1977 – 何金 He Jin

He Jin
1977

It was a beautiful time,
it was a fucking bad time.
We supposed-to-be-educated youths went off to exams
and more than half fell through.
If I had managed to fill in those two blanks,
I would have survived.
Who was Cao Xueqin?
Who was Qin Keqing?

Forward to now, Cao wrote Dream of the Red Chamber, everyone knows.
Qin Keqing, she’s one of 12 beauties
in the mystery novel,
the one most tight with Sister Feng.
In that blank space,
I drew a cow turd.
In the space for Cao Xueqin, because I was mad,
I wrote he was the third little girl
of old Cao
in our backyard.

2/10/20
Translated by MW, May 2020

He Jin, orig. name Jin Weixin, Muslim Hui nationality, born in the last lunar month of 1956. Published a story collection, one book of poetry and one book of essays. Poems and stories appeared in anthologies. In January 2018 he founded the poetry magazine Xiao Shi Jie (Small Verse World). He lives in Jilin city. 《新诗典》小档案:何金,原名金伟信,回族,1956年腊月出生。著有小说集《沉默的星空》、诗集《身体的宣言》、随笔集《平民天堂》。作品收入《中国口语诗年鉴》(2019年卷)、《中国回族文学通史·当代卷》。2018年1月创办《小诗界》诗刊,现居吉林市。

 

 

 

 

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