Posts Tagged ‘cards’


三月 31, 2020

Liu Tianyu

I cannot help to think of SARS,
how we were quarantined on campus,
couldn‘t get out of our university.
But no-one took it seriously,
day after day we played cards in our rooms.
I began to write a story,
describing love in times of crisis.
The inspiration was when I saw
a couple
kissing through a wire fence.
The way they were trying to find each other’s mouth
through the gaps in the wire,
that’s an impression
I cannot forget.

Translated by MW, March 31, 2020




十月 31, 2017


ob martin luther
gelebt hat
oder gestorben ist
oder beides
ist nicht besonders wichtig
für mich persönlich
martin luther king
war sehr sehr wichtig
und der vor 500 jahren
hat eine sehr wichtige bibel geschrieben
die immer noch gut klingt
und er war wichtig für widerstand
obwohl dann gegen bauern
und in der hinsicht ist er mir
eh auch nicht wurscht.

MW Oktober 2017




wir spielen um geld
weniger als ein euro
wenn du zehn cent gewinnst
an einem abend
ist es sehr schön
wenn du verlierst
ist es auch nicht so schlimm
hauptsache wir treffen uns
am ende der woche
egal wie die wahl war
in der bibliothek
die bibliothek
ist das schönste am haus
wir spielen um geld
du denkst nur an die karten
es gibt ein bisschen weißwein
vielleicht knabberzeug
manchmal wird auch geredet
manchmal gibt es essen
hauptsache es wird noch gespielt

MW 31. Oktober 2017



Martin Winter


you are not going to find out
or people won’t know
what happens after you die
or I for that matter
we aren’t important enough
but even with those who are
no-one really knows

MW October 2017



du wirst es nicht herausfinden
oder es wird nicht bekannt
was passiert wenn du tot bist
oder ich
wir sind nicht wichtig genug
aber auch bei den wichtigen
weiß mans nicht wirklich

MW Oktober 2017


Yi Sha 伊沙
Gedichte (2010-2017)
Übersetzt von Martin Winter
ISBN 978-3-9504423-6-6
€ 15,00



austrian national day
it’s a beautiful day
we stand in line on heroes’ square
along the castle
to get into the president’s quarters
next to us in line
is a guy from syria
his german is very good
he hands me his phone
what he writes in german
sounds like 19th century
but it’s clear and correct
a small scrawny guy
don’t know if his family
is still in syria
at least he can stay
there are 12 words or more
for love in arabic
translating himself
into german or english
he feels rather clumsy
going inside the imperial palace
the president’s office
security is not very strict
our guide from the offfice
in her typical
austrian diction
sounds proud and detached
and somewhat ironic
at the same time
we don’t catch the president
but we see the empress
she looks ordinary
the most powerful woman
maria theresia
now this is the room
where the president receives the government
yes, it’s much smaller than on tv
there was heating inside the building
in imperial times
the whole middle tract
air going up and down
all the way to the basement
very advanced for the time
only one room
has a fireplace
they had 15 degrees in this room
15 celsius in winter
this was the warmest place in the building
largest castle in europe
national day, austrian army
the atmosphere is rather relaxed
tee and good music
for everyone
in the president’s courtyard
regional army band, very good jazz
and of course strauss
children climbing
national monuments
austrian national day
nothing to brag about
at least the president
is not a german nationalist
last year wasn’t easy
all those elections
this year is much worse
next year those fuckers
will be in government
it was a nice national day
it’s a beautiful country

MW October 2017


十一月 14, 2016


Neng Shui

wir produzieren viel reis in unserem bezirk
wenn unsere kinder außerhalb lernen, studieren
steht unser reis
für ihren unterhalt

ich hab gerade mit einem anderen studenten
im wohnheim karten gespielt
mein vater bringt einen sack reis
per anhalter bis zu unserer schule
ich sag wieso ist da ein schatten
ich seh meine karten nicht in der hand
dreh mich um in der tür steht mein vater

