Magazine article World Literature Today

Two Poems

Magazine article World Literature Today

Two Poems

Article excerpt


to Camille Claudel

It's winter.

Even snow doesn't visit here anymore.

But somehow you appear, sitting in front of me

swallowing some raw eggs, your face swollen.

Even the fire in the furnace doesn't make you shine.

"I can't afford new clothes.

All my shoes are worn out."

You tell me repeatedly.

I learn for the first time

of your story with him.

I'm surprised someone I've worshiped

could have fear.

The man is dead from now on.

Your voice is clear, and calm.

There's no melancholy anger sadness hatred despair

whatsoever in your eyes.


None of those as mentioned in the book.

How shall I console you then?

Some people say you are a footnote of him.

What a footnote!

It takes energy to be a long footnote.

But I still have no clues as to how to read you.

That's it.

Your life gets intertwined with mine.

We survive together.

We go out to the busiest street

to buy new clothes and beautiful shoes.

How we stride on the street!

We then sit by a small stove,

drinking a cup of Chinese liquor.

We sit here for a long time

with no desire to get up. We watch

the drunken world spinning

around us.


Those who run all year round,

the masters of this world,

bustling from game to game, story to story,

open a huge curtain

to take the whole stage, in various roles

as they want or in spite of themselves. …

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