Archive for 2012年3月

late nite wrap

3月 31, 2012

Wrap and listen

Listen to the rainy night

wrap yourself around me now

wind will sway the blooming tree

night will pass and rain may stay

it’s alright we’re very close

it’s alright we’re very far

we were rather far away

far around and far ahead

far behind and far between

listen to the rainy night

it’s alright we’re very close

close to madness close to rage

close to breaking close to gold

wrap yourself around the rain

wrap your mind around the wind

I am very close to you

I am very far behind

I was rather far away


MW 1:20 March 31, 2012


Fo Iran same as fo China same as follow your own country’s past, present & whatever future you cannot know. aiww, ai not yet. ai intl

March 20: danube, cherries, liu xiaobo

3月 21, 2012

6 on the beach near the northern tip of the island in the danube at vienna, march 20, 2012


the danube flows
vienna starts
somewhere downstream.
the island goes
a couple miles
or maybe four.
they have an ice-cream stand today
with buttermilk and radio.

i came to see the cherry trees.
they’re fast asleep.
they need another month or so.
in april we may still have snow.
the cherry trees are from japan.
i went there 19 years ago.
it was before i knew my wife.
i went by boat.
it took two days.
and almost everyone was sick
except the crew.
a boat from china to japan
in january, in ’93.
the plum trees bloomed among the snow.
in february, when i was there.

it’s nice and warm.
the danube flows.
they had an earthquake in japan
a year ago, a little more.
the biggest one they ever had
or maybe not. but very big
with 20.000 people dead
and nuclear power plants kaput.
and still the trees bloomed like before.

it’s nice and warm.
the danube flows.
a month ago the cherry trees
and rhododendrons were in bloom
in taiwan, just a month ago.
it was quite warm. we even swam
in mountain streams.
and austria had lots of snow.

today they read for liu xiaobo
they have a day for poetry
when spring begins, from the un
the 18th was for prisoners
in china and america.
for prisoners of politcs.
they have a day for everyone.

the danube flows.
i brought my son to therapy.
he goes to school. there’s progress now.
he speaks much more.
our daughter doesn’t read a lot
but on the whole we’re doing fine.

the danube flows.
this city is a crying shame.
they say it’s very beautiful.
a neonazi gets a third,
a little less.
a rightist. just like hungary.
a little bit more affluent.

the danube flows.

MW    March 20, 2012

This one’s for all the bloggers out there

Susan Sontag: Pay attention to the world

Elfriede Jelinek

政治與戲劇     Vaclav Havel/文  董恆秀/譯

March 21, Kardinal Nagl Square, U3 subway, Vienna. Many bees in the tree.










































































伊沙、老G  译



Sommer nebenan (Hung Hung)

3月 16, 2012

Hung Hung
Sommer nebenan

Tiefschlaf einen Fuß tief unterm Bett
Hab vergessen aufzustehen

Vogelschau mit dir am Himmel
Hab vergessen zu landen

Allein unterwegs auf der Kreuzung Zhongxiao Ost und Dunhua Süd
Auf der endlosen Steppe
Hab vergessen zurückzukommen

Ein Buchhaltungsfräulein fliegt über die Tasten
Eine Betelnuss-Helena blickt auf die perlende Glastür des Kühlschranks

Ein Gecko ruft

Ein Gecko ruft

Endlos streckt sich die Kindheit

Übers. MW, 2009-2012


Photo by Tong Yali








February and June

3月 16, 2012

Yan Jun

Two Poems from 2007

Febr. 13 (For those who have never seen rain)

