Posts Tagged ‘bad’

20

一月 25, 2019

Photo by Liu Xia

 

20

20 years ago I wrote my first Chinese poem.
It was in Chongqing. “Wanbao, wanbao!”
That’s what they cry, all over China. Every afternoon.
“Evening news, evening news!”
Evening paper, every town has one.
Some have morning papers, those are called Zaobao,
most of them.
“Get your evening paper!”
Anyway, “wanbao, wanbao!”
could mean late retribution. Bào, what comes back, gets back,
a report. Wan, late. Zao, early.

“Wanbao, wanbao!”
Chongqing was the wartime capital.
Jiefang bei, liberation monument, is the city center.
It’s not from 1945 or 1949,
it’s from the 1930s or so.
Most people don’t know exactly.
Emancipation column. One of my students called it that.
Kang Di, think it was her.
Emancipation in German means women’s lib.
“Emanzipationssäule”.
I was teaching German.
Women’s Liberation Monument.
Women’s Rights Monument.
She didn’t know emancipation means many things.
Didn’t want to correct her.
Another essay was about marriage.
Were they really so conservative, our elders,
when they married a stranger,
when they slept with a stranger they had never seen before?
Good question.
Good essays, especially the girls, the young women.

“Wanbao, wanbao!”
In Beijing it sounded more like “wanbo!”, although Beijing supposedly
is where Mandarin comes from.
“Wanbao, wanbao!”
Chongqing is a hilly city. No bicycles. What did they do, back in the 1960s,
1970s, ’80s, when no-one had a car?
They had porters, for the steep slopes with the stairs,
I guess they’re still there.
“Bang-bang”, people for hire.
They bang on their tools, bang their tools together.
Bang-bang are men, but there are women porters.
Hong Ying’s mother carried sand, rocks and gravel.
Daughter of Hunger, her most famous book.
Daughter of the River in English, it was a bestseller.
Hungry Daughter, Ji’e de nü’er.
That’s right, they have a “ü”, just like in German,
and like in Turkish. Ürümqi, city in China,
nowadays governed like North Korea.
Many re-education camps. They had prisons in Chongqing,
Liao Yiwu was in there,
another famous writer from China.
Didn’t know him then. But Chongqing is about war and imprisonment.
Lieshimu, that’s the address
of our university. We taught German and English.
Two universities, one foreign languages,
the other law and police. Law and politics. Yes, they are not separated.

“Wanbao, wanbao!” No zaobao in Chongqing,
although I’m not sure now.
Lie-shi-mu, Martyr’s Grave.
Geleshan, Gele Mountain, right behind our college,
other side of the train tracks.
Someone was murdered there, some gambling debt.
Students died, one or two every few months.
Nice walks on Geleshan, very peaceful, really.
“Wanbao, wanbao!” Every city in China.
Nowadays people have cell phones,
but there are printed newspapers and magazines.
And printed books, there is no crisis.

“Wanbao, wanbao!” Late reports, late reports.
From the guns. Or whatever.
Karma. Shan means good, doing good.
A Buddhist word. Shan you shanbao,
doing good has good returns.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
But teachers believe it, teachers and parents,
again and again, otherwise you go crazy.

They went crazy too, war and famine,
all the way till 1961, ’62. When Hong Ying was born.
No, also 1969,
Cultural Revolution, like civil war.
Shan you shan-bao,
good deeds, good returns.
“Shan you shanbao, e you e-bao.”
E like in Urgh! Like something disgusting, that’s what it means.
Ur yow ur-pow, something like that. But more like b.
Eh yow e-bao. Yes, “e” like ur. “You” like yo-uw.
Shàn you shànbào, è you èbao.
Do good for good returns, do bad stuff for bad returns.
Not that it doesn’t come back, time isn’t ripe.
That’s how it goes on.

You throw the boomerang, boomerang doesn’t come back,
they tell you wait, it’ll come back.
Karma.
And so I wrote a Buddhist newspaper poem.
Bu shì bu bào, shíhou wei dào.
Wei like in Ai Weiwei, “ei” like in Beijing.
Wei means not yet, that’s his name. Really.
“Wei” like the future.
His father was the most famous Communist poet
of the People’s Republic. Imprisoned in the 1930s,
maybe in Chongqing. Then again under Mao.
Exiled to Xinjiang, North Korea today, re-education camps.
Desert, somewhere between Dunhuang and Ürümqi,
what was the town? It’s a big city now.
Ai Weiwei grew up in a hole in the ground, with his brother.
They are both artists. Anyway, where was I?

