A night at the theatre

 

The theatre

 

On the stage

A character steals a look at himself

In silent fury

 

The commotion

Ends up coming to the surface

As the prelude opens itself

 

Light and dark

The stage

The double-face of a mask

 

Rows of audience

The stage in meditation

Where the director's soul is drifting in the air

 

The sword that slips out of the hand

The commotion from centuries ago

And time, locked on the stage

 

Someone is turning an egg around

As life and art are in rivalry

When the light goes out, what remains is a solitary stage

 

Where the actors swap roles

Wind and leaves

While souls are seeking where to return themselves

 

Those, candle in hand, are forming endless roads

When the stage suddenly wakes up

And the raindrops that fall into the pond are wordless and traceless

 

Sound of the footsteps behind the stage

And noise of the audience wearing the masks

The traces of words on paper are burning

 

Wind extinguished, soundless

In memory, the audience are dancing on the stage

While ti and me are secretly merging into one

 

An actor is holding a skull in his hand

Life has nothing to say

Someone is waiting to disembark from a bus

 

The stage is holding its breath

The rose pricking a finger

The statue changing its angles following the footprints of the sun

 

Stone and reality

The stage without a door

The dreamer with a single key

 

The city agitating under a storm

The traffic on the road slipping past, dividing the rain

Someone is holding an umbrella on the stage

 

Where the cage and the bird

And the playwright is thinking of the last scene in the play

While the passengers are gathering on the platform to dodge the rain

 

The lamps of power on the streets are on and off

There are footprints that go into the cave but none out of it

The stage is in meditation in the darkness

 

The director is facing a group of actors

Butterfly specimens inside the frames

Stillness and movement

 

A cloud rises on the horizon of heart

Theatre and garden

Where one can feel the smell of a storm

 

A helicopter is flying over the dome

Its fleeting shadow like that of a predator

Victims and butchers bowing in pairs

 

A double-fate

The actors die on the stage

But live in the hearts of the audience

 

Centuries are colliding

The majestic gods are expressionless

Amidst the rising applause, the cries of the kids

 

Prisoners squatting in a circle

Shadows

And after the performance, the director is signing autographs for his audience

 

Piercingly cold

The only blurry blackness in the white fog

The audience have all left the theatre

 

The sound of drums rises from behind the wall

The fury of the director is encircled by the actors

The theatre is emptied of people

 

The hypocrite tears off his own face

Life resembles a river that flows far in the quiet torrents

And, on the stage, the actors don't cry, and they don't smile, either

 

 

Written in Kazakh by Ardakh Nurgaz. Translated into Chinese by Gulnar Akhan. Translated from the Chinese by Ouyang Yu.

 

Ardakh NurgazArdakh Nurgaz is a Kazakh poet, essayist, dramaturge and critic. He has published the poetry collections A Book of Pseudo Freedoms and A Collection of Humming Birds, a collection of literary criticism, On Modern Kazakh Poetry, and of short fiction, Tanym men talgam.

Topic tags: Poetry, Kazakh, Ardakh Nurgaz, Chinese, Gulnar Akhan, Ouyang Yu

 

 

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