Posts Tagged ‘Xinjiang’


八月 7, 2019



hong kong has to do with beijing
has to do with xinjiang has to do with fear of muslims
has to to with myanmar sri lanka christchurch
and killing latinos everyone who stands in the way
in texas. repression has to do with repression of the fear
that the system doesn’t deliver capitalism with
or without one-party-dictatorship doesn’t deliver
and mao didn’t ever. so we have to repress something
that broke out in 2008 or 1989 but had been brewing
for a long time before. obama was kind of a fix
for some kind of hope but not enough
to work without him. so strike down hard
abolish respect for anyone not han-chinese in xinjiang
any immigrant anyone abolish term limits
abolish any respect except for the president the military
making money with the right connections
the heartland, I guess
as perceived in global times fox news.
if you’re not from hong kong,
do you have any respect for hong kong?
depends, doesn’t it.
I like hk, taiwan, china, xinjiang how it was in 2000
pakistan how it was in 2000
many many places in europe and asia
and yes in america.
I really like peace and openness
however fraught
places where you don’t feel scared.
Guess everyone does.

MW August 2019


七月 3, 2019


the hong kong lego façade has been breached
the glass was shattered
sorry lego
we have tons of your bricks
our kids love you
we liked legoland in denmark
you were kind of slow with ai weiwei
or were you
his lego face of ilham tohti
is powerful
the hong kong lego façade has been breached

MW July 2nd, 2019








一月 25, 2019

Photo by Liu Xia



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.
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.
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.



MW January 2019


Artwork by Liu Xia


Photos by Liu Xia




十一月 7, 2018








十月 30, 2018


fühlst du dich nicht ein bisschen schuldig
fährst nach xinjiang und siehst keine lager
fährst offiziell, als vertreter des auslands
nicht für menschenrechte aber doch immerhin
was ist wenn das schöne wetter nie aufhört
der himmel bleibt ewig immer nur blau
es regnet nicht mehr
eine ewige trockene buchmesse
in frankfurt das ganze jahr
deutschland ist viel zu schön
österreich ist viel zu schön
beijing ist viel zu schön
außer ein paar gewitter
diesmal ist vielleicht keiner gestorben
aber die winterolympiade
wer soll die machen wenn es nicht schneit
und auch nicht regnet
in china und sonstwo
und sommerolympia auch sowieso
vom sonstigen leben gar nicht zu reden
was ist wenn die lager noch schlimmer werden
und das schöne wetter hört nie mehr auf
wer ist ein offizieller vertreter
für schönes wetter für schönwetterfreundschaft
vielleicht kannst du auch nichts anderes machen
aber man soll über lager reden
natürlich auch über das wetter
und so weiter und siehe oben

MW Oktober 2018







六月 7, 2018

Meihua Yi

als ich frisch verliebt war
wollt ich immer reden
und hab mir geschichten ausgedacht
für meine freundin
eine geschichte
spielt in xinjiang
also im fernsten westen
ein fernbus
hat eine panne
kein dorf in der nähe
schon gar kein geschäft
an der landstraße
aber ein schneesturm
am nächsten tag
wird der bus gefunden
fahrgäste und fahrer
sind eisfiguren
nur ein liebespaar hat überlebt
denn dieses pärchen
die haben sich die ganze nacht
im schneesturm so fest umarmt
und einander gewärmt
meine freundin hat es geglaubt
sie hat immer wieder gefragt
und dann, und dann?
was war denn das weitere schicksal des paares?
der hintergrund der geschichte
war natürlich die zeit
der sechziger oder siebziger jahre

Übersetzt von MW im Juni 2018

useless chinese – 姜馨贺 – NUTZLOSES CHINESISCH

十月 2, 2017

Jiang Xinhe


On a train through the desert
I add
an Uighur boy on my WeChat
When I’m back in Shenzhen we say hello
but I don’t understand Uighur
and he doesn’t understand Chinese writing
Talking doesn’t work out either
so we can only send emojis
We have used every emoji available
all the way down
we are starting again
from the top


Translated by MW, 2017-2018


Jiang Xinhe

Im Zug durch die Wüste
hab ich einen jungen Uighuren kennengelernt
und auf WeChat hinzugefügt.
Als ich in Shenzhen zurück war
haben wir Nachrichten ausgetauscht.
Aber ich kann nicht Uighurisch
und er versteht keine chinesischen Zeichen.
Sprechen hat auch nicht funktioniert,
also hatten wir nur Emojis.
Wir haben alle verwendbaren Emojis
nacheinander verbraucht.
Jetzt haben wir
die zweite Runde angefangen.

8. August 2017
Übersetzt von MW am 1. Okt. 2017


三月 8, 2017
Feminist Group Applauded, Criticized After Censorship

Feminist Group Applauded, Criticized After Censorship

Feminist Group’s Weibo Shuttered

Feminist Group’s Weibo Shuttered







“Busy Hating” in German.

(English version and explanations see China Change)


Morgens hass ich die USA,
zu Mittag Südkorea,
am Abend Japan.
Ich bin sehr beschäftigt mit Taiwan und Singapur.
Dann träum ich von Vietnam und den Philippinen.

Montag gegen Südkorea,
Dienstag gegen Japan,
Mittwoch USA,
Donnerstag unabhängiges Taiwan,
Freitag aufmüpfiges Hongkong,
Samstag undankbares Tibet,
Sonntag fromme Uighuren.

Wir haben viel Arbeit.
Alles Andere muss warten!


Übersetzt von MW im März 2017

See also this statement:


九月 26, 2014


– for Ilham Tohti

he cannot speak for his people
nobody can speak for our people
anyone who is not for our people
is against our people

he’s no mandela
how could mandela
speak for our people?

only our people
speak for our people

MW Sept. 2014

Tanks Uighur Girl

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