time difference carrying luggage going into the rainbow

the travellers the sleepy-heads

the cats in thailand fishing folk in shanxi

corpses in books female warriors coming up

seven o’clock in the morning darkness leaving these faces

they all have their names

in their passports in the papers

new babies awaken accordeons destroying a jail

taipei raindrops dancing calling me back

Febr. 13th, 2007

Tr. MW, March 2012

June 28

they all flew away from the moma development

over xidan over tanggu over berlin and cologne

it rained on the way bird flu broke out peach blossoms fell

stock market softly extinguished babies were born

central station capetown tea hawkers taking the lift

dusk finally changing into the night

they closed down lufthansa center the workers’ stadium

bombed olympic park they did it for love

but for the sleepless heart but jardin du luxembourg

but butterflies flying on lantau over the temple of heaven

but hashish bees helicopters took them away

all of urumqi changed into a park

finally changing into the night and they sighed

they changed into her they love her they flew

into another dream

June 28, 2007

Tr. MW, March 2012

Poetry and music

3月 16, 2012

Music and poetry in present-day China and Taiwan

How are poetry and music combined? What differences and what similarities are there within and between China and Taiwan in today’s relationships of music and poetry?

Yan Jun (Lanzhou/ Beijing) has become well known since 2003, both for his sound projects and for his poems. Yan Jun wrote about parts of the music scene in China in 2010. His article is collected in the book Culturescapes China (Basel 2010), with other representative texts on recent music and literature.

Some of Yan Jun’s poems are related to political events and concerns. All poetry is political, he once said, which may evoke discussions about art and politics in general, by Adorno and others. On the other hand, Yan Jun has tried to maintain a stance that avoids direct confrontation with the government and negotiates a largely underground breathing space for art and music.

Singers, musicians and poets, artists in general have to organize themselves and work in a way that gets noticed, without going to jail. The ones that do become dissidents and end up imprisoned or in exile are a small minority. Some are more concerned with politics than with art. Others, like Liao Yiwu, have made experiences that have linked their art and their concerns for society in a way that makes it hard for them to continue working, publishing and living in China. Liao Yiwu is a famous example. His approaches to poetry and music are inextricably linked to his experiences at the bottom of society in China. Liao Yiwu left China last year and currently lives on a scholarship in Berlin. He visited Taiwan in January and February 2012. I was fortunate to witness two of his performances in Taipei and Tainan. It was exciting to witness how fast people in Taiwan were able to connect with Liao Yiwu. In Tainan, the reading was at a university, introduced by professors teaching Taiwanese and Hakka, not Mandarin Chinese. The dynamics of music, history, language and poetry were very remarkable.

At the end of Liao Yiwu’s reading in Taipei, he asked Lo Sirong to sing a traditional song in Hakka, a lullaby sung by a working mother, sung mostly to placate herself, perhaps. Lo Sirong is part of a mostly female network of poets and musicians who collaborate on different projects in Taiwan and beyond. One recent project is Fullmoon (Sleepless in moonlight), a six-edition online poetry-sound magazine organized by Tong Yali. In Spring 2012, I translated seven poems by Wu Yining, a Taiwanese reporter, local activist and poetess. She first came to prominence in 2001, reporting from an uprising in Mexico. Wu Yinning quotes rock songs sung in Taiwanese, among other sources.

Singing in different languages, and the use of different languages in general are well integrated in today’s Taiwanese society. There is a general consensus on the protection of cultural diversity. But although Mandarin is no longer the only official language, social and economic conditions nevertheless serve to favor its use.

Cooperation with singers/ songwriters from Mainland China is increasing; there were many concerts by Mainland singers/ songwriters in Taiwan in February 2012. These artists were introduced in the magazine POTS (Weekly supplement Nr. 699, Feb. 24 – March 4, 2012, p. 14/15)