“komm raus!”
ich schlepp mit meinem vater den reis in die küche,
dort wird er gewogen, dann gehts zur verwaltung
ich krieg bons fürs essen
vater sagt sonst kein wort
schweigsam wie
100 kilogramm weißer reis

Steinkoch-Studio, 29. September 2016
Übersetzt von Martin Winter im Herbst 2016


SPRING IS A WONDERFUL SEASON – April 15, 2016 in Vienna. #Schutzbefohlene *

四月 15, 2016



April 15, 2016 in Vienna. #Schutzbefohlene *
Spring is a wonderful season,
trees spilling their green.
Some are cut, some are planted.
Downstairs across they are planting a park,
used to be train tracks.

Last year we had refugees at the station.

Spring is a wonderful season.

They said it was 90,000 people or so
in all of Austria,
mostly in a few months,
who wanted to stay in this country.
Ten times more went on to Germany.
So many people wanted to help.
Train workers, even police.
Volunteers, often more than enough.
We live in the neighbourhood.
My daughter Maia went down to play with the refugee children.
After a while she knew the volunteers.
It was safe.
The refugees staid down by the station.
Some people from our house took in refugees.

There was discussion to use the shop,
the empty shop downstairs in this new house,
for refugee quarters.
Just for the winter.
That shop has bathrooms and everything.

But then they closed down at the station.
It was in December.
They took them with buses, they said, from the border.
On to Germany.
If you said you wanted Germany, they let you in.
They were building a fence.
So in December, the station was empty.
Maybe Mid-December.
No quarters in our house.
But people still coming in.
Coming up through the Balkans, used to be Yugoslavia.

In early January we played Tarot down in the library.
We have a library in our house.
And we play cards, for a few pennies.
On Friday nights.
We have had readings, and even theatre.
Gudrun and Peter, they built a stage.
Downstairs in the big common room.
We had a night reciting Bob Dylan.
Down you masters of war.

But then in January, there was Cologne.
In Cologne at the train station, on New Year’s Night.
Hundreds of women harassed.
Raped, one or two.
Many foreign men there at the train station.
Not enough police, or police doing nothing.
We should discuss this, one of us said.
We had been playing cards.
What is there to discuss, there ‘s not much in the news.
Maybe social networks did play a role.
I want to discuss this.
These refugees becoming a problem.
What is there to discuss, there’s not much in the news.
These refugees becoming a problem.
A discussion is stupid, without any facts.
So one of us went away in a huff.

Later I was away, I was in China.
In southern China, a poetry trip.
From southern China to Southeast Asia.
The year before they went to Vietnam.
Wrote some good poetry.
Vietnam wars in the background,
including China attacking Vietnam.
And other stuff, daily life.
Morning routine.

This year I went with them through Southeast Asia.
Poets from all over China. 16 or 17.
One or two guides.
Guides of Chinese extraction.
Thailand, Singapore. And Malaysia.
Then back to Nanning, to southern China.

Poetry meetings, almost every night.
Sometimes more.
One time in the airport.
Plane was delayed, nothing better to do, call a poetry meeting.
Poems written there on the road.

Yi Sha has this dream, before every border.
Dreaming they won’t let him through.
Normally he writes down all his dreams.
Makes for good poetry.
But not this time, he was afraid.
Only when we were safe in Malaysia.

They had a crackdown, in Kuala Lumpur.
There was an attack in Indonesia.
Muslim majority in Malaysia, too.
If the father is Muslim, the child has to be Muslim.
Not Chinese or anything else.
It was not like this before.
At least according to our guide.
They have elections and a Sultan.
Or they call him a King, at least in Chinese.

It’s a beautiful country.
Tribes in the woods.
Our guide lived with a tribe for a week.
For a project at university.
She was very young, has a small child.
She speaks Fukien Chinese.
Mandarin with the tourists, of course.
Liked to talk about sex.
Malaysian men with many wives.
Just a few Muslims, who can afford it.

