DIE TRÄNE DER GRILLE

09月 14, 2014

pang pei nzz grille

 

PULLED DEMONS – Chen Moshi

09月 14, 2014

PULLED DEMONS

Chen Moshi
PULLED DEMONS

I say, there are some films and TV-series nowadays not bad at all,
like those hand-pulled demons.

Pulling those demons comes after the demons chop down people,
comes after they are still happy from having chopped down people.

Those Japanese demons come from across the sea,
they loose their souls anyway on the long journey.

Actually, I have only seen chicken ripped apart with bare hands,
they also have duck meat in handy bits, and then pulled beef, pork, dog legs.
“Pulled demons”, must be the will of the gods.

Pulled demons, that’s actually not very easy.
If we see them one day, let us have some together!

Tr. MW, Sept. 2014

CHINA DOWN AT THE BOTTOM

08月 31, 2014

NorincoYi Sha
CHINA DOWN AT THE BOTTOM

Pigtail is meeting his friend at the tent.
“Bao, do you have cigarettes?”

That box of cigarettes was stolen,
just like the type 64 handgun up on the roof.

Bao sits on the bed in the construction tent.
He broke his leg when they ran with the pistol.

Bao wants to sell it
and go to the hospital to get his leg fixed.

Pigtail is all against that.
“Bao, they will take down your head!”

Bao starts to cry,
crying harder and harder: “Look at the state I’m in!”

“I haven’t eaten at all for two days.
You want my leg to stay broken?”

Now Pigtail starts crying.
He’s wiping his face: “Look at this state we’re in!”

Pigtail decides to sell the gun.
He sells the gun to Mr. Dong.

This was the beginning of a big case:
The 12/1/97 murders* in Xi’an.

On such a night everyone thinks of the murders
I think of Pigtail and of Young Bao.

These hopeless kids from the bottom of China,
this people’s poet can’t get them out of his head.

 

1998-1999
Tr. MW, August 2014

 

*This serial murder case from the beginning of 1998 was made into a TV series and broad-casted all over China in 1999 and 2000. The police gun mentioned in the poem was lost on December 1st, 1997, and the case was eventually named after that date. The police in Xi’an were pressured to solve the murders before March 31st, 1998, because US-President Clinton was coming to Xi’an in June. See John Pomfret in the Washington Post.
(http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPcap/2000-01/13/086r-011300-idx.html)
伊沙
《中国底层》

辫子应约来到工棚
他说:“小保你有烟抽了?”

那盒烟也是偷来的
和棚顶上一把六四式手枪

小保在床上坐着
他的腿在干这件活儿逃跑时摔断了

小保想卖了那枪
然后去医院把自己的腿接上

辫子坚决不让
“小保,这可是要掉脑袋的!”

小保哭了
越哭越凶:“看我可怜的!”

他说:“我都两天没吃饭了
你忍心让我腿一直断着?”

辫子也哭了
他一抹眼泪:“看咱可怜的!”

辫子决定帮助小保卖枪
经他介绍把枪卖给一个姓董的

以上所述的是震惊全国的
西安12.1枪杀大案的开始

这样的夜晚别人都关心大案
我只关心辫子和小保

这些来自中国底层无望的孩子
让我这人民的诗人受不了

EMPTY GRAVES

08月 29, 2014

empty graves - Yang Jian

Yang Jian
EMPTY GRAVES

there are many empty graves in my country,
in empty graves nothing is there,
only earth and more earth.

you are afraid of ghosts,
you fear the ghosts are going to stir.
in our hearts we have buried those empty graves.

in autumn you cover your grave with weeds,
and when it breaks out,
you hide it right where its shows its first page.

in my country,
if the grass has a sound, it’s the sound of the wanderer,
it’s just the sunset sound in the desert.

my country is full of empty graves,
in empty graves nothing is there,
only weeds and more weeds.

2012
Tr. MW, August 2014

MOST IMPORTANT DAYS OF THE YEAR – Yi Sha

08月 29, 2014

Yi Sha
MOST IMPORTANT DAYS OF THE YEAR

summer holidays
my wife and my son
both gone to henan
to visit relatives
I’m all alone
to spend a few days
watching porn dvds
writing new poems
in this big empty flat
I have time to think
about my whole life

August 2014
Tr. MW, August 2014

 

Yi Sha
MY STANDPOINT

a rightist intellectual
comes to our town
to present his new book
at a big bookstore
he asks me to come
and introduce him
my answer is
“I would rather not
go up on the stage
but I’m asking you to dinner”

a leftist professor
arrives in our town
to hold a speech at some university
he asks me to go and eat with him
I stoutly refuse
you’d first have to kill me
I am afraid of our picture together
all over the Internet
forever ruining my reputation

August 2014
Tr. MW, August 2014

 

Yi Sha
DREAM #442

it is winter
I’m in an Internet cafe
to go online

in this Internet bar
there is this old iron stove
from long time ago
with a metal chimney
going outside the house
up on the ledge
you can roast sweet potatoes
that kind of stove

above my head
there’s a gaslight
shining bright
just like the moon

August 2014
Tr. MW, August 2014

 

原文地址:伊沙新作(2014年8月)作者:长安伊沙

2014年8月(20首)

 

JUNE – Xing Hao

08月 5, 2014

june - xing haoXing Hao
JUNE

month of long days
and of strong sun
fresh-bought cabbage
curled at the sides
all turned to mush

it’s graduation day
the day I became a worker
at the cement factory
the day of the operation
my wife borrowed money for from everyone
the birthday of
one of my daughters
the day my father
dies

sun like an oven
there is no way to let father stay
after a hurried funeral
I lead my shaking mother back to the cave onto the kang

no sound from mother
all through the month
there is no sound

Tr. MW, July 2014

A CURSE ON THE SORRY STATE OF CHINESE POETRY

08月 4, 2014

guchenghaizibeidaoFei (Sex 13)
A CURSE ON THE SORRY STATE OF CHINESE POETRY – GU CHENG, HAIZI AND BEI DAO

remember gu cheng
reading in honor of gu cheng
recital in honor of gu cheng
gu cheng symposium: call for papers
remember gu cheng
gu cheng gu cheng gu cheng gu cheng gu cheng gu cheng gu cheng gu cheng gu cheng gu cheng gu cheng gu cheng gu cheng gu cheng

remember haizi
reading in honor of haizi
recital in honor of haizi
haizi symposium: call for papers
remember haizi
haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi haizi

searching for bei dao
reading in search of bei dao
recital in search of bei dao
symposium in search of bei dao: call for papers
searching for bei dao
bei dao bei dao bei dao bei dao bei dao bei dao bei dao bei dao bei dao bei dao bei dao bei dao bei dao bei dao bei dao bei dao bei dao

Posted 8/4/14
Tr. MW, August 2014

LEADER, HOW COME YOU BECAME A CRIMINAL?

07月 31, 2014

Li Yunqi

Li Yunqi
LEADER, HOW COME YOU BECAME A CRIMINAL MONSTER?
— surprised to see security chief Zhou Yongkang reduced to a prisoner

For a long time, you were our leader.
On the chairman’s pedestal,
you stood tall and strong.
On the TV screen,
your vigor was shining.
Your voice carried strength,
you were sound as a bell.
You fought against crime,
you were unforgiving.
When you held the reins,
to protect law and justice for our nation,
every man on the street stood behind you.

Now I know, you became a criminal
only because you lost your power.
If you were still up in control,
no-one could do anything,
no-one would ever dare raise his voice.
Every ounce of a doubt
would have been slander.
Every one not behind you
would be against you.
Each one resisting
would be a traitor.

When you were up and running,
who gave you the highest place at the top?
And when you lost power,
who made you a stinking criminal monster?
Black and white, right and wrong,
Great leader and criminal,
it was all very sudden.

If you held onto crime and controlled justice,
should I believe fairness rules in society?
If greed led you all the way to the peaks,
should I believe in a value system?
How about people judged criminals by the criminal,
are they endangering our nation?

How long will it take till we won’t hear any lie in the media?
How long until power isn’t a wrestling driven by greed?
When will it be that my hand,
a small helpless hand,
becomes a shield to cut off crime when it spreads?

