Posts Tagged ‘left’


五月 10, 2017

Photo by Juliane Adler


mitterlehner lehnt in die mitte
die anderen lehnen nach rechts
sogar ein möglichst kernloser kern
die anderen werden zu viel

middleleaner leans to the middle
the others lean to the right
even the social democrat chancellor
middleleaner leaves

MW May 2017


二月 22, 2017


Mo Ming

1 Ferrari
1 Bentley
2 Land Rovers
stuck right in the middle.
I am standing solemnly
inside a bus
glued to a window,
my right hand stretched up,
holding tight.
In a short minute
I have inspected the entire parade.

Published online in Yi Sha’s NPC (New Poetry Canon) series on Febr. 18, 2017
Translated by Martin Winter, February 2017

Mo Ming [“Nameless”], orig. name Li Yongbiao, born in 1994 in Huizhou, Guangdong province. Finished Jiaying academy in Meizhou city in 2016, works in Shenzhen.




Mo Ming

1 Ferrari
1 Bentley
2 Land Rover
verstopfen die Straße.
Ich stehe ernst und feierlich
am Fenster des Busses
dicht an der Scheibe,
die rechte Hand hochgestreckt,
fest in Position.
In knapp einer Minute
hab ich die komplette Parade beisammen.

Übersetzt von MW im Februar 2017


Mo Ming [”Namenlos”], eigentl. Li Yongbiao, geboren 1994 in Huizhou, Provinz Kanton. 2016 Abschluss an der Jiaying/Hochschule in Meizhou. Arbeitet in Shenzhen.





무산계급의 승리

페라리 한 대
벤틀리 한 대
랜드로버 두 대
벤츠 두 대
BMW 세 대
모두 도로 중앙에 막혀있다
나는 장엄하고 엄숙하게
공중버스안에 서있다
창가에 바싹 붙어서
오른손을 높이 들고
손잡이를 잘 잡은 채
일분도 안되어
검열을 모두 마쳤다

(美) 文超尘



十一月 6, 2016



are very small
is also short

MW November 2016



sind ziemlich klein
ist auch noch

MW November 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.




十一月 15, 2015



österreich liegt im tiefsten frieden
paris war im krieg gestern abend
und taumelt noch
die flüchtlinge sind zu uns gekommen
man merkt es nicht überall
manche engagieren sich sehr
es hat sich etwas großes verändert
mit offenen grenzen

es gibt ein gefühl der hilflosigkeit
es gibt einen namen für dieses gefühl
T-I-N-A, so hat es die thatcher genannt
“There Is No Alternative”
aber es hat sich etwas getan
man kann etwas tun gegen thatcher und orban
und ihre gehilfen
gegen pinochet gegen
die furcht rechts und links
die herrschaft der furcht
ss-trach, furcht und schrecken

aber es hat sich etwas getan
es ist etwas offen
wer weiß wie lange noch
wer will dass die welt so bleibt wie sie war
wie es die innenminister und innen
glauben wollen zu müssen
der will dass nichts offen bleibt
keine chance
keine chancen für uns
für die welt

MW 14. November 2015


There is everything wrong with a flag as a symbol of nationalism. Every time I see a fucking rightist with an Austrian flag I want to do something against them. But this is because I do identify with Austria, even though I feel ashamed of my country almost every day. France has a bloody colonial history. Were and are the massacres after the fall of the Paris Commune and the massacre against Algerians in Paris in 1961 connected with the tri-color flag? I don’t know. It’s good to bring up history. I don’t know much about any flag. Is the Union Jack more of a symbol of empire than the French tricolore, as one commentator suggested? I don’t know. When I see the British flag, I think of Mods and The Who. The flag of China represents a one-party dictatorship, even if it has more than one star on it. But if something that awful happened in Beijing or in Xi’an, maybe I would find nothing wrong with using the current flag of China to show solidarity. Yes, there were massacres in Kenya and in Beirut and people dying from state terror in Xinjiang in China, as far as I’ve heard, and people dying from some sort of terror in Colombia or other places around the world and so on. Yes, Facebook is not all that multicultural in origin, and it’s not always a tool of social change. Big surprise. Anyway, more discussion and more awareness are always good. And more solidarity.


