Wan Xia 万夏 poetry translations

The Poetry of Wan Xia 万夏

Selections: 1984-1992

Wan Xia was born in 1962 in Chongqing, Sichuan province. Wan began writing poetry at university in Nanchong, where early in 1984, together with Chengdu’s Hu Dong and his schoolmate Li Yawei, he formed the Macho Man莽汉 group of poets. Despite moving on to a different poetical style a few months later, Wan edited an unofficial journal for the group late in 1984 and then had a hand in editing a series of other influential journals during the rest of the 1980s (Modernists Federation现代诗内部交流资料, Chinese Contemporary Experimental Poetry中国当代实验诗歌, both 1985; and Han Poetry汉诗, 1986 and 1988). In early 1990, however, Wan acted as ‘producer’ of a video based on Liao Yiwu’s poem — for the victims of June Fourth – and was subsequently detained without charge for two years in a Chongqing prison. Upon release, Wan moved into the culture business, where he has done very well for himself and others (such as Li Yawei who initially worked with him), and has written little poetry since. In 1993, with his first profits, he edited and arranged the publication of the Collected Post-Misty Poems: A Chronicle of Chinese Modern Poetry中国现代诗编年史:后朦胧诗全集 in two volumes.

1) The Date [约会]

2) Life [生活]

3) Dream of a Recluse [隐梦]

I. The White Horse [白马]

II. The Essential Dress of a Poet [一个诗人的基本服饰]

4) A Recent Death [新丧]

5) The Other Woman [彼女]

6) Ballet [芭蕾]

7) A Girl and a Horse [女孩和马]

8) The Essential Garments of a Poet (Rewritten) [一个诗人的基本服饰]

9) No Food For Poets [诗人无饭]

10) Words, The Inner-Being [词,内心]

11) A Man Passing Through Time [渡光阴的人]

12) Words, A House [词,房子]

13) Words, The Edge of a Blade [词,刀锋]

14) Moon-Set[月落]

15) The Scent of Lü Bu [吕布之香]

16) A Lifetime [一生]

17) A Butterfly[蝴蝶]

18) An Iron Skin [铁皮]

19) Time 1988: Air, Skin and Water [时间1988:空气,皮肤和水]

Part III: Eight Poems on Fate [命的八首诗]

The Date [约会] 31/01/1984

Knock before you enter

respect for her is of the utmost importance

when you we her nose mouth and other organs

fully plugged by tubes bottles or a cork

don't be hugely shocked by small things

don't ask

what is wrong

you must put on a nonchalant air

and absolutely must not compare the former wife to the present

Quickly find a chair and sit tight by her side

allay all sense of urgency you don't want breathing difficulties

by all means don't be rough

when talking, try to look into her eyes

make her feel you're sincere

given a chance, massage some major pressure points

intimate expression can convey another kind of language

When love is at its fiery point

it benefits a patient body and soul

so visiting times are best not too long

normally best between ten to twenty days

once before sleep

three tablets a go washed down with tepid boiled water

A lot of optimistic talk is a stimulus

and, as usual, cordially shake hands

Life [生活] 22/02/1984

We are all smelly socks on the feet of Confucius

the money Mummy earns by her sweat and blood

mud that can never be washed away on your feet

and the shadow on your brow black as coal

yet I still want to live a decent life

however on my buttocks

the enraged palm prints of my father still remain

as red as my face

but I still want to live a serious life be a serious person

make out like a proper mensch

The Patria wants me to carry a knife

to hack open enemy chests from the front

my wife wants me to close my eyes

to guess what kind of thing the world is

and my compatriots

fully enjoy the victory of women

then again thump their bottoms

curse them as prickly leaves

Anyway this is the way of the world

just this kind of a regular pair of smelly socks

or not smelly socks or whatever

anyhow whatever I say doesn't count who am I anyway

But I remember the sea maid's sheep were all eaten by the Japs

on the mountain slope all that remained were those blooming black flowers and plants

Aiee, the poor sea maid

I remember before the auction the whale bravely beached itself

remember our Chinas Confucius still has a bit of fame in the world

has the arts of paper-making and printing

a Great Wall yet to collapse

and huge nuclear and hydrogen bombs

anyway the world is like this so entrancing and pretty

anyhow I want to go on living

can't be obsessed with defining the meaning of life

even if you run the danger of getting sick sneeze to your heart's content

even if a few imprints of Mama's are added

to the palm prints already on your ass

Selections from Dream of a Recluse [隐梦], a series of 6 poems

The White Horse [白马]