Bu shì bu bào, shíhou wei dào.
Not that it doesn’t come back, time isn’t ripe.
Emancipation monument.
MLK day, I have a dream.
They had to memorize the whole speech,
in schools in China, 1970s.
Maybe earlier too, maybe till now.
Good deeds, good returns.
Bad deeds, bad returns.
The Chinese Dream.
Not that it doesn’t come back.
Zao you zaobao, wan you wanbao.
Morning has morning papers, evening has evening news.
Early deeds, early returns.
Late deeds, late returns.
Late returns after gambling.
Famous party secretary, famous police chief,
they are in prison now. Or one is dead?
Killed a British guy, now they imprison Canadians.
Anyway, my poem.

Wanbao, wanbao!
Wanbao, wanbao!

Zao you zaobao,
wan you wanbao.

Bushi bu bao, shihou wei dao.

Actually the saying goes on, the Buddhist Karma.
Once time is ripe, everything comes back.
You don’t need to say that. People know.

晚报,晚报!

早有早报,晚有晚报。
不是不报,时候未到!

MW January 2019

 

Artwork by Liu Xia

 

Photos by Liu Xia

 

 

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SONNTAG IN DER KIRCHE

八月 31, 2016
photo by David Howard

photo by David Howard

SONNTAG IN DER KIRCHE

ich war am sonntag nicht in der kirche
die kirche war am ballhausplatz
nicht heldenplatz aber auch dort
gegen die mit dem ball

weiß nicht wieviele waren
vielleicht auch niemand von unseren freunden
obwohl niemand deutschdümmler wählt
der bei trost ist

aber der glanze heldenplatz zirka
ist lang nicht gewonnen
wieviele waren
bei trost oder was

wieviele waren am sonntag
wahrscheinlich ist es auch nicht entscheidend
im stadtpark wär ich auch gern gewesen
josef hader paul gulda

es war heiß
vielleicht der letzte heiße sonntag im sommer
also stadionbad

alte bäume
manche zweihundert jahre
wie alt ist das stadion
wie alt ist das bad
das bad schaut ein bisschen aus wie die stadthalle
obwohl alles im freien

es ist genug platz
irgendwo hinten kannst fussballspielen
auch wennst im wasser fast nicht mehr durchkannst
aber irgendwie gehts

gott hat geruht am siebten tag
wir haben geruht ins wasser zu gehen
geruht uns zu sonnen

14 euro zwei große zwei kinder
das essen dort natürlich nicht billig
am ende bist müde

der platz bei der u-bahn hinter dem stadion
da steht ein container schon einige jahre
wiener schachverein oder so
der platz ist nach einem meister benannt
der starb in der emigration

das straßenschild ist überklebt
vielleicht fußballfans
die vielleicht nichts verstehen

ich war am sonntag nicht in der kirche

MW 31. August 2016

Photo by Ronnie Niedermeyer, rn.co.at

Photo by Ronnie Niedermeyer, rn.co.at

EIN GANZ GEMEINER MENSCH SEIN IST FEIN – 伊沙 Yi Sha

五月 2, 2016

Yi Sha Fussballer selbst

Yi Sha
EIN GANZ GEMEINER MENSCH SEIN IST FEIN

an diesem abend
bevor ich barcelona schau
schau ich den todfeind real madrid
und ihren rivalen athletico
ich hoff dass sie verlieren
oder wenigstens nicht gewinnen
so kann ein fußballfan
richtig das letzte sein
ein ganz gemeiner mensch sein ist fein
gottseidank hab ich sonst im leben
in allem was mit mir zu tun hat
niemandem solches
pech je gewünscht

April 2016
Übersetzt von MW am 1. Mai 2016

 

《做个小人真快活》

这天晚上
在看主队巴萨之前
先看其死敌皇马
再看其对手马竞
盼着他们输球
不胜也能接受
这是一位球迷的
猥琐时刻
做个小人真快活
但往往难以如愿
好在在现实生活中
在与己有关的事上
我从来没有
盼过别人倒霉


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