On February first, I came back to Austria.
Refugees still coming, though not so many.
News had been shifting.
Creating a climate against refugees.
We put a limit on loving our neighbours.
That was a poster.
The foreign minister, he’s very young.
The interior ministress.
She’s not there any more now, she’ll become governess.
Governor of Lower Austria.
And the candidate.
Their candidate for Federal President.

President is just a figurehead here.
Like in Germany.
In Germany, he is elected in parliament.
So he is from the majority party.
He or she.

In Austria, everyone votes for the President.
Everyone should.
Everyone is automatically registered, every citizen.
Nowadays you can vote in advance.
Local district office.
Ballot per mail, or there at the office.
That guy for limits on loving your neighbour won’t make it.
He’s trailing far behind in the polls.
But his policies are federal policy.

They let that happen, the Social Democrats.
They are the majority.
But they let it happen, they are just like the rightists.
News had been shifting.
These refugees becoming a problem.
Some Social Democrats work with the Rightists.
Those other Rightists.
That Freedom Party.
Some Neo-Nazis.
Some Neo-Nazis cling to this party.
Some were just Liberals.
In the 1980s they were for joining the European Community.
Anyway now they are shameless Rightists.
Austria should not be ashamed, they proclaim.
Including old Nazis, including SS.

And Social Democrats think they should work with them.
But they are trailing, the Social Democrats.
Maybe their candidate will fall behind,
though not as far as the one with the limits.
They are far behind, both of them.

Three candidates are in front.
Front-runner is from the Green Party.
They always were for refugees.
And there is a woman.
Not from a party.
A former judge.
Liberal views, for the economy.
Definitely not from the Left.
Those two were leading.
But Freedom Party candidate is closing up.

No, he doesn’t say we are all Germans.
Though he says many things.
Austrians first, don’t be ashamed.
Don’t be ashamed of anything.
Works better than just talk about limits.

So I’ve voted already, ten days in advance.

I’m afraid.
That Freedom guy is worse than Trump.
Similar causes why they are so popular.

Austria is very small.
President is just a figurehead.
But I’m afraid.

Austria becomes Hungary.
Headline in Switzerland, two days ago.
Rightist government, fences.
Italy protesting, not only Greece.
Against Austria, in the EU.

EU has been weak.
Rightist reactions in Eastern Europe.
Rightist rhetoric against refugees.
From Social Democrats, some of them.
EU is weak, was very weak in the Yugoslav wars.

Mid-April sun is shining outside.
Spring is a beautiful season,
trees spilling their green.
Some are cut, some are planted.
Downstairs across they are planting a park.

Martin Winter
April 15, 2016
*Schutzbefohlene means people placed under protection. It is the title of a play by Elfriede Jelinek, the Austrian author who won the Nobel prize for literature in 2004. She wrote the play in 2013. It was performed, by refugees, at University of Vienna on April 14, 2016, when a group of rightists stormed the stage. They sprayed red paint and reportedly injured performers, including children. I wrote the long poem above on Friday morning, April 15. I had not been at the performance and knew nothing about the incident before my text was finished. But I think my text works as background reading, at least.