The famous Taiwanese poetess Hsia Yü (Xia Yu) is also famous for her song lyrics, published under pseudonyms. There is a history of pop, rock and DJ culture in Beijing behind Yan Jun’s sound projects, and there is a history of pop songs from Taiwan and Hong Kong since the end of the 1970s that has influenced Mainland China. People who were young at the beginning of the 1980s remember the pop songs of Teresa Teng (Deng Lijun). After the Cultural Revolution, such songs supplanted the Maoist propaganda – they were subversive because they were not political at all. Hou Dejian, who ran away from Taiwan to Mainland China, became the most important cultural figure in the 1989 Beijing Tian’anmen protests that ended with the June 4th massacre in the city. Other artists also performed on Tian’anmen Square, most notably “Rock Music Godfather” Cui Jian. But Hou Dejian was actually crucial to the outcome of the protests. He galvanized the protests in the last few days, along with Liu Xiaobo, Zhou Duo and Gao Xin. And because of his popularity, because even the soldiers knew his songs, Hou Dejian was able to help negotiating the retreat of thousands of students from the square in the early hours of June 4th.

Poetry and music, in traditional forms, such as opera, and in present projects, show the differences and similarities between more official and more informal settings and occasions. Present-day connections between poetry and music in China and in Taiwan enable informal and spontaneous social connections.


3月 12, 2012

Just read a post by a guy called Doug 陀愚。It begins with a child’s drawing from preschool, and ends with the words 日本は絶対復しますので、それまで頑張りましょう。Nihon wa zettai fukushimasu no de, sore made ganbari mashoo. I don’t know if everything can or should be like it was before after such a big catastrophe. I do have great respect for the spirit Doug talks about. Last year in spring I wrote two poems that were inspired or influenced by the Japan 東北 Toohoku earthquake. I am going to put the second one first here. It was translated recently by a Taiwanese friend, and we both read it in public at a bookstore in Taipei on Febr. 26th.







shine and float in white and pink
carried forth into the day
all among the loony people
certainly the trees are blooming
growing, falling, ripening
standing, breathing in the wind

MW April 2011


weiss und rosa leuchtend schweben
fortgetragen in die tage
unter allen irren menschen
bluehen zweifellos die baeume
wachsen, fallen, reifen, stehen
atmen, oeffnen sich im wind

MW April 2011

Photo by Ronnie Niedermeyer

8 syllables in every line, five trochaic lines, first syllable of every line stressed, then the third syllable, and so on. This is how the German version works, with an additional shorter seven-syllable verse that ends with a stressed syllable, so it’s six lines in all. And in the English version most lines only have seven syllables, except the two in the middle: “all among the loony people/ certainly the trees are blooming”.

Zhan Bing 詹冰(綠血球 Taipei: 笠, 1965), from

hold it

(quakes, tsunamis, nuclear threats …)

the days of the blossoms
the yellow the white
the shoots and the air
and the birds and the bees
the flies and the beetles
the earth and the trembling
the cars that come floating
the buildings come tumbling
the life that sprouts

MW March 2011


(fuer japan, yunnan, burma …)

die tage die blueten
die spitzen die gruenen
die weissen die gelben
die bienen die fliegen
die wogen die steigen
die wagen die treiben
die erde die bebt und
das leben das keimt

MW Maerz 2011

Taiwan and China

3月 6, 2012
Photo by 莊豐嘉, Febr. 2012. Plum blossoms & waterfall in Wulai, Taipei County.

Photo by 莊豐嘉, Febr. 2012. Plum blossoms & waterfall in Wulai, Taipei County.

Taiwan and China. Taipei, Hong Kong, Canton and Europe. Kalt & warm.

Taiwan can easily contain China. China cannot contain Taiwan. Because Taiwan is many things that China is not. Taiwan is open in ways that China cannot afford. These make it prosper. And attractive, also for China.