Posted March 6th, 2014
Tr. MW, July 2014

 

领袖,你为何竟成了罪人
作者:李运启

——惊闻周永康竟成阶下囚

 

曾几何时,你是我们的领袖。

在主席台上,

你大义凛然。

在电视屏幕上,

你意气奋发。

你的声音,

是如此铿锵有力。

你对罪恶,

是如此义愤填膺。

你手握重权,

维护着这个国家的法治与公平,

受着小民百姓的拥护和爱戴。

 

我知道,你之所以成为罪人,

只是因为失去了权力。

如果你仍然大权在握,

谁也奈何不了你,

而且谁也不敢有半点非议。

所有的质疑,

都将是诽谤。

所有的不从,

都将是抗拒。

所有的反对,

都将是背叛。

 

是谁,在你胡作非为时,

将你推到了如此高的位置?

又是谁,在你失去权力时,

将你变成了遗臭万年的罪人?

黑与白,对与错,

伟大与罪恶,

颠倒竟只是瞬间的事情。

 

靠罪恶也能掌握国家的法律机器,

你叫我如何相信社会的公平正义?

靠贪婪也能通往权力的巅峰,

你叫我如何相信社会的评价体系?

那些被罪恶者判罚有罪的罪人,

他们真的在危害着这个社会?

 

什么时候,媒体上将再也听不到一句谎言。

什么时候,权力将不再是贪婪的角力场所。

什么时候,我的一只手,

一只无力的小手,

也能成为斩断罪恶升迁的有力屏障。

(2014-03-06 10:22:48)

GEBET

07月 24, 2014

TREE

GEBET

heiliges licht wo immer du bist
lass mich stehen stille schauen
du bist ein baum ein busch ein strauch
du bist ein haus
du bist der glanz
du bist die pracht
im vogelruf
heiliges licht wo immer du bist
lass uns stehen stille schauen
du bist die zeit
du bist der ort
du bist der himmel
in unseren herzen
heiliges licht wo immer du bist
gib uns stille gib uns staunen
gib uns arbeit
gib uns muße spiel gespräche
gib uns aufeinanderhören
amen

MW Juli 2014

PIRAN ST. FRANCIS

GEBET BUCHRUHEVISITORS

NEW PLACE – Zhu Jian

07月 24, 2014

New Place

Zhu Jian 朱剑
NEW PLACE

I want to invite all my friends
and cook a meal
and then we talk on the balcony
on my balcony
I have the luxury
of space for a wicker chair
and a small table
hit by the sun
every morning

2014-07
Tr. MW, July 2014

BIRNENLEICHE

07月 22, 2014

birnenleicheDong Yue
BIRNENLEICHE

heut seh ich endlich
hinterm vorhang
auf dem fensterbrett
von der birne
vor ein paar tagen
den birnenputzen

so eine grosse birne
und so ein grosser
birnenputzen
jetzt ist er verschrumpft und klein

ich schreib genau auf wie es war:
heute entdeck ich die birnenleiche

2009
Übersetzt von MW im Juli 2014

LONG LIVE CHAIR-MAN MAO

07月 22, 2014

Zhao Siyun
LONG LIVE CHAIRMAN MAO

the former camp of the production brigade
has become our ancestral hall
we say the Zhao family temple
when I was small
every time I passed this place
I felt its mystery
people’s commune and county leaders would often gather
alcohol fumes drift through the air
none of us dared to steal a look at those dignified faces
at the spotted western wall
five classic characters written in lime:
LONG LIVE CHAIR-MAN MAO
solemn and serious
I thought there must be many officials in the whole country called Chairman Mao
and wondered if there was one in our production brigade

Tr. MW, July 2014

lili

赵思运
毛主席万岁

昔日的生产大队驻地
如今成了我们赵家的祠堂
也就是常说的家庙
小时候
每次经过那里
都感到很神秘
常常有公社里的人还有县里的人来喝酒
酒香弥漫缭绕
我们谁也不敢伸头去看看那些人物的尊容
斑驳的西墙上
五个宋体石灰大字
毛主席万岁
端庄肃穆
我以为全国有很多叫毛主席的大官儿
还在想
我们的生产大队里是不是也有一个毛主席

 

椅人 (主席)

LÖWEN HABEN KEIN KLEINGELD DABEI

07月 21, 2014

loewen1Jiang Tao
LÖWEN HABEN KEIN KLEINGELD DABEI

löwen haben kein kleingeld dabei
löwen brauchen fleisch zum essen
löwen haben kein kleingeld dabei
löwen haben kein geld dabei
löwen haben kein geld
löwen haben gar kein geld
löwen brauchen fleisch zum essen
löwen sind keine löwen im sternzeichen
löwen haben keine sternzeichen
löwen haben kein geld
löwen können nur in der steppe bleiben
löwen brauchen fleisch zum essen

Übersetzt von MW im Juli 2014

LIONS DIDN’T BRING CHANGE

07月 21, 2014

loewen

Jiang Tao
LIONS DIDN’T BRING CHANGE

lions haven’t brought change
lions need to eat meat
lions haven’t brought change
lions haven’t brought money
lions have no money
lions just don’t have money
lions need to eat meat
lions aren’t leo
lions have no zodiac
lions have no money
lions can only stay in the grasslands
lions need to eat meat

Tr. MW, July 2014

 

Jiang Tao
LÖWEN HABEN KEIN KLEINGELD DABEI

löwen haben kein kleingeld dabei
löwen brauchen fleisch zum essen
löwen haben kein kleingeld dabei
löwen haben kein geld dabei
löwen haben kein geld
löwen haben gar kein geld
löwen brauchen fleisch zum essen
löwen sind keine löwen im sternzeichen
löwen haben keine sternzeichen
löwen haben kein geld
löwen können nur in der steppe bleiben
löwen brauchen fleisch zum essen

Übersetzt von MW im Juli 2014

SEHNSUCHT IM WIND – Han Dong

07月 18, 2014

Han Dong Sinian ru feng

Han Dong
SEHNSUCHT IM WIND

meine eltern waren nie hier,
sie sind nie so weit gekommen.
herrlich und einsam ist diese brise,
doch auch dieser wind rührt nicht an ungreifbare gestalten.

sie sind gestorben, nicht in meiner heimat,
aber die heimat mag ihnen nah sein,
von mir hier sind sie sehr, sehr weit weg.
die leeren plätze sind in den sternen.

heut auf dem balkon an der mündung der loire
zeig ich mit den zehen am meer in die nacht.
sehnsucht im wind weht durch mich durch,
nach ihrem tod war die welt auch so fremd.

Übersetzt von MW im Juli 2014

THE PEOPLE – Yi Sha

07月 15, 2014

yi sha the people

Yi Sha
THE PEOPLE

taking a walk in the afternoon
I come out of the east gate of fengqing park
and I see
a young woman leaning on a bicycle
talking on her cellphone:
“hello, director chen
just let my kid into your school
on top of the 50,000 sponsoring money
I will add 10,000 for you,
ok? ….”
behind her
on the back seat of the bicycle
sits a little boy
three or four years old
I walk down the street
but after a while
under the afternoon
hot summer sun
I want to cry
not because I am moved
I’m not moved at all
it was no surprise
it was perfectly normal
but I want to salute
the downtrodden masses accepting their fate
myself among them
the great chinese people

Tr. MW, July 2014

FUSSBALLWELTMEISTERSCHAFT 1998 – Yi Sha

07月 15, 2014

Yi Sha
FUSSBALLWELTMEISTERSCHAFT 1998

gäbe es keine weltmeisterschaft
schaute ich heute nacht in die sterne
dächte an große fragen der menschheit
meditierte im dunklen zimmer
im großen und weichen
simmonsbett säße ich
und sagte sutren auf
bis im osten der tag anbräche
morgenrot den himmel erfüllte
aber —
gäbe es keine weltmeisterschaft
wäre ich sicher nicht wach

Übersetzt von MW im April 2014

伊沙
1998:世界杯足球赛侧记

假如没有世界杯
今夜的我就要仰望星空
想一些有关人类的大问题了
在黑暗的房间中
在宽大而柔软的
席梦思床上打坐
口中念念有词
直到东方破晓
朝霞满天
可是 –
假如没有世界杯
我压根儿就不会醒来

MORE SOCCER! 

