Tet Season in Vietnam
the first lunar month comes
along with vieng market of metal tools
paddles swinging on the way to pagodas
wishing a fruitful crop
elbowing to temples
dreaming about thunderclaps
like in a drunken state
flag of the poetry feast
raising the call for a month’s holiday
of betel on tray and wine in jar
in a dim and immense heaven-and-earth
why in the middle of all these
by the drum
by the cymbal-like moon
shining to show off its tranquilly bright love
swift as an arrow
a monk’s frock flutters
while the smoke
from paper votive offering
for a wish to be true
a dream out of the blue
wahoo a trio
a heaven-earth-men band
making flowers fresh and fruits deep
time galloping by the window
apollo hastily paints sunrays
a love boat sets forth to the sea
a love song is heard
from far away
amidst the infinite
Mother! My tears flow when you happen to be walking by my mind
Because the sweat of your labour flow countless time.
Day after day comes to you nothing new — or things of the kind
After gone your prime...
But how can I have enough tears?
As your sweat dated back fifty years!
Constipated for 7 Days 7 Notes Trill
“Without silence there would be no music.”
— Adam Zagajewski
From dawn he starts school and stays
There 7 hours. The noble’s
Golden words of mouth resound
Far and wide from three thousand
Worlds. Oh, human nature is
Intrinsically good. Give
Me a lever long enough
And a fulcrum on which to
Place it, and I shall move the
World. 7 rainbow colours
Are frivolous. Natural
Now is just a bygone word.
Modern is intermina-
Bly crazy. Liberty e-
Then what? The transgendered re--
Volution in foggy land.
Benevolence has been fired
Forward by masters/gurus.
Slaves/disciples said, this is
The final struggle. Thousands
Of bleeding years have stunk up
History. What a smell of
The living. Great. Immortal.
Life stays the same. The 7
Sages still love fun-ds. The G-
7 take the upper hand
Owing to violation.
Thanks to rites and music. As
Always 7 notes of up
And down still need a rest. When
Coming home he gets a co-
Lica. His belly bends with
Painful moans. He hasn’t felt
Music in his abdomen
For 7 days. He dreams that
His intestines turn out to
Stuffed rivers. He heads for a
WC. One hour. Then an-
Other one. He feels crushing
Pains all through the night though he’s
Always in good shape. The brake
Suddenly released. The ab-
Dominal music flows ab-
Ruptly. Aching as being
Operated. 7 notes
Lump into a long line of
A hundred schools of thought. But
Can’t find the expected rest
For long. The abdominal
Voice seems to be out of breath,
Hovering amid the air.
Rest, I’ve long waited for you.
So as to confer to you
The title “Lord of the Sounds”.
Spring comes, spring goes, and here spring comes again
Many things have passed, and some things remain
In the late winter cold sharp as knife
And quiet or noisy flows the life
Oh men, you’re burning down what you’ve worshiped
And are worshiping what you’ve burned down
Is that the way life is?
Once I wished to be a painter to add colours to life
But I was covered in black and cold
Couldn’t put even a trace of joy into a minute of mine
And now I need a quiet greenery or what’s lively
I want to throw myself into the purple spacetime to breathe freely
The life’s depth is reminded by the cold sea
Those black holes imply enormous matter can be packed into a tiny area
5 Jun 12
Taken from the San Art exhibition Echoing Nostalgia, 5 Jun 12 is BT Shaw’s poetic response to John Monteith’s video Pyongyang, North Korea, June 5 101 (2012) 5-00am- 5-06-48 am — reassembled from Bing and Google-translated fragments of the June 5, 2012 Twitter feed of North Korea’s official news agency, Uriminzokkiri.
I look forward. I look forward to the construction of a new day. I look forward to progressive integration of the process.
I look forward to the construction of a new subject line. Weightlifting. I look forward to a minute. History would be nice to get on.
I searched extensively for the right watch. I searched extensively for a human. An elephant slide would be nice to get on.
I searched extensively for those who are interested. I searched extensively for a dirty cup. Maybe people are not embarrassed.
For those who are interested, spacecraft in kindergarten. I searched extensively for an ugly dog like a human. A face is also counsel.
I look forward to deeply held stiffness. I look forward to going out. Out and out. Our nation’s sacred patriotic struggle for going out.
For those who are interested I look forward to going out with Ron. Sentiment spilled only further. Dreaming would be nice to get on.
Construction of the new day will end. I look forward to the breath of the leaps. Out and out of their dreams the plot plot dreaming.
Dang Than, 50, Vietnamese
Word: When are these poems from?
Dang Than: My Mother and New Spring were originally written in English around 1990. Not published yet.
Tet Season in Vietnam (2005) and Constipated for 7 Days 7 Notes Trill (2005) are translated from Vietnamese.
Word: What was the Pham Luu Vu comment about you being ”the best humourist ever” in reaction to? Were you trying to be funny?
DT: Well, my writings (especially prose) can be extremely humourous. I don’t think humourous is only funny, but: an ironic must-speak-out-loud in all walks of life, by using parody, metaphor and things of the kind.
Word: What is your main concentration as far as your writing?
DT: To redefine everything (history, heroism, religion, belief, world, human nature, common sense/notions, even the “truth”), so as to show humans’ bigotry, and “new truths”.
Word: Are you an ultra-realist / non-realist / something else? How do you deal with real world situations through your writing?
DT: I don’t care what I am called.
But Pham Luu Vu wrote about me: “Flying over or overpassing the ‘reality’ may be the one and only way to catch the holistic view of it. In ‘Nietzschean terms’, one must get out of the ‘mansty’ so as to see man clearly and discerningly.”
That's it, to use the “non-realistic” and “multidimensional” approach in order to see the real world more clearly and holistically.
Word: Where do you do your writing? Who are your fellow writer friends? What do you talk about when you’re out together?
DT: I normally write at home, at night, usually overnight.
I’ve heard of some young writers trying to follow my style, but they are still greenhorns afraid of showing their works. We sometimes meet up for drinks and talks; they ask me everything and I think they are trying to see my insight, perception and thoughts. Idiosyncratic, aren’t I?
Word: What are you working on now?
DT: Four novels, four poetry anthologies and some other “dirty” writings.