一千零一  

 这房间的结构像支副歌,

却有人听出深埋的壮心。

当寝宫趁夜遮没了正殿,

唯有我的猫能洞察此事。

他看夜莺时,她在看塔楼。

他看酒盅里的舌头,

她在看伊玛目。

灾变总从不默契开始

那日到来前云色寡淡,

失眠者的头在枕上敲打鼓点。

谁的身体投影在我脸上,

喷血的伤正叠合我吟咏的口。

忽然那河不想再做河,

一夜之间变成一座花园。

那山想变灯芯没能遂愿,

空自将峰顶燃成黄昏。

像作家一心等待世变

争先比试下坠的舞姿,

前半程只有我在说,

后半程我谁也不相信。

转瞬我们沉入水底,

眼见兵马倒影走来,

耳边唯有浪声翻覆,

心窍暧昧如同公海。

我被冠上许多头衔,

仿佛变成一众人群,

人人举起一只独眼,

要将世界细看一遍:

南边窗外是一段江水,

隔岸列车清空了货舱。

西边一道门并未封锁,

却不通往任何交集。

北边的阳台俯瞰公园,

几丛花木簇拥着滑梯。

你说我在此注视太久,

才有坠落的荒唐梦境。

东边有一块监控屏幕:

带火的小行星边走边玩,

是否会来还不能确定,

却常变出惨烈的图景。

谁见了都会发生

高度一致的反应:

看,唯一的事实!

谁不想被它抵消?

我躲进房中一间密室,

有温水注满白瓷浴缸。

躺入将双脚举过头顶,

像在虚空里倒立疾奔。

两脚间是你送的古画,

画中人如云缕相互纠缠,

以拥抱挡住彼此的去路,

像藤蔓汲饮同一血缘。

我剪出几人放进浴缸,

齐力航向画中的海洋。

中途的谈吐令我烦躁,

靠岸用他们换了香炉。

香炉中的燃料

是很多张面孔,

烟雾旋成穹顶

在夕阳下停转。

 

穹顶下有位蒙罪博士,

解错了梦而被判腰斩。

淌血的半身对王告白:

“此刻的感受适合写诗。”

爱与秋色是他的跟班,

诗中的风景厌倦游人。

山峰丛叠如重重花瓣,

猎户在花间遇到狮子。

狮子将他的身体吃尽,

只剩一颗含苞的虔心。

心中走出个小型僧侣,

悠然念出稀见的经文。

经中的道理无上严谨,

字与字都在相互提防。

巨树枝头缀满了面具,

晨雾一浅便失掉用场。

孔雀在树顶摇曳尾羽,

好像一丛明亮的靶心。

路上积攒了多少朋友,

此时要像箭全部射出。

箭囊上绣着红发妖魔,

独坐在河畔冲洗岛屿。

洗掉的废污顺流漂下,

中有一匹昏死的骏马。

商贾贪图上游资讯,

解下马背驮的包裹,

得到一张杂色织毯,

铺平四角便能飞天。

他坐上飞毯调教鹦鹉,

口占一座未来的城池:

先知都有透明的肚皮,

将要在火中平分奇迹。

火亦对水演说,

水却按兵不动,

藏于两只驼峰,

暗自映出万物。

万物罗列在眼前,

天使正互相讽刺。

活人向死人求教,

说出你我的名字。

我在密室中凝视画面,

念头如公式逐个推导。

新书、旅行两支羽翼,

已是一对卷起的蛛网。

王命令故事日日绵延,

深宫的窗前景物不变,

往来只有无知的仆从,

你是否也觉想象穷尽。

必须有闪电照亮远路,

因此你只在雨天前来。

溢出浴缸边沿的水滴

是一睁开就破的白眼。

我在这禁闭中迎接你,

掏枯心思的山鲁佐德。

你我假扮合伙的作者,

写完这一千零一个字。

2020.2.21-3.8,上海

山鲁佐德(شهرزاد,Scheherazade),阿拉伯民间故事集《一千零一夜》中的讲故事人。国王山鲁亚尔仇恨女性,每晚娶一名女子,在第二天清晨杀掉。山鲁佐德通过讲故事吊住国王的兴趣,延迟自己的死期。她的故事讲了一千零一夜,国王最终被感动成为明君,两人过上幸福生活。

 

山鲁佐德面对无情读者每日更新的要求,亦是创作者的普遍处境。对我而言,她的故事像一种穷尽想象的极限创作。深宫中单调不变的景色、人物、生活,对于一千零一夜的漫长创作周期,是极微薄的灵感养料。在当前隔离封锁的处境中,我想起这个人物,写这首一千零一字的诗。

 

申舶良

​A Thousand and One

The layout of this room was like a chorus,

Yet some heard the deep-buried ambition.

When chambers seized the night and veiled the great hall,

No one was aware but my cat.

When he watched the nightingale, she was watching the tower.