WATCHING THE CAPITAL STADIUM

KNEELING, DEMANDING THEIR WAGES – Zheng Xiaoqiong

07月 14, 2014

Zheng Xiaoqiong
KNEELING, DEMANDING THEIR WAGES

they scurry across like wandering souls at the train station
at the machines the industrial zone squalid rented rooms
their thin female bodies like knifeblades like paper
hair fibres air their fingers cut
iron plastic film etc they’re numb and exhausted
like wandering souls packed into machine tables
work clothes assembly lines their glowing eyes
in the bloom of their youth scurrying into the shadowy stream
they created themselves I can’t tell them apart
I am standing among them no one knows who I am a sack of skin
limbs movement vague expressions one harmless
face after another they are always assembled lined up
forming electronics factory anthill toy factory beehive females
smiling standing running bending curling
each simplified into one pair of hands thies
fastened screws cut iron sheets
compressed plastic curved aluminum cut fabric
their frustrated satisfied weary happy
tangled up helpless lonely expressions
they come from villages hamlets valleys teams they’re intelligent
awkward they are weak timid
today they are kneeling before the shining glass windows doors
black-clad security polished limousines green tangerines
gold-emblazoned factory name shining in sunlight
kneeling at the factory gate holding up a cardboard sign
awkward charakters “give us sweat-and-blood-money”
they look quite fearless as they kneel at the factory gate
surrounded by a crowd days ago they were colleagues
from the same province friends coworkers above or below
women without any expression watching four kneeling women workers
watching four colleagues dragged away by security watching
one of the four losing a shoe watching another worker
getting her pants torn in the struggle silently watching
four kneeling women dragged far away in their eyes
there is no sadness no joy without any expression entering the factory
their tragedy leaving me sad or depressed

Tr. MW, July 2014

郑小琼
跪着的讨薪者

她们如同幽灵闪过 在车站
在机台 在工业区 在肮脏的出租房
她们薄薄的身体 像刀片 像白纸
像发丝 像空气 她们用手指切过
铁 胶片 塑料 … … 她们疲倦而麻木
幽灵一样的神色 她们被装进机台
工衣 流水线 她们鲜亮的眼神
青春的年龄 她们闪进由自己构成的
幽暗的潮流中 我无法再分辨她们
就像我站在他们之中无法分辨 剩下皮囊
肢体 动作 面目模糊 一张张
无辜的脸孔 她们被不停地组合 排列
构成电子厂的蚁穴 玩具厂的蜂窝 她们
笑着 站着 跑着 弯曲着 卷缩着
她们被简化成为一双手指 大腿
她们成为被拧紧的螺丝 被切割的铁片
被压缩的塑料 被弯曲的绿线 被剪裁的布匹
她们失意的 得意的 疲惫的 幸福的
散乱的 无助的 孤独的 。。。表情
她们来自村 屯 坳 组 她们聪明的
笨拙的 她们胆怯的 懦弱的 。。。
如今 她们跪着 对面是高大明亮的玻璃门窗
黑色制服的保安 锃亮的车辆 绿色的年桔
金灿灿的厂名招牌在阳光下散发着光亮
她们跪在厂门口 举着一块硬纸牌
上面笨拙地写着 “给我血汗钱”
她们四个毫无惧色地跪在工厂门口
她们周围是一群观众 数天前 她们是老乡
工友 朋友 或者上下工位的同事
她们面无表情地看着四个跪下的女工
她们目睹四个工友被保安拖走 她们目睹
一个女工的鞋子掉了 她们目睹另一个女工
挣扎时裤子破了 她们沉默地看着
下跪的四个女工被拖到远方 她们眼神里
没有悲伤 没有喜悦 。。。 她们目无表情地走进厂房
她们深深的不幸让我悲伤或者沮丧

GRIEF HAD TO GROW UP – Yan Li

07月 13, 2014

Yan li grief has to grow up

Yan Li

EVEN GRIEF HAD TO GROW UP

 

you leave it, it drags on for how many years

deaths from that time, they have grown up too

obituaries are old enough to have kids

part of me I left in that year also grew

although it became a website that’s blocked

but I have learned to scale the great firewall

and leaf through injustice buried in history

 

outbursts of wailing have never stopped

on top of the wails there are always new wreaths

all are inadequate for my suspicions about reality:

why can dark and light of the world

toast each other under the neon lamps

why is it every time I take a walk on the street

I always see people whose names are forgotten

reciting the future there on the square

 

Tr. MW, July 2014

GOING HOME FOR LUNAR NEW YEAR – Yi Sha

07月 5, 2014

Yi Sha
GOING HOME FOR LUNAR NEW YEAR

in our red china
a household of four generations of scholars
could end up deep
in a slum

and so in my youth
I had it wild
wilder than kids of labor-camp inmates
at least I knew what was going on

on the first morning in the lunar new year
I took a walk through the old streets
they even looked
just like before

standing there I suddenly realized
my pals from back then had no time to grow up
most of them were caught in a crackdown
and sent up to heaven

2003
Tr. MW, July 2014

伊沙
过年回家的路上

在我红色中国
四代书香之家
也可以坐落在
贫民窟的深处

使我的少年时时代
比劳改犯的儿子
还要野蛮
野蛮又不蒙昧

大年初一的早上
当我信步走过那老巷
发现它们还保持着
过去的模样

当时我站在那里
不免怔怔地想
我儿时的伙伴来不及成长
他们大都被镇压到了天上

2003

WATCHING THE CAPITAL STADIUM – Yi Sha

06月 27, 2014

Yi Sha Capital Stadium

Yi Sha
WATCHING THE BEIJING CAPITAL INDOOR STADIUM FROM A WINDOW OF THE JAPAN AIRLINES NEW CENTURY HOTEL

It isn’t as grand
as it was before;
but still my heart
goes pounding.
So many beautiful
youthful memories;
like the willows around it,
they are still blowing.
One evening in May, 1987
I was here watching the game
when the Chinese badminton team
won all five world championship titles
for the first time.
I saw Yang Yang beat Morten Frost
Li Yongbo and Tian Bingyi
They were still in the team
and won the men’s doubles for the first time.
After the games
I rode a shoddy bicycle
through Beijing’s midnight streets
shouting and screaming
“Long live China!”
in between the traffic.
In the same year
I went with a girl
to the Northwest folk rock concert
“My hometown is not beautiful,
low straw houses, bitter well water …”
Tengger’s voice, my blood went boiling.
After the concert
I didn’t bring her home,
just up to the night bus;
that was the more responsible way …
Oh, someone’s knocking,
my friends are here.
I have to leave the window
and open the door.
Oh, I haven’t thought
of that time for a while.

Tr. MW, June 2014

2008_Capital_Gymnasium_Indoor_Arena

 

CAPITAL INDOOR STADIUM lossy-page1-1024px-Nixon_at_an_athletic_exhibition_in_Peking_-_NARA_-_194757_tif

 

MINE WORKERS AND TEA EGGS

06月 26, 2014

Feng Xuan

Feng Xuan
MINE WORKERS AND TEA EGGS

actually, they have
just finished their early shift
and found a noodle shop
to let their spent up bodies rest for a while

handmade noodles, two yuan fifty fen
they don’t want to pay any more for the sauce
only a tea-egg
colored much like their skin
happiness rolled into one
they keep the egg and the soup till the end
as if to remind themselves
not to let this darkness
pass into their wives’ pregnant bellies

Tr. MW, June 2014

HALFWAY INTO MAKING LOVE

06月 25, 2014

Qi Guo make love halfway

Qi Guo
HALFWAY INTO MAKING LOVE

suddenly too lazy to move
lying on top, reading a newspaper

nothing interesting in there either
just want to find a few spelling mistakes

Tr. MW, June 2014

FOLK REMEDY – Yuan Yuan

06月 24, 2014

Yuan Yuan

Yuan Yuan
FOLK REMEDY

Prone to nosebleed since I was small
I have a few methods
to stop the blood.
Ice-cold water on the forehead;
middle finger tied at the base;
raise up your hand on the other side;
block your nose with tissue paper.
It might also be a good choice
to use chalk from the blackboard.
The most unique method
comes from my grandfather, my mother’s father.
Up in the hills or in the fields
suddenly my nose was bleeding.
He never panicked,
took off one shoe (those shoes made from cloth),
one side of the sole
he pressed on my nostril
and kept rubbing.
From the sole, a taste of mud;
a taste of sunlight;
a taste of grass;
a taste of sheep droppings;
a taste of dead insects;
stirred up together
right up my nostril.
I choked and gasped,
the blood shot back up.

