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匠心
在刨花中木头消逝
在木头中树木变质
在树木中不见森林
老张的工作就是把一种物质转移
变成另外一种物质
将几何学变成一桩手艺
一辈子打造一把椅子
但他从不坐下,在站立中他完成了
作为工匠的一生
却永远没有完成这样一把椅子
我幼年时期就被他的锯刨声吸引
我问他准备做一把什么样的椅子
他回答:一把不让人坐的椅子
我问他什么时候完成,他回答:明天
明天,我长大了,屁股磨出了茧子
可老张还站在原地,在刨花中
他生根,他发芽,在敲打声里
他的牙齿所剩无几
一把不让人坐的椅子是否存立?
我怀疑,但我更愿意相信
真有这样的人在行动着,仿佛一块木屑
在密林深处寻找自己的前生

Carpenter's Unique Desire
Wood vanishes in the wood shavings.
Trees transform in the wood.
Forests disappear in trees.
Old Zhang's job is to make something
into something else,
turning geometry into an art.
For his whole life he has been making a chair
but he never sits. While standing, he has completed
the life of a craftsman
but never finished a chair.
When I was a boy
I was attracted to the sound he made with his saws.
I asked what he was making.
He said a chair that nobody could sit on.
I asked him when he would finish it. He said tomorrow.
It’s tomorrow. I’m a grown up, with calluses on my butt.
But Old Zhang stands in the same place, among the shavings.
He takes root there, sprouting here and there.
Tapping and rapping. Some teeth are missing.
Is there such a thing as a chair that nobody can sit on?
I doubt it. But I’d rather believe it.
Some people are always on the move
like a speck of sawdust
looking for its previous life deep in the jungle.