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  • mono 6:41 pm on March 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: artist, Asia, blacksteps, , , Glossi, I Ate Tiong Bahru, singapore, stephen black, Tiong Bahru,   

    Blue White Noise (I ATE TIONG BAHRU): by Stephen Black 


    Photograph by Stephen Black

    Two of the walls are dirty mirrors. Caught between them, the guts of this place are repeated and jammed into grimy centers of infinity. Red plastic chairs, white Formica tables, the fluorescent lights, the people; all are mirrored and squeezed. In back, two young mainland Chinese women boil and cut yong tau foo. They’re silent.

    Below the streetlights a river flows. It may flood again. Angry and worried, a small Chinese woman in a tight pink dress: the taxi stand, her watch, the taxi stand, her watch, the rain, the taxi stand, her watch… On TV, subtitled Chinese promises of eternal love by a couple wearing something like Gucci,before cutting to a lit match above a gagged woman sitting in gasoline. She tries to scream.

    The man near me leans back and his orange hair enters the mirrors. Three shopping bags by his sandals, nothing on his table. He begins combing.The Filipinas drink Coke and make phone calls at a table covered with Tiger bottles and globs of chocolate cake. Young Bob Dylan rushes by with a newspaper over his head. Bob’s red-faced, with a platinum blonde Chinese woman on his arm. Bob’s wearing a Nirvana Tshirt. 5AM in anywhere.

    The vacant field, the Tiong Bahru Estates. The small blue signs of Kim Pong Street. The rain.This shop has a month to live.

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    Stephen Black is usually easy to talk to but often difficult to explain. http://glossi.com/bookmerah/4438-half-black-stephen-black-2012-review

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  • mono 9:20 pm on January 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Asia, いじめ, Bullying, , , , , Ijime, , , , , stress,   

    Ijime: Bullying (いじめ) (建設的な生き方) 

    Here is a translation that I made this evening from a Japanese Constructive Living website. The topic is a dark one that is a persistent problem in Japan: “bullying.”

    Here is my translation:


    Bullying has occurred in every time period. So, it probably won’t go away from now, either. It is a problem not only for children, but for adults, as well. Solving this problem is not simple, but strengthening the family bond with one’s family is a necessary first step. The Spring/Autumn edition of the Nikkei newspaper talks about the connection between bullying, suicide, and mistreatment. One third of parents who were treated badly when they were children, mistreat their own children. Another one-third, mistreat their children as a way to deal with their jobs or their stress. When we put these figures together, we see that these two-thirds are going to inherit the world we now live in.

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  • mono 10:20 am on March 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Asia, Despondency, , , Mariko Mori, Melancholy, , , , , Zero   

    Selected Translated Poems from Mariko Mori’s book “Zero, Zero, Zero” 

    lonely cat

    I bought “Zero, Zero, Zero” on a trip to Osaka, Japan in the summer of 2001. I think that these translations, although amateur (i.e. unpublished), capture the sense that Mori wishes to express. Enjoy.

    Mariko Mori: Zero, Zero, Zero

    I look at the clouds as they suddenly tear away from each other.
    Somewhere, someone is calling my name.

    No matter what tomorrow’s weather will bring, realize that a person will die.

    Words that one can’t speak are pulled into the depths of one’s body as the thorn twists deeper.

    I mutter “zero, zero, zero” as the night sky’s illumination seeps into my sleep.

    My despondency comes from the tips of my toes, passing up my spine and lands at the nape of my neck.

    Melancholy is the back and forth of the swing, swinging until it reaches the darkness.

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