2014-01-28
Tr. MW, June 2014

“Thanks for That”

06月 18, 2014

中国大好き:

Great video. Yan Li has been an important figure in art and poetry in China and outside for a long time. I have translated a few of his poems. I like this one for the same reason that Paul Manfredi states – having cared for small children. And the poem reminds me of Hung Hung and Duo Duo. And I like Yan Li, as I said.

Originally posted on China Avantgarde:

Here’s a video I made a while back. If all goes well, this will be the first in a long series of poetry/art short takes.

This particular poem is one of my favorites by Yan Li. What caught my attention to begin with is the line “I can only help them tie their shoes”. Four years ago (when this was filmed), I was spending a lot of time tying shoes on five-year-old feet. It struck a chord.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/98451421″>Thanks for That</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user5276801″>paul manfredi</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

View original

PELE’S PREDICTIONS – Yi Sha

06月 18, 2014

yi sha pele

Yi Sha

WISE CROW

soccer fans all over the world
know about pele’s predictions
he knows before who wins the crown
and who must go down
even brazil his own team
he has predicted bad luck for them
several times, these are
all facts
proving
he’s the real deal
king of the game
every real king talks to the spirits
right or wrong is all one

Tr. MW, June 2014

 

MORE SOCCER! 

NO SOCCER!

MOND NEUE WOHNUNG

06月 18, 2014

CAM00100 CAM00101MOND NEUE WOHNUNG

der mond ist groß und hell hinterm haus gegenüber
nicht sehr weit oben, gleich über den kränen
der erste sommer im neuen haus
der erste winter, der erste frühling
der war nass und kühl
jetzt ist es richtig sommer geworden
so viele mohnblumen
so viele lichter
so viele neue wohnungen
und ein besetztes haus in der nähe
wahrscheinlich kommen die schmierer von dort
die unsere neuen häuser verschönern
ein sechzehnjähriger liegt noch im koma
nach einer ubahn-graffitti aktion
die polizei war offenbar gründlich
und die security der wiener linien
der mond ist rund und hell hinter wolken
gleich dort hinterm haus

MW Juni 2014

相片0171CAM00043 CAM00044

GUANYIN SOIL – Ye Zhen

06月 16, 2014

ye zhen FERTILITY

Ye Zhen
FERTILITY

sister is six years older than me
in these six years
mother was in her most fertile years
but didn’t bear children

sister was born in 1957
I was born in 1963
mother said
in these six years
so many people died in our village
so many people died in china

mother also said
fertility is not up to a person
it is up to grain
up to rice and wheat
up to leaves and tree bark
up to ‘guanyin soil’

2014-05-11
Tr. MW, June 2014

SOCCER WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION – Yi Sha

06月 16, 2014

yi sha fussball memoiren

Yi Sha
MEMOIR

on august 23rd 1931
sholohov and pasternak
sat down together for breakfast
at moscow airport
before bording a plane bound for kiev
to watch the soviet soccer team
they were invited
70 years ago in the soviet union
the official writer’s association chairman
and a dubious poet
the only time they went out together
it was all in the name of soccer
70 years later in china
one week ago
I had the same experience

2001
Tr. MW, June 2014

Yi Sha
MEMOIREN

am 23. august 1931
saßen scholochow und pasternak
am moskauer flughafen
im kaffeehaus zusammen beim frühstück
dann stiegen sie in ein flugzeug nach kiew
dort spielte das sowjetische team
sie waren beide eingeladen
vor 70 jahren in der sowjetunion
der präsident des autorenverbandes und ein dichter der grauzone
auf dieser einen gemeinsamen reise
und nur für den fußball
siebzig jahre später in china
vor einer woche
hatte ich die gleiche erfahrung

2001
Übersetzt von MW im April 2014

DUTCH SOCCER COACH BAWLS HIS HEART OUT – DREAM #62 – Yi Sha

06月 15, 2014

相片0184

Yi Sha
DREAM #62

I dreamed of
dutch coach van marwijk
beaten in the finals
in his silver-grey suit
that familiar image
but on his left chest
a bloody hole as big as a plate
as if he’d been bombed
black smoke still curling
his heart fell out
a crimson frog
skinned for the frying pan
jumps on the lawn
his son-in-law
mark van bommel screaming
“quick! put our trainer’s heart back in place!”
bald robben looks old
missed three golden chances
now he’s kneeling down
picks up the heart
and puts it back
into the hole in van marwijk’s chest
and then the whole team
each one hugging the trainer
the hole in his chest
has disappeared

July 2010
Tr. MW, June 2014

伊沙
《梦(62)》

我梦见了
荷兰教头范马尔维克
还是决赛落败的场景
还是那身银灰色西装
只是其左胸上
有一个碗大的血洞
像是被炮轰了一下
还冒着一缕青烟
其心掉落出来
像只被剥光了皮
准备下油锅的红蛙
在绿草坪上蹦跳着
还是女婿疼岳丈
范博梅尔大喊一声:
“快给教练把心安上!”
秃头而老相
错失了三次良机的罗本
双膝跪地
将心捧起
放回到范教头
胸前的血洞里
随后每个队员
都跟教练拥抱了一下
他胸前的那个血洞
不见了

2010.7

CROSSING THE SQUARE – Yi Sha

06月 13, 2014
photo by Malika Saulnier

photo by Malika Saulnier

Yi Sha
ONE DAY, CROSSING THE SQUARE

caught by a whiff of salty fish
I know I have entered the square
the biggest fish market in town
is on the south side
so the square has been reeking
all through the years
at the east is the science museum
never been in there
don’t know what they have
young pioneers palace is on the west side
I sneaked in alone
when I was 14
to see the human body display
I stood in front of a model
of female sexual organs forever
without understanding
now I’ve come to the north of the square
they call it the front side
from a double decker window
I can see everything
the province government building
looks quite imposing
up there my wife whiled her hours away
for shabby pay
the square – concrete slabs and some grass
they are lowering the flag
it’s at the middle now
looks like half-mast
22 years ago in september
we were standing here mourning
the former leader who had just died
red kerchiefs and our young faces
drenched in icy autumn rain
our white-haired principal
standing there howling through wind and rain
“What will happen to China?”*
I can see the whole scene
now I see the spectators gleaming
in the sunset
a heap of tangerines
I see two people
have left the ranks
they are two grown-up men
holding hands
running towards the east of the square
and my bus keeps going west
so I can’t make out
where they might be going

1998
Tr. MW, June 2014

*“What will happen to China?”, literally “Whither China?”, “Where is China going?”, in Chinese Zhongguo Xiang He Chu Qu 中国向何处去 was the title of a political essay published in Big Character Posters in 1968, written by the 19-year-old Yang Xiaokai 杨小凯 who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his text. In the end he became an economist and taught at universities in China, USA and Australia (online sources).

