reel of names,
to the echo behind, to the blanks
in the man's geography.
I don't know if it is the dead places
calling him to come home
or my father summoning them
for a last walk. He intones
Johnson Pier, Malacca Street,
Old World, New World,

as if piecing together the alleys,
the streets and neighbourhood
of his body, reassembling
the ruined city
of his vanished self.
His cigarette has gone out
and the ash dangles.
Soon his name will be erased
like the street names
and I will take over the chant:
Raffles Place, Change Alley,
calling the dead places
and my father home. 
描述
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