八月 3, 2015


Hinter dem Bahnhof das Hotel Fuchs.
Fuchsgasse hat meine Oma gewohnt.
Die Wohnung war von einem Juden.
Ihr Mann war im Krieg.
Ist im Krieg geblieben.
Eine Wohnung mit Wasser draußen am Gang.
Meine Oma mit Kind.
Sie ist fast verhungert gleich nach dem Krieg.
Läuft nackt aus dem Haus und kommt nach Steinhof.
Steinhof war ein Ort des Schreckens in Wien.
Eine schöne Kirche von Otto Wagner.
Meine Oma hat viel gearbeitet.
Der Jude ist lange noch dort gestanden.
Hat hingeschaut zu seiner Wohnung.
Noch mehrere Tage.
Meine Oma wars nicht hat sie gesagt.
Niemand in der Familie.
Niemand den sie gekannt hat.
Der Jude ist tagelang noch dortgestanden.
Meine Oma hat Maria geheißen.

MW 1. August 2015



maia gibt leo eine schallende ohrfeige
ich gebe maia eine schallende ohrfeige
alle weinen

MW Juli/August 2015


– für Daniel

das wichtigste war nicht das klo
das klo war wichtig und interessant
es ging um gerechtigkeit
ich hab das gedicht dann ganz übersetzt
wir haben es diskutiert
am lcb in berlin
ein workshop für übersetzer
das wichtigste war die gretchenfrage
wie hältst du es mit der religion
ich sing gerne mit
beim abendmahl bin ich gern dabei
aber ich bin nicht in der kirche
es hat sich so ergeben
ich glaube gern an die revolution
in china glaub ich nicht an die linke
an den widerstand ja
aber nicht an die linken
bevor sie nicht kacken
auf den vorsitzenden
wie hält es yi sha
mit der religion?
er glaubt an poesie
poesie macht dich zu einem besseren menschen
stimmt leider nicht immer
hab ich ihm gesagt
schau dir nur deinen papiertiger an

MW 2. August 2015



Christus starb 1944.
Christus starb 1943.
Christus starb 1942.
Christus starb 1941.
Leider auch früher
und später.
Christus starb im Holocaust.
Marc Chagall hat es gemalt.

MW 2. August 2015


三月 24, 2015


Yi Sha《海地地震》

when the earthquake struck in haiti
it was very different
from the sichuan earthquake two years ago
for me it was
only a piece of news
200.000 people dead
one more thing on the news
I had time and leisure
to wonder at the name
Port Au Prince
sounds rather bourgeois
I had time to remember
many years ago
one of the poorest most autocratic lands
on the planet
had had a man-eating dictator

it was my education
teaching me to make a difference
from childhood they taught me to be chinese
no one taught me to be a child of the earth

Tr. MW, 2015/3

Yi Sha

in haiti passiert ein erdbeben
es ist ganz anders
als das erdbeben in sichuan vorvoriges jahr
für mich
ist es nur in den nachrichten
zweihunderttausend leute tot
nur in den nachrichten
ich hab noch die zeit
über den namen der stadt
port au prince
klingt sehr bourgeois
ich kann mich noch erinnern
vor vielen jahren
an der spitze eines der ärmsten länder
auf dem planeten
saß ein kannibale

das war halt meine bildung
ich lernte zu unterscheiden
ich lernte ein guter chinese zu werden
und nicht ein guter bürger der erde





NachherYi Sha 《左先生》

the earth shook one more time
he is happy
but he’s no bad egg

another coal pit fell in
he is happy
but he’s no bad egg

kids hacked again
he is happy
but he’s no bad egg

another one jumped from the roof
he is happy
he’s no bad egg

he’s not bloodthirsty from birth
it’s no pure schadenfreude
but when catastrophes happen

and when they pile up
his conviction is proven without any doubt:

“china cannot be handled like this!”

he cannot forget
the glorious era
he was young and dumb

that time left behind
remains an ideal state in his mind
red flags always fluttering, no speck of dust

is he not the worst rotten egg on this world?