An imaginary white horse scatters its fragrant hooves in the wood

her hair lays flat over the tail

its whiteness leads to transparency

I wait for you to return stamping flowers

as if walking far through your palace

the white horse is the hand nearest your lips

you go into the wood

you are not a horse

Neither is it a woman that rolls up the curtains of the lattice window

the bolt of bleeding silk is still fluttering by the water

once you wake from a dream it will die in another

in another dream

white is not a lofty colour

a white horse is not a woman with four nude limbs

Back to the air

now the clip-clop of hooves fills the thick shade

the fruit you imagine beneath a rainbow is sure to be boneless

and how can the scattered faces not be your horses

The Essential Dress of a Poet [一个诗人的基本服饰]

In the mountains breeding snakes and at the seaside cultivating apples

eating pure grain and salt

but all this will be discarded on an island

allowing each head to fly off in mutual suspicion

In the mountains somebody has beheaded the sea-maiden's sheep

draped in sheepskin he returns to the ancestral land

from a tree he comes down to the side of a well

in a stretch of tree leaves closing eyes that have lost their head

From now on the well is full of eyes

the sky that can be seen is all fish and their backdrop

beneath another type of background

a man is balancing a woman

causing the dress of a poet to surge toward this pose

so losing alcohol and grain, losing the fish

and finally the head

The last salt dries in the grain becoming alcohol

apples are placed in the grain, in the wine it seems fish swim

in the basic conception of a poet

she gets drunk and cries

and does not dream of apples and fish

A Recent Death [新丧] 1986

On a rainy day you are sick in your room

she died in the second month

she died in a cluster of flowers

amid farm work she put down the sickle, left the stone mill and beans

moving north toward your yard

the warmth of the second month mingled with the warmth of her skin

slipping out of skin

she and you are easily lost

a stretch outside and in, all becomes landscape

the second month has a good climate for burials

yet you have your back to the south, enter an even deeper room and strip

making your skin confront the air

you are free of farm work, but harbour a disease

wheat and beans all grow into another shape

the whole day in your room you suffer from thought

but she is long dead

Her death was to the south

under a tree she faced a busy season she bloomed on a day of falling petals

in the room you hear the wind

spread all around

drifting clouds gather on trees and form the scales of fish

the next day, again it rains

all landscape rushes at you, passes through you, then slowly wanders away noon, your surroundings and climate clear and bright

people arrive bearing news of death

you lose her

The second month, you are extra careful with skin

the days of the month vanish in a flash

you reside in yourself, busy with the season

in farm work deeply experiencing the lunar calendar, I won her

wearing hemp, cutting grass, shelling peas, she was in all farm work

she seeded in the third month, and in the fourth smashed porcelain jars

I can’t blame her

nor will she be judged

You are sick in your house, closing up

under a tree tying knots in grass, remember the day of the funeral

you went behind her, sat with your back to her

you are more like her

she faced the mountain to the north, stripped to the waist in a fallow field you held a sickle

and she faced south to the river

yet you caught a cold in a corridor, and leaning on a little bird, carried her away on your back

planting wheat far away from water and dirt

you murdered her

To the north and south are corridors, yours is the east

her skin is buried under bamboo, sitting facing you

chestnuts fall from between all this, in the yard forming a blizzard

the second month is deeper, more dated, better buried

you wrap your clothes tight, occupying skin and silk

she scatters disappearing around you, further from you

returning what you discarded, approaching you in the sober landscape

forcing you to live more deeply in your self

take hold of yourself through your disease

on your own in the rain growing into the scene

at this moment you are her

you open a chestnut, or draw water from the well, and look at yourself

again you win her

but the days of your sickness are shedding petals

in the spring every place reports a recent death

but you don’t delay the farming season

The Other Woman [彼女]

My other woman, when will I be in the monologue of your heart

the bronze vessels of many days have no water to fill them

but again today you bathe, get close to me with water

even the shape of my face shrinks into a hairstyle

but your many moments of weeping

have nothing to do with me

A day of anxiety over yesterday

last night was so tranquil

so you thought of dying, of growing into pure expression

never again able to secretly hurt and feel abased

but then to weep till today

even I am uplifted

After, you appear beautiful beyond compare

your morbid state transforms all waists into water sprites

rainy days are now also dropping almonds

your hand signals already used up but your argot is incessant

as precise as an unvoiced pact

as if again you slay me

A woman who wants to die is always sad and beautiful

one nears the opposite shore but dare not directly look

you are the inverted image of a cluster of words in a wine glass

following your own design blossoming into flowers and monologues

then causing cotton and silk to be filled by skin

I have nowhere to look

Ballet [芭蕾]