Just saw some great pictures from a snow-white Berlin, taken on Febr. 22.  I was in Tainan on Feb. 21 & 22. Very warm. Ran around barefoot on a public track next to the Confucius Temple. Stopped at a monument with a missile. They are not sure where and when it came from. It didn’t explode, and it won’t. But they are keeping it, like the temples and alleys. Went into the Patriotic Women’s Association. Nice place, from Japanese times. Sat around with a friend, wrote a poem into her notebook. Had been swimming in the mountains the week before, with another friend. Nice and warm there, too. It was cold on some days in Taipei, and in the wind on the island of Kinmen. But nothing like in Europe. Some of the people I went around with in Taiwan came from Berlin. Literarisches Kolloquium. Simon Urban was there, author of Plan D. Great novel, hilarious. Was just presented at Taipei Book Fair and will be translated into English, maybe also into other languages. It’s about a GDR detective, in late 2011. Yes, Communist East Germany still exists in this book. Now I am back in Vienna. The sun is out, but it’s cold. Was grateful for gloves yesterday on my bicycle in the afternoon.

Simon Urban and Tang Wei in Jiufen, Taiwan. Feb.5th, 2012

Simon Urban and Tang Wei in Jiufen, Taiwan. Feb.5th, 2012

An den Rändern und in den Ländern rundherum habe ich mindestens ebenso viel über China bemerkt wie in den Jahren in chinesischen Städten. Das ist auch bei Österreich so. In Taiwan hab ich viele Leute kennengelernt, auch einige, die schreiben und übersetzen. Auch alte Freunde wieder getroffen, einen ganz zufällig, nach 22 Jahren. Er war 1988-1990 mein Vermieter in Taipei. Die abendlichen Gespräche mit ihm waren sehr wichtig und lehrreich. Er unterrichtet heute in Taichung und ist Vorsitzender des PEN-Klubs für Autoren, die auf Taiwanisch schreiben. Taiwan ist ganz ähnlich wie Österreich, in mancher Hinsicht. Kleines Land. Viel Geschichte. Schöne Berge. Zeitgeschichte, je nachdem. Lang unterdrückte Sprachen und Volksgruppen. Und so weiter.

lent, returned

3月 6, 2012


lent, returned

the air is crisp.
the streets are clear.
the sun is out.
we go to church.
halleluja, praise the air.
halleluja, praise the light.
halleluja, praise the space.
praise the people, praise the cake.
what on earth is happiness?
should we ask a fairy mother?
should we ask important people?
god is with us.
is he happy?
praise the lady
with the pizza.
i miss the organ.
i miss the prayer.
we used to be new.
are the animators happy?
do we have an e-mail address?
why are we here?
where do you come from?
when did you start to learn chinese?
the light is always different
if you’re in taipei or beijing
if you’re on kinmen in the wind,
in hualien, kaohsiung or tainan.
the air is crisp
here in the city, in vienna
where I grew up
and hardly ever feel at home.

MW March 2012

Liao Yiwu in Taiwan, America, Europe …

3月 6, 2012


廖亦武不是基督徒。也不是台灣的客家人、本省人、原住民、民進黨、工會、長老教會等等。不用支持美國右派,不用支持伊拉克戰爭等等。不用一直當知識分子。甚至不用當海外異議分子。因為不是基督徒,所以《上帝是紅色的》更自然地當報告文學。廖亦武不知是是流亡作家,是流浪漢、囚犯等等,可以引用《三國》的開頭說無論生活在哪裡都是四川人,不用關心一個中國等等政治詞彙。廖亦武無論在哪裡都可以當作家、詩人、音樂手、行為藝術家等等。詩歌朗誦繼承金斯堡、狄蘭·托馬斯等等,甚至讓我想起維也納已故的詩人Ernst Jandl和其他擅長上場並同樣擅長把自己的經歷和記憶配合反對專政、尊敬和承認社會底層的寫作。讀廖亦武不意味不可以讀任何其他作家或詩人。台灣作家可以讀小說家甘耀明、詩人夏宇、戲劇家和詩人鴻鴻等等。有很多作家,非常多元的文化,非常複雜的問題。而有了廖亦武就不用擔心中國會怎麼樣。社會底層的人關心的不是政治。是關心很多生活最基本的事。心、記憶、家、天氣、吃飯、來往。無論在哪裡,無論什麼時候都有作家等等人士讓你欣賞和注意比政治、歷史、國家等等更基本的生活瑣事。包括魯迅,也包括張愛玲。他們的文學裡、生活裡顯然都有社會、經濟、國家、戰爭等等大問題。不過文學、藝術不是為了先解決大問題。是為了不忘記每個人都有一些基本的、大家需要關心的東西。

