Rigorous
Volume Three, Issue 3



Siyun Fang


Hotel on Rainbow Road

The exterior walls are substituted by accordion reeds.
That shy and bashful revolving door seldom paints
the scene of travelers flooded in. The lobby
does not have a waterfall composed of chandeliers; registration desks
do not stand in a row, clocks contradicting each other,
the dining hall hides itself in shadow after dinner immediately.

Tears of streetlights drop onto the asphalt road,
the smallest rainbow is shining lonely.
Here, I shake hands with thousands of strangers on
the doorknob, I think about how to play chess with the northern region,
I am a migratory bird who has been foraging in the dead of winter,
carrying a heavy responsibility on my shoulder when I walk quickly in wind.

The shape of each room is not repeated—
maybe it’s a square with a broad balcony,
maybe it’s long and narrow, a dark temple corridor
the end is a wardrobe in a monastery;
or maybe it’s a frivolous “L-shape,”
the corner can hold a sofa which loves rambling around in a sea of lights……

That’s the joy of being folded up into a wall.
We don’t need to carry a thick novel in our suitcase,
since each “check-in” is just like reading Borges
or Calvino, the plot is replaced by space and
it’s meditation, time can no longer depict characters who are worthy of being portrayed
when it is as chimerical as a sandglass.

Occasionally, I read Henry Miller:
the magic show next door at midnight seems to have
exhausted those magicians; it’s as ferocious as when
a car is bumping against a wall.
Reading Solzhenitsyn, I can feel women’s sobs
following infants’ cries all night.

The morning has always been tranquil, the cart of the attendant
is cleaning up traces left by yesterday,
that long alley is just like a telescope’s
filter, there is a small patch of blue in the grey clouds at the end—
I am left behind by pilgrimage and expedition,
I arrive at the cliff where I need to make decisions.

Now I have already moved into this city,
each time I pass here, those windows stare at me
with indifferent cleanness:
the shackles of life are broken by coat hangers again
and again; it’s impossible for human beings to live in a rainbow,
although the hotel finds itself on a road named “Rainbow.”




Spider

When I lay a world map open on my desk at night
and begin to study the history of human civilization
a small spider which is as tiny as the pen-nib falls on it
When I touch it gently with my fingers
it rolls itself into a ball with fear immediately
When I tease it with my pen
it also rolls itself into a ball immediately
When I blow on it with my mouth
it rolls itself into a ball immediately again
At the moment when I can’t help
trying to pierce a hole through its body with a needle
a flash of lightning lights the sky—
I curl myself into a ball immediately
After I realize what has happened
I see all regions on this map
shrink into themselves, there is only a black dot
left on this white paper
and then, that small spider is crawling out of it




Grocery Shopping

Three of her are shrinking and jostling against herself
She sees herself in the elevator cabin
and her distress from the left, right, and back

The silver box is carrying her body and sinking. Silver…
She had silver high heels, sapphire silk stockings
and two red lips which made the night’s heart beat fast
at the age of twenty. When her slim waist was slipping on gentlemen’s arms
her present-day was flying out of the shadow soaked by champagne

Monday is potatoes, corn
Tuesday: cabbages, tomatoes
Wednesday, doesn’t want to eat white gourds and damn lettuce any more
Thursday, chopping too much meat into pieces
Living on the blade of knife day by day
writhing in the broth of the human world for the first half of life, falling asleep later on
But how could a fish without bones help to save
an anxious ant on a hot pan

When the door opens, three of her
are gushing into her body
the way dust, parasites, and muddled logic
return to their carriers
At the moment she steps over the threshold, the feeling of falling
suddenly catches her shoulder
making the basket in her hand shake slightly
She takes a deep breath, walking toward the “old place” under her life


Siyun Fang: "I am a poet and translator. A graduate of Centre College and New York University, I am going to attend The New School MFA Program this coming fall. My research interests include the modern and contemporary poetry, poetic theories, theories of narrative, American fiction, as well as dramatic arts."




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