Magazine article Chinese Literature Today

Four Poems

Magazine article Chinese Literature Today

Four Poems

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.)

The Periphery

Like a tomato hiding at the edge of the steelyard, he was always

lying down. Something flashes, a warning or a swallow, but he

doesn't move, keeping watch over little things. The second hand moves

to ten o'clock, the alarm fades far away, a cigarette

goes too, carrying along a few pairs of distorted blue handcuffs.

His eyes, clouds, German locks. In short, what wasn't there

was gone.

Empty, expanding. He was far removed, but always

on some periphery: a gear's edge, the water's edge, his own

edge. He looks time and again to the sky, his index finger pointing up,

practicing sickly, wild calligraphy: "Come back!"

As expected, all those deformed things returned to their original shape:

the windows in the new development are full of evening wind, the

moon brews a big

barrel of golden beer

The steelyard, tilting violently, there, infinite,

like a calmed lion

crouching beside a tomato.

Early Spring, February

The sun once illuminated me; in the morning in

Chongqing, a small round

dewdrop's heart holds the images of flowers in its


I detoured around layer after layer of air; the railroad

made the train ache to run away, leaving the cuckoo's


I said hello to the mountain peaks, hibiscus, pine, and


no matter how high or low, please let me love secretly

in Hunan, sunlight lit up childhood's eyes

my hands have matured, the road of caresses grows


dust coils around the town and spirals up in a twirling


car horns were like younger brothers, wheels were


the soreness of teething became a scar on the ass

fruit pins me in the tree, then ruthlessly pushes me

toward the ground. Ah, today I still feel alive

living in a fake place made of paper; spring

is cooing, the sun is a fake doctor groping everything

touching this advanced or perhaps ever-deferred

age, stroking the world's Utopia

ah, a dragon beneath the sea has no use,1 a festering


The Sixth Method

If all five kinds have been used up

still staying on the outside of the vastness

it can't be touched, it can't be shut

like a medicine that examines a chronic sickness

there's no hope, it's best to swim away like a comet.

So the fine dust on my face will startle me awake

I see clearly a strand of gliding drunkenness

and the long ice-melting wind of a strange land

blows the light into brightness, into darkness

it makes me turn hot and cold toward you

Going through the equally blundering landscape

the verdant rocks, the nestling on the other side,

the bright moon from morning to night illuminates


and the flowing water, the endlessly flowing water

makes the displays above and below change and

change again

Letters Received in Spring and Autumn


The back of this hour, that is my home,

in another city it raises a white flag. …

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