Compare this poem to Ouyang Jianghe’s 欧阳江河 CROSSING THE SQUARE AT DUSK  傍晚穿过广场

 

伊沙
某日经过广场

一股臭咸鱼的味道袭来
说明我已开始进入广场
全市最大的水产市场
在它的南端
所以它经年
都被这种不良气味笼罩
东侧是科技馆
我从未进去过
不知道里面有什么
而西侧是少年宫
初三那年我一个人
偷偷溜进去
去看人体奥秘的展览
我在一副女性生殖系统的
模具前站了很久
最终还是没有看透
现在我已到了广场的北端
也就是人们所说的正面
我在双层巴士的窗口
把一切看得都很清楚
北面的省府大楼
还算雄伟庄严
我老婆曾在上面混过
嫌钱少得可怜
广场——草坪和水泥方砖
相间的广场上正在降旗
旗子降至一半
像下半旗
二十二年前的九月
我们曾在这里追悼过
刚刚辞世的前领袖
年少的脸和红领巾
被冰凉的秋雨打湿
白发苍苍的老校长
站在凄风苦雨中嚎哭
“中国向何处去?”
当时的情景历历在目
现在我看到围观的人群
在夕阳的光照下
像一堆桔子
我还看到有两个人
已经脱队
是两名成年男子
手牵着手
向广场的东侧跑去
车子向西开远
我没有看清
他们究竟是去了哪里

1998

Yi Sha
ÜBER DEN PLATZ, EINES TAGES

ein gestank nach salzigem fisch
sagt mir ich bin auf den platz vorgedrungen
der größte fischmarkt der stadt
ist im süden des platzes
deshalb ist er durch die jahre
von diesem geruch durchweht
im osten steht das technische museum
ich bin nie hineingegangen
weiß nicht was es drinnen gibt
im westen steht der jugendpalast
einmal schlich ich mich hinein
als 14jähriger schüler
es ging um das geheimnis des körpers
ich stand sehr lange vor einem modell
weiblicher fortpflanzungsorgane
ich blickte auch am ende nicht durch
jetzt bin ich schon am nordrand des platzes
man sagt hier die vorderseite
aus einem doppeldeckerfenster
kann ich alles überblicken
das provinzregierungsgebäude
erhebt sich doch recht stattlich
meine frau war dort oben beschäftigt
für kümmerlichen lohn
über den platz – gras und betonziegel
man lässt gerade die fahne hinunter
sie ist bei der hälfte
sieht aus wie auf halbmast
im september vor 22 jahren
standen wir in trauer hier
der frühere staatsführer war grad gestorben
junge gesichter mit roten halstüchern
im eisigen herbstregen
der schuldirektor mit weißen haaren
stand heulend und jammernd im wind und im regen
“was wird aus china?”
ich hab es noch genau vor augen
jetzt seh ich die zuseher
in der sinkenden sonne
sehen sie aus wie ein haufen orangen
ich sehe auch zwei menschen
sie haben sich schon aus der menge gelöst
es sind zwei erwachsene männer
hand in hand
laufen sie zum osten des platzes
mein bus entfernt sich nach westen
ich kann nicht erkennen
wohin sie am ende gehen

1998
Übersetzt von MW Ende 2013

Hsu Che Yu - 许折瑜 - Xu Zheyu

Football: 3 LIGHTERS – Yi Sha

06月 12, 2014
photo: Scott Savitt

photo: Scott Savitt

Yi Sha
3 LIGHTERS

in my first two days in lhasa
I bought two lighters
one with a picture of robben
the other with messi
they were both useless
breathless entirely
on this snowy highland
on the roof of the world
even lighters
show a reaction
even soccer stars
can’t keep up the flame
but on the third day
we went up the potala
when we came down again
at the bottom
in a small shop
I bought another one
this lighter had no problem at all
it showed a picture
of a living buddha

May 2012
Tr. MW, June 2014

 

Yi Sha
3 FEUERZEUGE

in meinen ersten zwei tagen in lhasa
kaufte ich zwei feuerzeuge
eines mit robben
eines mit messi
beide nutzlos
ausser atem
auf der hochebene
auf dem dach der welt
sogar feuerzeuge
werden höhenkrank
sogar fußballstars
geht hier das feuer aus
aber am dritten tag
waren wir im potala
und darunter
auf dem rückweg
in einem kleinen laden
kaufte ich ein feuerzeug
das funktionierte einwandfrei
auf ihm war ein
lebender buddha

Mai 2012
Übersetzt von MW im April 2014

 

伊沙
《三只打火机》

到达拉萨头两天
我先后买了
两只打火机
一只上贴罗本
一只上贴梅西
都不好使
差一口气
在这雪域高原
在这世界屋脊
连打火机
都有高原反应
连足球明星
都熄火了
但是第三天
我们登上布达拉宫
然后下来
在它下面的
小商店里
买的打火机
却没有任何问题
它的上面
贴着活佛

2012年5月

More soccer in China – YI SHA: THE MOON REFLECTED IN SECOND SPRING

WHAT TO EAT ON THE GREAT WALL

06月 10, 2014

what to eat on the great wall

Yan Yongmin
WHAT TO EAT ON THE GREAT WALL

Tomorrow I’m going to Beijing to see the Great Wall!
I couldn’t wait to tell my colleagues.

You better bring something to eat!
On the Great Wall, things are not cheap.

I’ll bring steamed Mantou
and Xian Cai sauerkraut.

You really want to lose face
up on the Great Wall?

I was joking.
I’ll bring milk and bread.

Tr. MW, June 2014

勿忘汉语拼音练习

06月 10, 2014
picture by Sara Bernal

picture by Sara Bernal

Wei Mading
WUWANG HANYUPINYINLIANXI

wuwangliusiuwangliusiwwangliusiwu
angliusiwuwngliusiwuwagliusiwuwan
liusiwuwangiusiwuwanglusiwuwangli
siwuwangliuiwuwangliuswuwangliusi

MW June 2014

picture by Sara Bernal

picture by Sara Bernal

AT THE HOSPITAL – Zheng Xiaoqiong

06月 5, 2014

 

Picture by Sara Bernal

Picture by Sara Bernal

 

Zheng Xiaoqiong

AT THE HOSPITAL

 

setting sun shines on these poor people sick with disease

I know them, coming from low lying mountains

they are squatting

sitting at the hospital doors

snake skin belts, wrinkled clothes, face full of callouses, clutching

banknotes warm from their bodies, their inarticulate staring

at white-washed walls, corridors smelling of

soda, IV hooks next door, bottles

he is squatting, pain deep inside, flesh and bone, life’s inside

she is asking

setting sun in her eyes gleaming towards the western mountain

she sits in the hospital sunset, so peaceful

fear deep inside cannot be spoken

 

 

 

they hold on to each other, walking out of the red-cross hospital

setting sun shines in her eyes, his disease

in poverty, he lies on the low wooden bed

waits for his disease to swallow him like the sun

 

Tr. MW, June 2014

 

 

郑小琼

在医院

 

落日照着这个疾病缠身的穷人

我认识他们,来自矮墩墩的山头

他们蹲着

坐着,在医院的门口

他们蛇皮带子皱褶衣裳,长了满面茧子,手中捏着

带体温的钞票,他们木讷的眼神

盯着白色的墙壁,充满苏打味的

医院走廊,隔壁的吊针,玻璃瓶

他蹲着,疼痛深入肉体、骨头、生活的内部

她询问

她眼里落日的光芒在走近西山

她坐在医院的夕照中,如此宁静

有着至深的畏惧也不能说出

 

他们相扶持,走出红十字医院

夕阳照着她的眼神,他的疾病

在贫穷中,他躺在低矮的木床上

等待疾病吞噬落日般的生命

JUNE 4TH, 2014

06月 5, 2014

nzz-tiananmen-1989

 

There were demonstrations in Vienna yesterday. I went during the day, but in the evening I was too tired. It was important in the evening, of course. They let far-right organizations march through the city, canvass at universities and so on, aggressively protected by police. Anti-fascist protesters have a hard stand. Police brutality is fatal sometimes. A young subway sprayer was beaten into a coma by Wiener Linien public transport security and police in early April, and has not woken up since then. In the evening of June 3rd, the East Asian Studies department at Vienna university held an open discussion. The most interesting thing was three young female students who had interviewed Fang Zheng 方政 via Skype. He was that athlete whose legs were severed by a tank when he helped a female student get out of the way in the morning of June 4th, 1989. He became a disabled athlete and set records. But they were always worried he would get too much publicity, so he was barred from some international events. He kept quiet during the Olympics in 2008, so that he would get his passport and could leave in 2009. Lives in San Francisco, chairs an exile organization there. That presentation was great. The North Korea specialist made some interesting remarks, and in the end a Chinese professor finally made a brief personal statement. Vienna University vice president Prof. Weigelin-Schwiedrzik asked the students present what they would have done, if they would have stayed on the square under the threat of martial law. It is a romantic question – the protests in 1989 are always romanticized, as if it had been one great student party. Students took the lead, but the most important thing about any nationwide protest is popular participation, workers and many common people, not elites. Same with Taiwan’s recent Sunflower Movement. Anyway, I raised my hand and said I could not know what I would have done. Several people said so. I said I was in Taiwan in 1989, they also had demonstrations, with different aims. The February 28th, 1947 massacre in Taiwan had not yet been acknowledged. What I should have said when I raised my hand was that everyone present should think about taking part in the anti-fascist protests the next day in Vienna, on June 4th, 2014.

