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Hong Kong Malady

香港病
by Yau Ching
Translated from Chinese by
Chenxin Jiang
Issue 31 Online Exclusive

頭痛是一種絕症

看醫生也不過給三天必你痛

捱到OK店買

必你痛所有產品本週九折

還有藥盒鎖匙扣送

你要不要多買多送

 

對空氣過份敏感就是病

自小在公共屋邨就有

頭痛發熱

鼻水眼水四肢乏力

呼吸困難

整個人被一團厠紙塞著

躺在床上作古仔不想起來

不想起來十六年

 

然後是對食物過敏

疴疴嘔嘔

起來都是上厠所

 

捱到搬離這叫香港的盒子

我的敏感自動麻木下來

健康原來是一種麻木

對世界沒有

強烈的厭惡

不需要掙扎的存在

身體原來不掙扎便快樂

懷著平和的心

在白天與黃昏之間

陽光射在紅磚上不熾烈

不特別感到活著是難

 

在香港

我從沒健康過

懊惱納悶的心情大量發售

難怪寫作

A headache is a kind of terminal disease

the doctor won’t prescribe more than three days’ worth of Panadol

so you drag your ass to Circle K

where Panadol products are 10% off

and come with free keychains

the more you buy the more freebies you get

 

Being too sensitive to the air is a malady

growing up in a public housing project, I had

headaches fevers

a runny nose watery eyes weak limbs

and difficulty breathing

I was stuffed with toilet paper

I’d lie in bed making up stories, reluctant to get up

this lasted sixteen years

 

Next it was the food

I’d vomit all night

and only get up to use the toilet

When I finally managed to

escape this box called Hong Kong

my sensitivities became numb

health comes down to being insensitive

to being indifferent

to the world

the body is happy when it’s not putting up a fight

when you’re at ease

between daylight and darkness

when the sunlit bricks aren’t scorching hot

being alive doesn’t seem that hard

 

In Hong Kong

I have never been healthy

I peddle boredom and irritation wholesale

no wonder I write

 

 

_____

Yau Ching. “香港病” from 不可能的家 The Impossible Home. Hong Kong: dirty press, 2000.

Author
Born in Hong Kong and educated in Hong Kong, New York, and London, Yau Ching is a poet, filmmaker, and scholar. She has authored more than ten books including The Impossible Home (2000), which won the Hong Kong Biennial Award for Chinese Literature. Her website is www.yauching.com.
Translator

Chenxin Jiang translates from Chinese, German, and Italian. Recent translations include Tears of Salt: A Doctor's Story by Pietro Bartolo and Lidia Tilotta (Norton), and The Cowshed: Memories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution by Ji Xianlin (NYRB). She is currently translating poems by Yau Ching and Jiang Hao.