THE WRITERS POST

(ISSN: 1527-5467)
the magazine of Literature & Literature-in-translation.

VOLUME 7 NUMBER 2

JUL 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INRASARA

__________________________________

 

STORIES RETOLD ONLY

AFTER 40 YEARS

 

 

Translated by DO VINH

 

 

 

Story 1.

Running away from diseases

 

Mother took my brothers and sisters and I into hiding

in sixtyĖthree. Nowhere far, mother took us

to an auntís house three streets away.Mother

said:letís sleep over at the lonely auntís, I†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

knew that mother was taking us to run away from diseases.

Father retold: in times past, our maternal grandfather piggy-backed him

running far, far.These days the ham-†††††††††††††††††††††††††

lets can not go anywhere.I remember

 

my sister with one hand holding tightly to her dhai dress

ragged, president Ngo forbade the Chams to wear,

with the other arm holding onto the youngest boy

crying two rows of tears.Nowadays the youngest boy

 

is in the sixth grade, the dhai dress no one forbids to wear, my sister

has tossed it away a long time ago, the strategic war

diseases are no more.A story retold only after 40

years.

 

††††††††† Story 2.Eating words

 

I have a friend who is afflicted with the disease of eating

words.Nothing else, he eats

morning noon afternoon, he chews gnashingly.

His wife cried all of these two years.

 

He eats all sorts of light and heavy things††††††††††††††††††

Nietzsche, Confucius, then Sagan. He††††††††††††††††††††††††

eats habitually.He eats

slow, meticulously.When I was still in shorts

i saw an old man in my village

eating the moon with raw water for lunch.

Before that, my father retold, my maternal great grandfather,

running away from a Minh Menh mandate read††††††††††††

 

the book of rituals, burned through the poetry of Glang Anak,

mixed kids urine to drink instead of

eating words.He lived over a hundred years old,

my father said, such strange eating habbits,†††††††††††††††

 

unique to each generation no matter where.

Chams never cease to have the word-eating†††††††††††††††

gene.His wife cried why exactly it had to be

her husband.

 

 

Story 3.

Waiting for boats

 

Perhaps it has been one, two hundred††††††††††††

years, and more than that, he has ††††††††††††††††††

waited.Waited for the boats.Arriving in

the afternoons, just as the guru had promised.

 

Like seventy years earlier, his son

waitedfor the boats.Surely

to come, the father had said.A father

could not ever lie to his son.

 

Like forty years past, his grandchildren

waited for the boats.In the afternoon, after†††

closing the cages.They waited as such, still††

in that upright position on that mound of earth ---

 

toward the sea.The boats surely

will come.Their ancestors had

promised so, it is written so in books.They

cannot but wait.For the boats

 

to come from the sea.This inheritance passed

down from fathers to sons.Until the

hamlets, then they stopped waiting, no more

opportunity to wait.The boats had

 

came and gone, a long time ago,

perhaps.

 

TRANSLATED BY DO VINH

 

 

 

The Writers Post
the magazine of literature

& literature-in-translation,

founded 1999, based in the US.

 

VOLUME 7 ISSUE 2 JULY 2005

 

Editorial note: Works published in this issue are simultaneously published in the printed Wordbridge magazine (ISSN: 1540-1723).

Copyright © Inrasara 2005. Nothing in this magazine may be downloaded, distributed, or reproduced without the permission of the author/ translator/ artist/The Writers Post/ and Wordbridge magazine. Creating links to place The Writers Post or any of its pages within other framesets or in other documents is copyright violation, and is not permitted.

 

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