Tiananmen Square

 

AVENUE OF ETERNAL PEACE – Chun Sue

06月 3, 2014

Chun Sue Avenue of Eternal Peace

Chun Sue
MORNING, AVENUE OF ETERNAL PEACE

Little Brother says: dad, Avenue of Eternal Peace
take a good look
This is the road you walked for over 20 years
I am sitting with Papa and Little Brother
I am almost crying
Finally I know
why I like the Avenue of Eternal Peace
Slowly the car passes the Military Museum
and the red walls of Zhongnanhai
and Xinhua Gate
Papa is small now he fits in an ash box
sitting between us
doesn’t take up much space
We pass the Gate of Heavenly Peace
and I see him
He stands on the square
watching us while we’re passing

Why was it so hard to write about you
You’re the son of a peasant
I was born in a village
I am also the child of a peasant
I put on army songs for you all night
Crying my heart out –
I like all that too.

2012-03-03
Tr. MW, May 2014

Chun Sue Traum

Chun Sue
DREAMING OF LIVING INSIDE A DREAM

Tr. MW, June 2014

To be published in EPIPHANY magazine, fall 2014. They say in October. I’ll be at Vermont Studio Center with Yi Sha, editor of this daily New Century Poetry series where these poems where published in Chinese. Until Oct. 24.

chun sue questions

Chun Sue
QUESTIONS BEFORE GOING TO SLEEP

do you think you are an intellectual?

du you think you are an existentialist?
do you think you like to eat zhajiangmian?
do you think you are collecting antiques?

do you think you are following fashion?
do you think you have improved since you started?
do you think you have fulfilled your ideals?
do you think you’re a patriot?

do you think you love the truth?
do you think you dare to say it?
do you think you don’t fear retribution?
do you think you’re a good writer?

do you think you’re a poet?
do you think you’re a good mother?
do you think you’re a good father?
do you think you have loved?
do you think you are moral?
do you think microblogging makes China improve?

question mark mark mark
do you think they are prophets?
do you think you’re a groupie?

do you think there are things you don’t talk about?
do you think there are people you cannot offend?
do you think this novel is your autobiography?
do you think you have talent?

do you think your stuff will remain?
do you think you have secrets?
do you think you have a big heart?

do you think you are fair to everyone?
do you think you’re responsible?
do you think you play by the rules?
do you think you have nothing to be ashamed of?

do you think you are self-important?
do you think you want revenge?
do you think you are scared of dying?
do you think you make people like you?
do you think you make people hate you?
do you think you have a future?
do you think you are falling behind?
do you think you are lonely?
do you think you are writing a poem?

this girl makes you crazy
let her go on babbling
asking herself

Tr. MW, June 2014

VIENNA 2014, MAIN TRAIN STATION

05月 28, 2014

CAM00038

VIENNA 2014, MAIN TRAIN STATION

just a bit of relaxing
just a bit of the sun
gleaming on every spire
just a bit of the world
settling down for the evening
and the birds sing for springtime
just like they did when I was a kid
although everything’s new
all the shiny new buildings
in this new part of town
though we’re close to the center
you can see every ridge
it’s a beautiful city
beethoven walked here,
and schubert and brahms
and vivaldi was buried
unmarked, just like mozart
it’s a beautiful evening
of a beautiful sunday
they had eu elections
there is hope for the future
this city is fortunate
this city was worse
the worst on the planet
they voted for hitler
and killed all the jews
and then it was bombed
and then our parents
came here and we grew
and moved elsewhere and now
we are here in this building
in this town on this world.
the city is growing
it is still rather small
it was big and growing
in 1914
now we have the eu
there is privatization and deprivation
all over the continent
still it is springtime
let us build something new.

MW May 25, 2014

FlaechePicture by Juliane Adler影像0192Train station in Liesing, Vienna影像0193

ANONYM – Zheng Xiaoqiong

05月 27, 2014

Katze in Taiwan 苗栗竹南山佳里

Zheng Xiaoqiong

100 ARBEITERINNEN

 

70) ANONYM

 

Ich will sie gar nicht beschreiben. Ihr Gesicht

kann ich nicht ausmachen. Sie ist nur eine

ganz kleine Metapher. Unter mehr als 4000

in dieser Fabrik. Mit -zig Abteilungen. Sie

war mir gar nicht bekannt. Was macht das nun

schon aus. Was ich von ihr weiss, ist nur dass

sie starb. Genauer gesagt wurde sie von zwei Hunden

totgebissen. Die beiden Hunde kenne ich,

gelbschwarz und grauweiss. Hüftgroße

reinrassige Wolfshunde. Mit richtigen Wolfsaugen verfolgen sie

vorübergehende Menschen. Sie hocken am Sprung

am Eingang der Chefvilla. Manchmal

angebunden beim Aufgang zur Küche. Jedesmal wenn ich vorbeikomme,

hecheln sie. Strecken die Zungen heraus. Zeigen ihre

scharfen Zähne. Wie Reihen von Messern

die sie dir einstechen. Sie machen mir große Angst.

“Eine Arbeiterin in unserer Fabrik,

diese zwei Hunde haben sie totgebissen.” Offenbar kennen

alle Leute diese Hunde. Genau wie ich.

“Sie war aus Shaanxi. Spritzgussarbeiterin.”

“Sie war sehr schön. Ihr Freund war

bei der Security.” “Wir haben jemand aus der Heimat

von Xie Xuefen gefunden.” “19 Jahre alt,

ein halbes Jahr erst bei der Fabrik.” Solche Informationen

hab ich von dir. Wie groß du warst, wie du aussahst,

ich weiß es nicht. Obwohl ich mich bemühe,

dich in diesem Gedicht komplett zu beschreiben.

Aber was ich ausdrücken kann, ist auch nicht mehr als das hier.

Im Gewimmel dieser Fabrik

kann ich mich nicht genau an dein Gesicht erinnern.

Letztlich kam es hierher wie die Flut

und ging wieder zurück. Gar nichts

bleibt. Außer Trauer, Bestürzung.

Was von dir bekannt ist. Ich weiß nur

was man hört. Weiblich. Aus Shaanxi. 19 Jahre alt.

Von den Chefhunden totgebissen. Laut Befund der Fabrik

war es Herzversagen. Es gab eine Entschädigung.