Tr. MW, March 2015

Yi Sha 《左先生》

die erde hat wieder gebebt
er freut sich
aber er ist kein bösewicht

noch ein bergwerk ist eingestürzt
und er freut sich
aber er ist kein bösewicht

wieder kinder erstochen
und er freut sich
aber er ist kein bösewicht

es hat sich noch einer runtergestürzt
und er freut sich
aber er ist kein bösewicht

er ist nicht mit blutdurst geboren
er ist nicht einfach schadenfroh
wenn in der wirklichkeit etwas passiert

zwei drei sachen auf einmal
dann ist es erwiesen:
“china darf man nicht so in die hand nehmen!”

er kann es einfach nicht vergessen
da war eine zeit
da war er zu jung um viel zu kapieren

diese glorreiche zeit
bleibt ein utopia in seinem kopf
dort wallen die fahnen vom staub unerreicht

ist er nicht der böseste wicht auf der welt?

Übers. v. MW, März-April 2015












十月 16, 2014



die blumen auf meinem tisch sind für dich
die blumen auf meinem tisch sind für dich
sie sind für meine oma
für meine frau
für meine mutter
für meine tochter
für jede frau die blumen mag
die blätter wiegen sich auf den bäumen
die blätter werden noch einmal rot
die blätter treiben den fluss hinunter
die blätter kommen
auf dem dachfirst sitzen die tauben
am strand in der früh
glänzen die steine wie karamell
der fluss ist klar
gestern hab ich gebadet
es gibt reiher und enten und andere vögel
wildgänse ziehen
hoch oben nach westen
im wald ist ein wasserfall
und dann noch einer den bach hinauf
wo wir wohnen ist eine schule
volkschule hauptschule und noch ein college
man sieht hoch übers tal
in einem geschäft bald nach der tankstelle
gibt es eine küche für frisches essen
dort hängt eine uhr
die geht nach links
die ziffern verkehrt
die hängt schon lange
die leute wissen nicht wo sie herkommt
die blumen auf meinem tisch sind für dich

MW October 2014


十月 16, 2014



the flowers on my desk are for you
the flowers on my desk are for you
they are for my granny
for my wife
for my mother
any woman who likes them
the leaves are rocking up in the trees
they get red one more time
they float down the river
the leaves are coming
the pigeons are on top of the roof
in the morning
caramel rocks wet on the beach
the water is clear
yesterday I went in again
herons, kingfishers, ducks, other birds
wild geese migrate
high up in formation
why are they going west
not straight south?
in the woods there is a waterfall
up the brook there’s another
where we stay there’s a school
elementary, high school, state college
from the college up on the hill
you see the whole valley
in a store after the gas station
you can get breakfast, fried stuff and such
at the counter they have a clock
clock goes the left way
numbers all backwards
people there say they don’t know where it came
the flowers on my desk are for you

MW October 2014



十月 12, 2014



gihon is one of the waters of paradise
under our windows in johnson town.
how long did adam and eve have their residence?
maybe four weeks. not even that.
then they were driven to the next airport.
it was the snake. it was the tree.
it was the apple. it was the gas station
stocked with the cider. the chinese restaurant.
actually god is a jolly old fellow
tells everyone how they founded the place.
god has the breadth. god has the width of it.
maybe the masons one hundred years ago
building their temple, leaving their clocks –
there is that clock down in the grocery store
clock that goes leftwards, numbers all turned –
maybe the masons were like the hippies.
anyway if you are in paradise
most of the time it is just life.
you tell your wife you are in paradise.
you tell your husband, you tell the kids.
they will say nice, hope you are coming back.
then you are gone. maybe you come again.
I’m sure the river stays for a while.

MW October 2014


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