Posts Tagged ‘liberation’

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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FEAR – 李异

九月 15, 2016

li_yi

Li Yi
FEAR

In 1950
on the eve of the liberation of Hainan Island
grandpa was still in Wenchang
as a fisherman.
One time
he was out on the sea,
three days and two nights,
without any catch;
hanging his head, going back.
Suddenly
he hauled up
a sea creature just like a human.
Black everywhere all over the body,
darker than Africans,
eyes full of tears.
Grandpa
loosened the net,
let him go.
Coming home,
he told the village what happened;
everyone thought it was a bad omen.
On the same day they beat drums and gongs,
called a meeting,
banishing
grandpa.
He went back to Qiongshan, working the soil.
When I was small,
he told me this story;
he said on this world,
there were not only mer-cows and sea hogs,
there were also mer-people;
everything that lived on the land,
the sea had it all.
In 1966
grandpa was dragged up on the stage;
head smashed, a dozen shovels;
sank into the mud,
could never be found.
15 years ago
I was on the boat
leaving the island.
Stood at the railing,
stared into endless surge all around;
thinking of grandpa,
there was this idea
spinning round in my head.
Under the sea,
do they have also
a tribe of people,
living in fear?

Tr. MW, September 2016

li_yi_meereswesen

WIEN, HELDENPLATZ

八月 28, 2015

reading in china

WIEN, HELDENPLATZ

ich war in einer funktion hier
als demonstrant
und als konzertgeher
am tag der befreiung
dürfen die rechten
nicht mehr marschieren
am abend spielen symphoniker
noch nicht so lang
unfertig, verloren
vom heldenplatz sieht man den flakturm.
so endet simon winders danubia
das beste buch über europa
und über österreich
sie wollten ihn kleiden
ein flakturm in italienischem marmor
weiß nicht ob das stimmt. aus dem inneren tor
bevor du hinauskommst, siehst du den turm
wenn du aufblickst, vielleicht auf dem fahrrad. jedenfalls auf der straße.
nicht wenn du auf dem platz bist. war winder auf dem balkon?

er hat leider recht. am turm erkennt man uns.

ebenso hässlich wie mao in peking

hoch auf dem turm hoch über dem platz.

nur viel viel schlimmer.

hässlich ist alles was toleriert wird

oder nur übersehen

obwohl es terror repräsentiert.
der platz ist ok. kinder spielen.
der platz ist verloren. wie tiananmen.
ball der verbindungen. rechte studenten.
gebt ihnen allen ganz schnelle wagen. einsame landstraßen.
die polizei darf alles absperren. die ganze innenstadt.
jedenfalls wo protestiert werden könnte.
einkesseln. jagen. mitnehmen. anklagen.
landfriedensbruch. auch wenn li peng kommt.
kroch hitler aus den ruinen von habsburg?
welche ruinen? besuchszeiten sind
alles ist wunderbar renoviert
das völkerkundemuseum
heißt jetzt irgendwie anders. etwas von welt.
der glanze heldenplatz zirka.

MW August 2015

Picture by Thomas Wong

Picture by Thomas Wong

五月新聞、奥地利国歌 hymne + nachricht (verfahren, techniken)

五月 8, 2015

HYMNE

heimat bist du großer kinder
volk begnadet an den rändern
vielgeliebtes österreich
vielgeliebtes österreich

mw 6. Mai 2015

五月新闻

母亲节
我们要
七十年前
失控
最近
集中营
纪念
俄国
奥地利
太空船
毛特豪森
进入大气
被解放
烧光了

2015.5.8

NACHRICHT

am muttertag
wird
beim eintritt
in die
russische raumfähre
der befreiung
die außer
vor 70 jahren
kontrolle
atmosphäre
von mauthausen
gedacht
geratene
ist verglüht

mw 8. Mai 2015


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