He looked at the tongue in the cup,

She was looking at the Imam.

Catastrophe always starts with asynchronicity.

 

Before that day came, the clouds were faint,

The insomniacs’ heads beat on the pillow like drums.

Whose body projected on my face,

A wound spurting blood covered my chanting mouth.

 

Suddenly the river stopped wanting to be a river,

It turned into a garden overnight.

The mountain wished to become a wick but failed,

Vainly burned its peak into dusk.

Like writers awaited an upheaval
Competing in the dance of falling,
I alone spoke in the first half,
In the second half I believed no one.


In a flash we sank to the bottom,
Seeing the reflection of coming armies,
Only the sound of waves rolling in my ears,
Ambiguous thoughts like the high seas.


I was given many titles,
As if to become a crowd,
Each one of them raised one eye,
To examine the world thoroughly:

Outside the south window was a section of river,
The train across the bank emptied its cargo hold.
A door to the west unlocked,
But it did not lead to any intersection.


The balcony on the north overlooked the park.
Flowering shrubs clustered around the slide.
You said I was staring for too long,
Thus had the absurd dream of falling.


There is a monitoring screen on the east side:
Fiery asteroids walk and play,
Whether they will come is still uncertain,
Yet they often conjure a tragic scene.


Anyone who saw it had
The same response:
Look, the sole truth!
Who wishes not to be offset by it?


I hide in a secret chamber,
With a white porcelain bathtub filled with warm water.
I lie down and raise my feet above my head,
As though running upside down through the void.


Between my feet is the ancient painting you gave,
The figures entangled like clouds,
Blocking each other with embraces,
Like vines drinking from the same bloodline.


I cut out several of the figures and put them in the bathtub,
Together on course to the painting’s ocean.
Their midway conversation makes me irritable,
When reaching the shore I use them to change an incense burner.

 

Fueling the incense burner

Are many faces,

Smoke swirls into a dome

Stalling at the sunset.

 

Under the dome stands a wronged scholar,

Who misinterpreted a dream and is sentenced to be cut in half.

Bleeding, half his body confesses to the king:

"I feel like writing poetry now."

Love and Autumn are his attendants,

The poem’s scenery is tired of travellers.

The mountain peaks layered like petals,

A hunter encounters a lion among the flowers.

The lion eats up his body,

Leaving only a budding pious heart.

A small monk walks out of the heart,

Leisurely reading the rare chants.

 

The teaching in the chants is supremely rigorous,

Words on guard against each other.

The branches of the giant tree covered with masks

Become useless as soon as the morning mist fades.

The peacock swishes its tail feathers on the top of the tree,

Like a cluster of bright bullseyes.

Despite the many friends made on the road,

Now must shoot them out like arrows.

The quiver is embroidered with a red-haired demon,

Sitting alone by the river, washing the island.

The dirt drifts down the river,

In which a fainting horse lays.

A merchant is greedy for information from upstream,

Untying the package from the horse’s back,

And finds a motley woven carpet,

He spreads out its four corners to fly into the sky.

He sits on the flying carpet to train the parrot,

Improvising a city of the future:

Prophets with transparent bellies,

Will split miracles in the fire.

Fire preaches to the water,

Yet the water bides its time,

Hidden in two camel humps,

Secretly reflecting everything.

Everything lies ahead,

The angels taunt each other.

The living ask the dead for advice,

Speaking your and my names.

 

I stare at the picture in the secret chamber,

Thoughts deduce one by one like formulas.

New books and trips were my two pairs of wings

Yet become two rolled up cobwebs.

 

The king orders the story to continue perpetually,

The scenery outside the palace windows unchanging,

Only ignorant servants come and go,

Do you also feel the exhaustion of imagination?

 

There must be lightening to illuminate the distant path,

So you only visit on rainy days.

Water drops spilling over the edge of the bathtub

Like white eyes that break as soon as they open.

 

I greet you in this confinement,

Scheherazade who exhausted her thoughts.

You and I, pretending to be co-authors,

To write these one thousand and one words.

 

2020.2.21-3.8, Shanghai

 

 

Scheherazade (شهرزاد) is the storyteller in the collection of Arabic folk tales "One Thousand and One Nights". King Shahryar hated women, and each night would marry a new woman and kill her early the next morning. Scheherazade kept the king interested by telling him stories and delayed her death. The stories she told went on for one thousand and one nights. During these nights the king was gradually affected and eventually changed, and the two lived happily ever after.

The situation Scheherazade faced – the endless demands of ruthless readers – is also a common situation for those that work in creative professions. To me, her story is like creating under extreme conditions that can exhaust one’s imagination. Life in the king’s chambers – the monotonous scenery and encounters – is meager inspiration for the duration of one thousand and one nights. In the current situation of isolation and lockdown, I recalled Scheherazade and wrote this one-thousand-and-one-word poem.

 

Boliang Shen