讀廖亦武,同樣可以讀中國大陸小說家余華或莫言、詩人于堅、鄭小瓊、龐培等等。香港、海外作家顯然亦可以讀很多,包括用英語、法語等等寫作的華人。讀廖亦武也許就不會覺得如果讀北島就不應該讀劉曉波、不會覺得聽顏峻的詩和聲音就不用聽任何地方的民謠、跟踪艾未未就不用跟踪在台灣、奧地利等等地方藝術跟社會、政治、經濟等方面的關係。所以我2012年二月份在台灣的文學經驗跟廖亦武在台北、台南等地方的朗誦會在我的記憶裡是分不開的。很多作家很難跨越寫作和關心公民權利。你博客的讀者也許很多, 而真正喜歡你的詩或你的小說的人比起來可能就少了,或者說有很多人只關心你的博客,根本沒工夫多注意你的詩或小說,無論你是北京的西藏詩人唯色或上海的賽車作家韓寒。廖亦武跟很多作家、評論家等等不同,他不用說他喜歡誰,除非說他喜歡的四川民間歌手。

我各人喜歡的書有很多種。詩歌、偵探小說。。。最近讀了西蒙·無邦(Simon Urban)的《Plan D》。主要的主人公為一名東柏林警察。在這篇小說裡,德意志民主共和國2011年底還存在。很喜歡。黑色幽默。一月份,還未去台灣的時候讀了村上春樹去年的大作《1Q84》. 人物、地點、日常生活都寫得很棒。以前也讀了他的小說,都很喜歡,短片和長篇都很欣賞。很喜歡的長篇包括《舞!舞!舞!》、《世界盡頭與冷酷仙境》、《挪威森林》等等。《1Q84》的故事開一部分始在1968年的東京大學示威,就像《挪威森林》。我很喜歡《挪威森林》。但是讀完《1Q84》就覺得把社會的一些基本的問題只顧在一些局外者的生活裡會產生很大的矛盾。因為《1Q84》裡沒有《一九八四》這篇小說。沒有監獄、沒有博愛部,根本沒有烏托邦。只有兩個月亮。1980年代的東京的一些小街頭等等地方描寫得非常好,生生有味。有恐懼,有人懷疑她是否生活在1984年。可以說有大哥。但他不是人人都知道的人物。只有相當小的教派裡的人在某段時間裡認識那位原來在1968年當大學教授的領導。總共來說我還是非常喜歡喬治·歐威爾的《一九八四》,也很喜歡瑪格麗特·愛特伍(Margaret Atwood)寫的《使女的故事》。跟那兩本書比起來,《1Q84》就比較無害。廖亦武在監獄裡讀了《一九八四》。最近在台北演出的時候,廖亦武也提到《一九八四》跟他自己的經驗的關係。總共來說, 廖亦武可以讓你喚醒,讓你感覺到一些各人的問題和一些各國社會的問題。總會比只讓你感覺到1980年代的日本一些生活細節強。但廖亦武自己大概不會想到這樣的比較,因為根本不需要。


3月 1, 2012
the sun is bright,
we’re going down.
we’re late one day,
a little less.
or maybe more. 
it was the strike
or maybe not.
it’s morning now
or not yet noon.
I thought I could be home last night.
The lounge in Guangzhou was not bad.
The second one, the luxury.
You need an effort to get in.
Once you’re inside, they’re very nice,
if they decide to let you stay.
And all the others will be fine
without a shower or warm food.
That’s how it works in China, too.
MW        Febr. 29, 2012

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