Poetry by Amang

Christmas Eve

how could she leave
the scene intact

two steps away from the door
a child split open

its tiny half
and the other tiny half

an Ah between two tiny halves
linked to a saw-like toy

she thought she was sure

she did not forget her leather handbag and gloves
when leaving the cinema

breakfast spilled all over the floor
steam from squashed barley
growing out of the hardwood floor

toys collected for years
tumble everywhere
I am, I am

fluff. plastic. rubber. electronics. wafers.

the man thought she knew
that night,

the child would appear onstage as a Christmas angel
sprinkle candies and biscuits over the audience
the child would dance, turn
red white red white

a masked detective now bent down and blew
closely into the man’s ear:

by then I suppose the murderer
would be back at the scene

Impressionism: Scenery of a Boy and a Tornado

a boy and his penis flew away
with an ice-cream tornado
starting to melt on my side of the path
distance sat on clouds before sprinkling down from the other side
******of the road moistening into huge chunks of
so huge that they couldn’t walk straight
but was it destiny or childhood that I wanted to discuss
or coax them to sleep together
before sleep***before “I”
rolled off my hand dried and dispersed by
under the bed
half a foot long
I used a poet’s poor and lonely instincts
to worry about the title
in the end back to the start
face cracked mouth jumped out to see
leaves and sand
like eggs in hypnosis suddenly standing and leaping one by one
in a spiral dance
lasting close to a third of eternity if not
for an end in an instant
to be jerked away from beneath in an instant
that day I even saw the boy’s penis
he taught me to say***this is a tornado
I looked at the ground and asked
oh***is that the ground
he said nothing
save for a long answer

*******in three syllables

I Must Pass Through

I must pass through
my daughter’s
to be born again
very painful***this time
the pain
inside and outside
feels complete
no regret
a pain that kills an ox
from afar***before it decides
to charge forward
before its run
becomes speed and
a blade
we throw a fruit out
but this time
is artfully
no panic and
the world rotates
without a mask
asking for its face
in a frame
we climb up
the ladder and onstage
the top ceiling
the angle
of projectors



Born and raised in Hualien on the east coast of Taiwan, Amang ( 阿芒 ) is the author of two volumes of verse: On/Off: Selected Poems of Amang, 1995—2002 (2003) and No Daddy (2008). Her work has appeared in various print and online journals. An avid blogger and mountaineer, Amang makes video documentaries and video poetry. Her bilingual collection, Chariots of Women (translated by Fiona Sze-Lorrain) is forthcoming from Fembooks in Taipei.

Fiona Sze-Lorrain

Fiona Sze-Lorrain is the author of three books of poems, most recently The Ruined Elegance (Princeton, 2016). Her latest translation is Chinese poet-scenographer Yi Lu’s book of selected poems, Sea Summit (Milkweed, 2016). She lives in France.

Copyright (c) Amang, 2016. English translation copyright (c) Fiona Sze-Lorrain, 2016.