AH FENG – Rui Xiao

五月 22, 2014

A Feng1

Rui Xiao

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


Hsia Yü: Mit einem Korb Obst 夏宇:帶一籃水果去看她

五月 31, 2012

Hsia Yü

Mit einem Korb Obst

An diesem Tag ging ich an einen Ort und jemand sagte mir, ich solle nicht mehr kommen. Ich sagte ihm, das wolle ich auch nicht. Jemand wird gehen, das ist etwas Anderes. Zurück in meiner Mietwohnung kochte ich einen Fisch. Ein Freund kam zum Essen. Nach dem Fisch gestand er, es gehe ihm schlecht. Er verlor seinen Job und verpasste einen Zug in den Süden auf der Suche nach Arbeit. Diese Jobs verbrauchen Kraft, Geist und Licht, verbrauchen alles, was da ist, sagte er. „Dann zahlst du in Raten, kaufst ein Haus, einen Wagen, findest eine Frau. Ihr kriegt einige Kinder, geraten sie zu sehr nach dir, ist es peinlich, geraten sie gar nicht nach dir ist es ebenso peinlich.” Wir besprachen den Unterschied zwischen Vermieter und Mieter. Dann taten wir es. Er fragte wieviele Liebhaber ich habe und was bei ihm anders sei. Ich sagte „Quatsch, natürlich bist du anders.” Er bestand darauf und fragte inwiefern. Ich sagte: “Du bist einfach anders. Aber wenn du unbedingt wissen willst was bei dir anders ist, dann muss ich dir sagen, du bist gar nicht anders.” „Ich hab’s ja gewusst”, sagte er. „Du erwartest einfach das Schlimmste”, sagte ich. „Genau, dann habe ich Ruhe”. Wir sahen zusammen ein Video, die kleine Meerjungfrau. Als Arielle ihre Stimme verlor, weinte er. Wir spulten den Film immer wieder zurück und sahen unsere Lieblingsabschnitte. Außerdem kochten wir noch einen Fisch und aßen ihn auf. Ich legte Tarockkarten, um zu sehen, ob er eine Arbeit finden und was aus uns werden würde. „Du findest keine Arbeit”, sagte ich. „Aha, keine Arbeit?” „Genau, du brauchst es gar nicht versuchen.” „Na was mache ich dann?” „Du machst gar nichts, dann hast du mehr Ruhe”, sagte ich. „Werden wir heiraten?”, fragte er. „Nein”, sagte ich. „Die Karten stimmen nicht. Wie soll ich wissen, ob sie recht haben?” „Du weißt es nicht, ich kann es dir auch nicht sagen.” „Warum glaubst du dann daran?” „Genau in der Sekunde, in der ich die Karten lege, sind alle karmischen Beziehungen seit Anbeginn von Himmel und Erde von selbst auf einmal ausgerechnet.” „Hör auf mit deinem Universum”, sagte er. Wäre das Universum nicht so beschaffen, sagte ich, säßen wir nicht hier und spielten Karten. Außerdem habe ich es ein bisschen satt, ich wolle umziehen. „Dann frag die Karten, ob du eine Wohnung findest.” Ich legte die Karten. Die Karten sagten, ich werde eine Wohnung finden. „Dann frag noch, ob ich mit dir zusammen einziehen kann.” „Die Karten sagen, das geht nicht.” Wir taten es noch einmal. Wir wussten sowieso nicht, was wir tun sollten. Dann ging er. Seither habe ich ihn nicht mehr gesehen. Vielleicht ergibt sich noch etwas Anderes, ich weiß es nicht. Eine Freundin ruft an. „Ai, ich weiß wirklich nicht, ob er mich liebt.”„Er liebt dich”, sage ich. „Wieso weißt du das?”„Weil er mich nicht liebt.” Da legt sie auf. Ich lege noch einmal die Karten. Ich weiß, sie wird gleich wieder anrufen und fragen, ob ich ihn liebe. Sie ruft an. Ich sage „Ja”, um sie zu ärgern. Ich weiß, sie wird sofort ihn anrufen und ihn fragen, warum er mich nicht liebt, wo ich ihn doch liebe. Sie erwartet, dass er sagt, er liebe mich. Sie erwartet auch das Schlimmste. Dann hat sie Ruhe. Denn sie liebt sowieso keiner. Sie ist ganz erschöpft. Wir sind es auch. Dann bin ich umgezogen. Ich habe sie nicht mit einem Korb Obst besucht.

Aus „Salsa”, Taipei 1999/2000

Übersetzung Martin Winter Mai/Juni 2012



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