 

Übersetzt von MW im Mai 2014

郑小琼

《女工记》

无名者

我并不想描述她 她的面容

我无法说清楚 她只是一个

小小的隐喻 在四千多人的

工厂 几十个不同部门 她

    与我都不认识 但是这又什么

关系 我知道她的消息是她

  死了 准确说是让两只条狗

咬死了 那两条狗我见过

  黄黑色与灰白色 半人高的

 纯种狼狗 像狼的眼睛盯着

来来往往的行人 它们半蹲在

老板的别墅门口 有时

会拴在厨房楼梯 每次经过

 看着它喘息 伸出舌头  露出

尖锐的牙齿 像两排尖刀

     插在心间 我对它们充满恐惧

“我们工厂一个女工被

      那两条狼狗咬死了”显然所有人

跟我一样 知道那两条狼狗

“是陕西人 注塑女工”

“很漂亮的 男朋友是

保安部的”“我们拉上

谢雪芬的老乡”“19岁

进工厂才半年”这些都是

有关你的信息 身高长相

我不知 尽管我努力地

想在这首诗中完整的描述

但是所能表达也仅仅只有这些

在这个工厂拥挤的人群中

我无法清晰把你的面孔说出来

它必定像潮水一样来这里

又像潮水一样消逝了 什么

也不会留下 剩下忧伤与惶惑

 有关你的一切 我只知道

工厂传闻 女性 陕西人 19岁

  被老板养的狼狗咬死 工厂结论却是

死于心脏病 赔款若干

EIN HEISERES LACHEN VON UNTEN VORM HAUS

05月 27, 2014

Li Yan Lachen

Li Yan
EIN HEISERES LACHEN VON UNTEN VORM HAUS
– EINE ÜBUNG FÜR EIN GEHÖR

ein heiseres lachen von unten vorm haus
ich habe den menschen noch nie so laut lachen gehört, ungehemmt, rasend
ein ausgelassenes, schallendes
den brustkorb sprengendes lachen
ein gekonntes lachen
aber auch kein verdrehtes, gewundenes, aufgesetztes,
verstelltes lachen
kein freches grinsen
keine gackernde lache
es ist ein freudiges lachen, ein gründliches lachen
aber kein herzliches lachen
es ist ein heiseres, trockenes lachen, aus verrosteter kehle
– ein knapp bemessenes lachen
ein lachen wo der rost abgeschabt ist
der rost lacht hervor
eine rostige kehle lacht direkt heraus
eine ganz ausgedrückte zahnpastatube lacht aus dem hals

August 2007
Übersetzt von MW im Mai 2014

BRONZE STATUES ARE BUSY – Hung Hung

05月 22, 2014

bronze statue

Hung Hung
MARTIAL LAW ERA – AFTER HEARING THAT SUN YAT-SEN’S STATUE AT THNG TEK-CHIONG PARK IN TAINAN HAD BEEN TORN DOWN

all those bronze statues
are busy at night
patrolling the streets
lest people get drunk and say the wrong thing or kiss in the alleys
or play mahjong at home
statues will check at the newspaper press
is there a piece on the chief like last year?
is there a space for respect at the top?
has someone scribbled in the blank spot?

bronze statues are busy
they are scared of too many things
scared stamps could bear other portraits
scared streets and squares, schools, libraries
would all change their names
no more school kids saluting
no more chatting with sparrows
scared that one day
there’d be a rope
to pull them down

“mama, why is the statue green in the face?”
“no finger-pointing, your fingers fall off!”
“mama, the statue hides for a smoke at the fire brigade!”
“he just takes a break, he got burned in the sun every day.”

those statues have long forgotten the killings
of another generation
forgotten how they are still being used
they only remember the heat of the forge
it was hard to bear
and once you cool down, then come the years
standing empty and cold

Written on the eve of Febr. 28th, 2014,
67 years after the Febr. 28th, 1947 massacre.
Tr. MW, May 2014

鴻鴻
戒嚴年代–聞湯德章公園孫文銅像被拆

那些銅像
深夜很忙
要滿街巡邏
有沒人酒醉講錯話或在暗巷接吻
還是哪一家在打麻將
要去報紙印刷廠
檢查去年的文告有沒登在
今年的頭條
頂上有沒空一格
空的一格有沒被塗鴉

銅像很忙
因為他們害怕的事太多
害怕郵票換成別的頭像
害怕街道、廣場、學校、圖書館
換上別的名字
害怕小學生經過不再敬禮
雀鳥不再來閒聊
害怕有一天
被繩子一拉
就倒

「媽媽,為什麼銅像的臉是綠的?」
「不要亂指,手指會爛掉!」
「為什麼銅像躲在消防隊抽菸?」
「他每天曬太陽好可憐,要休息一下。」

銅像早忘了前世的殺戮
也忘了今世如何被利用再三
只記得鍛燒的烈火
多麼煎熬難忍
而冷卻後的歲月
又是多麼荒涼

2014.228前夕

I was very astonished when I first saw the picture. It does look like violence, the statue is smeared red. The poem is a revelation. Why would people have something against Sun Yat-sen? Nice guy, compared to what came later. Late retribution, for the killing of Thng Tek-Chiong, governor of Tainan in 1947, one of the first dead in the February 28 massacre? Sun Yat-sen is rather far from home in Tainan, far from his home base. I remember that small park near the train station in Taipei, where Sun Yat-sen lived when he visited Taiwan, it was a Japanese hotel back then. Small garden, very peaceful. A little forlorn and frail among the hustle and bustle around Taipei train station. Why would anyone be angry at a statue of Sun Yat-sen? In 2011 and early 2012, there were many conferences around the world in memory of the 1911 辛亥革命. People talked about many interesting things, but something like this? Without this poem, I would never have thought people would think that way about these statues. Not that much. So many killings back then, so much White Terror in decades, and no retribution. And the KMT still in power. There is repressed violence in people’s hearts, and everybody can count there lucky stars if they take it out only on statues.

Taiwan is a very peaceful and safe place, all in all. One-party dictatorship does create a sense of security for some, at least in retrospect. The world gets more complicated in those new-fangled pluralist societies. So there are people who blame the subway knife attack of a deranged student on May 21 on the student-led protests in March and early April this year. In Austria, the shameless tabloid that is much bigger than Murdoch and Berlusconi in their countries, still says things like all demonstrations and protest are leftist, and cost a lot of public money. When there are anti-foreigner rightists marching in Vienna, and the police need to protect them, it is not their fault, right? And if they want to have a ball in the emperor’s palace and parade on the square where Hitler proclaimed the Anschluss in 1938, it is their right and they should be protected, and if the whole city center is full of police barricades, it is the fault of those leftists. 

It’s the other way around! In a more open society, there is much less repressed violence. Look at the recent bloody clashes and attacks in many cities in China. That won’t get less, probably. Taiwan people should be very proud of that big, peaceful demonstration on March 30. Their country has become a much better place through the changes of the last 25 years. The KMT could and should be proud of that, too. But they are the 中國國民黨, so they have to think about stability in a much bigger way, don’t they?

AH FENG – Rui Xiao

05月 22, 2014

A Feng1

Rui Xiao
AH FENG

Strands of sun in the yard

A Feng, oldest daughter of the Fengs
stands on the wet tiles
in the sun

It’s dark all around

I am dreaming
She’s still young
She wears a cheongsam embroidered with gold
Silk stockings like glass with high heels

She’s playing cards by herself

2003/5

SPEECHLESS – Xiao Wan

05月 16, 2014

Xiao Wan

Xiao Wan

SPEECHLESS

 

some call the night a hole in the sky

some call the day a corpse of the light

 

I wish both were true

just like I am a wound of the times

and truth is my scar

 

Tr. MW, May 2014

 

EVENING LIGHT – Huang Fang

05月 16, 2014

evening light

Huang Fang
EVENING LIGHT

maybe you also still love me
when the last skylark returns
your darkening hours
are reflecting mine
— remember when I used to follow you
walking from south to north?
your light may be weak
but you grant me freedom. I am an apple
ripening
growing sweeter by the rain

Tr. MW, May 2014

MOTHER AND DAUGHTER – 3 POEMS BY AN QI

05月 11, 2014

an qi airport

An Qi
AT THE AIRPORT TO PICK UP MY DAUGHTER

today is september 28
my daughter is on a plane coming to see me in beijing
actually I wanted to see her and lured her with beijing

I arrive at the airport one hour early
I am even thinking if I arrive an hour before
I can see her that much earlier

so many airplanes coming and going
for me it’s like every one carries my daughter
every plane on the sky roars like my daughter when she is running

the plane has come down from the sky
my daughter is coming out
we are looking at each other, without speaking. a little shy.

my daughter has grown very tall.
I hug her, she says: “mama, I’m heavy,
you better not pick me up”.

she says: “mama, I have to pee”,
while I am holding her and she is peeing she says:
“mama, I will pee on you!”

we are in the airport toilet.
I am still holding her wishing she’d pee on me
like that little shaft running out of her, she could not hold it while I changed her diapers.

