Posts Tagged ‘叶臻’


四月 4, 2018

Ye Zhen

A friend came from Ordos
and brought me a lamb.
The lamb’s head, the skin and the entrails
remained in Ordos.
The body, the legs and the feet
stuffed in a snakeskin bag
got shipped to Huainan.
The sheep skin burns in the sun,
the body sits in an icebox.
Legs tremble in Huainan,
the entrails quiver in Ordos.
The head bleats on the grasslands,
hoofs streak over concrete.

Translated by MW in early April 2018


一月 2, 2018

Ye Zhen

When father got out after his operation
he took everything they gave him back home:
plastic chamber pot, spittoon, washbasin.
Chamber pot remained a chamber pot,
spitoon remained a spittoon.
Washbasin at first was used for washing,
later it got cracked
so father added some earth
for growing flowers and herbs.
When father passed away,
the chamber pot was under the bed,
the spittoon on the side.
The former washbasin stood at the window
full of chrysanthemums
yellow and white.

Translated by Martin Winter, December 31, 2017

HAND – 叶臻

十二月 22, 2015

Ye Zhen

Ye Zhen

After my mother got parkinson’s syndrome,
she could not pinch the dough to make Jiaozi.
When I was home for the Lunar New Year,
my mother’s hand was often pinched by my hand,
as if I was putting in filling for Jiaozi.
Sometimes my mother’s hand pinched my hand,
as if she was pinching dough.
Mother and son, we made our Jiaozi for Lunar New Year.
But we couldn’t stop trembling.
So it fell out right away: the chopped celery, the ground meat
and the cash you put in for luck.

Tr. MW, Dec. 2015




六月 16, 2014


Ye Zhen

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’

Tr. MW, June 2014

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