Tr. MW, May 2014

an qi spirit-tree

An Qi
HOW CAN A SPIRIT-TREE FALL ASLEEP PEACEFULLY AMONG THE FEAR

Sweet dreams, my dear
I try to soothe you after the rage
Lightly, lightly patting your branches
Making you deep blue clothes out of warmth
So you fall asleep safe and sound in the night of the spirits
If you are afraid
I will enter deep into your fears and stir the water
I am good at that game
I’m very good at telling myself the second I close my eyes
The world is at peace.

Tr. MW, May 2014

An Qi Dufu  straw cottage

An Qi
AT DU FU’S “STRAW COTTAGE” IN CHENGDU

slender and thin
emaciated. that must be the image
it goes without saying
the sorrowful poet
the nation, the people, they all make him worry
more fat is forbidden
and laughter’s forbidden
so the dufu you’re seeing
(the dufu that’s everywhere)
bronze dufu
stone dufu
clay dufu
paper dufu
the same slender stature
of misery
as if he’d been born like that
I am thinking
the artist must have been frightened stupid
by the dufu inside his mind

Tr. MW, May 2014

400 DREAMS – YI SHA

05月 8, 2014

Yi Sha dreams 395-396

Yi Sha
DREAM #395

a bunch of poets
on a big bus
arrive at a station
getting off
I take Ms. Xiang Lianzi’s trunk by mistake
pulling her pink
draw-bar trolley
what a show-off
coming through
Great Peace alley
where I lived when I was small
looking behind me
all the poets are gone
a young Uighur guy
is dragging by baggage
— no, Ms. Xiang Lianzi’s
draw-bar trunk, running like mad

April 2014
Tr. MW, May 2014

DREAM #396

father picks out
books from my school bag
points at a novel by one female author
growling:
“your teacher said you read books under your bench
now I see this is pornography
are you not ashamed?”
(this scene really happened
when I was young)

“You should be ashamed!
your whole generation
should all be ashamed!”
one rousing reply
then I turn around
and laugh at the sky
while I walk out the door
(this scene never happened
in my whole life)

April 2014
Tr. MW, May 2014

Yi Sha dream 398

DREAM #398

Zhuang Sheng stands there
in jeans shorts
doesn’t do anything
he just stands there
there is joy in my heart
because I remember
though this is a dream
he told me on Weibo
he hoped one day
he could appear in my dreams
the ones I write down
a series of poems
now it has happened

April 2014
Tr. MW, May 2014

Yi Sha dream 401

DREAM #401

I grab an old friend
by the throat
and push him
to the edge of a pit
snarling at him:
“I can throw you down
then bury you alive
do you believe me?”
“I … believe ….”
he stutters at me
I release him

April 2014
Tr. MW, May 2014

Yi Sha dreams 402-404

DREAM #402

I receive
miraculous news
Malaysian Airlines flight MH370
the plane has been found
in a picture by Li Yi

 

DREAM #403

In a lush
botanical garden

there is Yu Youyou
she is like Afanti
in those Nasreddin Afanti stories

she says: “I am Shen Haobo’s sister”
I say: “I know who you are”

she says: “stretch out your hands”
so I stretch out my hands

she says: “now step forward and grasp that plant”
so I step forward and grasp that plant

she says: “close your eyes. when you open your eyes
you have grown together with that plant”

I close my eyes
after a long while I open them –

no-one is there
no botanical garden

only city streets in the dusk
someone playing a violin

April 2014
Tr. MW, May 2014

 

DREAM #404

I am with a gang
we are robbing a store
a bookstore
the others are at the cash register
counting banknotes
I am at the book racks
counting the books

April 2014
Tr. MW, May 2014

 

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR DREAM #1

更多的梦请按这里

KLAVIERSPIELERINNEN

05月 7, 2014

Shen Haobo Klavierspielerin

Shen Haobo

IN JEDEM GEBÄUDE GIBT ES EINE KLAVIERSPIELERIN

 

in jedem gebäude

gibt es eine

klavierspielerin

 

ich habe nie

auch nur eine von ihnen gesehen

 

die klavierspielerinnen

kommen nie

in die sonne

 

bis viele jahre später

eines tages

die melodie plötzlich aufhört

dann erst bemerk ich

das eingestürzte gebäude

 

ich grab durch die trümmer

und seh einen finger

einen durchsichtigen finger

damit hab ich gerechnet

 

ich umarme meine liebe

und zieh sie hinaus

ich küsse ihr weißes haar

und ihr faltiges gesicht

 

2009-01-31

Übersetzt von MW im Mai 2014

 

Shen Haobo

IN EVERY BUILDING THERE IS A GIRL WHO PLAYS THE PIANO

 

in every building

there is a girl

who plays the piano

 

I’ve never seen

any one of these girls

 

they play their piano

and they never come

out into the sun

 

until many years later

one day

a piano tune suddenly stops

and I realize

the building has fallen

 

I am hauling the rubble

there is a finger

a translucent finger

just like I imagined

 

I am holding my love

dragging her out

I kiss her white hair

and her wrinkled face

 

2009-01-31

Tr. MW, May 2014

 

TO THE MEMORY OF THE OLYMPICS

05月 7, 2014

Tang Xin
TO THE MEMORY OF THE OLYMPICS

At the height of summer, Olympics in Spain
Crazed citizens, day & night watching TV
Disgusting extremes, disturbing my dreams
I’d rather stay calm, you could say
I would not be in spasms
I prefer gentle exertions
Instead of tiring yourself spitting blood
Like some kind of monster. I hate repetition.
I don’t want to watch people shouting exulted
Like raging idiots, lunatic movements
Nazis, Cultural Revolution

Although I’m yearning for the old Greeks
Natural people, clear autumn skies
Beautiful bodies, running in freedom
Nothing like that today I’m afraid

I don’t yearn for the strong, for the muscled
For the nimble champions
No, to be strong and mighty means in my language
You could be frail and weak in your body
But if you are like Hu Shi, Zhou Zuoren
You a hero, a really great person

Go to sleep, my compatriots
Or is the national anthem your opium?
After they win three hundred gold medals
You are an invalid just like before
Go cook yourself a mung bean soup
To clear your senses

At the height of summer, Lanzhou is not too bad
Ignore the papers, no idle talking
Crickets at noon, frogs in the night
With time for reading, and a good sleep

Tr. MW, April 2014

IS ZHANG ZIYI BEAUTIFUL?

04月 26, 2014

Zhang Ziyi beautiful or not

Li Wei

IS ZHANG ZIYI BEAUTIFUL OR NOT?

Is Zhang Ziyi beautiful or not?
Some people say she’s beautiful,
some say she isn’t.
Liu Ping in our office
says she is not beautiful.
But Zhang Yimou says she is.
Ang Lee says she is.
Jackie Chan says she is.
Wong Kar-wai says she is.
Henry Fok’s son says she is beautiful.
Steven Spielberg says she is beautiful.
Now even Feng Xiaogang also says she is beautiful.
Then after all is Zhang Ziyi beautiful or not?
In my opinion
Zhang Ziyi is more beautiful than Zhang Yimou
and Ang Lee
and Jackie Chan
and Wong Kar-wai,
more beautiful than Henry Fok’s son,
more beautiful than Spielberg,
even more beautiful than Feng Xiaogang.
But she is not
as beautiful as Liu Ping in our office.

Tr. MW, April 2014

“COMPROMISE”, CHINESE-ENGLISH 《妥協的中英文解釋》

04月 24, 2014

fei

FEI (Sex 13)
 COMPROMISE, CHINESE-ENGLISH

under the system
you learn to compromise
anyone
the system
is a huge condom
never let no-one pierce it
you might get pregnant
being pregnant
means all sorts of things
you could get aborted
you could be induced
and end up dead

compromise
the english word
you make a promise
a common promise
collective promise

“tuŏxié” in mandarin
“xié” like in “xiéshāng”
negotiation
“tuŏ” like in “tuŏdang”
suitably done

Tr. MW, April 2014

 

性13
《妥协的中英文解释》

在体制下
你要学会妥协
任何人
体制
是一个巨大的安全套
你不要轻易地捅破它
很容易怀孕
而怀孕
意味着各种情况
比如你自己的被流产
被引产
包括死亡

妥协
英文是compromise
Promise是承诺
那么
Compromise
则是共同承诺
妥当地协商
是为“妥协”


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