Whoever wins a pretty woman

his heart is heaviest with grief

in the past you were not mine, from now on also not

tonight, just as before with your elder sister, you not yet seventeen

the first time and the last time

I merely possess a pile of empty words and music

The sky is extremely bright, we have all become adults

each sister, going her own way, lodges beauty with a man

who is in the mirror

long ago her limbs fell into the water

like a rare daydream of mine

an ancient melody of the spring snow, all air and water

Again I remember some neglected things

the more tree leaves there are, the more easily they are forgotten

again the sun illuminates the two faces of a scene

part the silk

and your breasts are snowing

a very cold dance in a plot

one by one all dramas black out

A Girl and a Horse [女孩和马]

Ride the horse and forget the sky grows dark

the horse rider turns, peers behind the grove

heartache requires secrecy

or chooses the morning, and chilly weather

Riding a good horse you can go up into the sky

trample birds under hoof

like a horse, an entire winter unclothed

and endlessly regret

the time you could not gauge the time

all day in the mountains roaming

your carriage lost direction

What does a girl know

fording a river on horseback, a whip lashing butterflies

the bluest diamond is dark, that is where sound lives

water burns more fiercely than flame

when fording the river who cut your finger

and who plucks your breastplate and puts in an incense burner

the loftiest illusion is merely whipping a horse into a wild gallop, unbounded

in a fatal fatigue thirsting for bitten fruit

A horse leaves you, maybe going to a far-off place to die

you a girl

face a land never approached by man, what can you say

your shortcomings in ripeness are strikingly pretty

like the snow-white teeth of a crowd of strangers

the languages of different lands mysterious and deep

you ride on a horse, watch them sing praise, seeing off a dead man

a cypress branch in the mouth, crossing a lake

as tranquil as a mirror, faces dissipate

have considered defeat and death

the unspeakable affairs of a life

Now you return again to its side, a body of sentiment

the flowers and plants as thick as at first

a girl is forever an error

but the thing is still perfect

all its life a horse says not a word

still big and tall, correct

you live high on horse back, but the horse leaves you

a girl

your hand must still gather up silk

wash hair with lake water, coiling it ever higher

The Essential Garments of a Poet (Rewritten) [一个诗人的基本服饰]

In the mountains raise snakes, and at the seaside cultivate apples

eat pure grain and salt

but when you put on a silk smock

a tray of fruit with skin in hand, standing beside a chair

you will hear under the skin the sound of flowers blooming

all this happens in a very high very perilous place

there, even higher heads are all lopped off

shouldering their limbs you go back to your nation

from the side of a chair you walk under a tree

in a leaf you see a tower and a windstorm

the backdrop of the storm is the fins of fish in mid-air

in the tower are eulogies, the fragrance of funerals

Beneath another background

a man is holding two women

with the weather influencing the dress of a generation

alcohol and grain all stop on fingers in this pose

your head on a china plate vanishes without a trace

falls in a very high place

cools to become a moon, and burns a bridge

Finally burn the grain into wine and ladle it into a dish

can it be the skin colour of the wine is not yours

in a wild bout of drinking you wear a silk shirt and hold on to a tree

the imagination of a poet is one great drunk

yet you weep without cause

and again dream of apples and those girls

No Food For Poets [诗人无饭]

No food for poets, please drink soup

once again break your wasp-thin waist, your face will get longer

you are only a husk

as soon as the rice of a woman sprouts

it discards you, compels you not to eat

forces you to love yourself, and become unable to eat

too beautiful hair, a lifetime of incessant combing

the mirror that has lost its face will be covered in dust

but your look is already as thin as a pool of moonlight

at the first breath of wind paper flowers fly every place

you can’t drink any more soup

you have only death, so place your skin in another place

and you have only life

a cup of watery wine will destroy a crowd of talents

Words, The Inner-Being [词,内心]

A shattered vase abandons every body

the fragrance appoints our lives

raises us up out of thin air

to continue in the world persevering solitude

Whoever loses their most treasured things in good weather

will become clean and pure because of their sorrow

as skin colour is used to warm gold

each household container falls into its own empty cavity

so the shattered vase is even emptier

the heart of a seed joins hands with the flowers of two seasons

yet we incessantly shut windows, burn paper

let slip the opportunity of a sunny day

A thoroughgoing thing is most difficult

abandon someone and you win someone

the most painful or the most perfect thing, everything will mature

while drinking tea have a bad thing appear in excess

with a cup of watery wine ruin a mob of geniuses

progress is not our goal

Just squeeze out a bit of blood irrigate your hair and fingers

make the rest flow beyond the walls and grow into tall trees

from this time we loose the windstorms of a season

in a leaf you are eternally unable to distinguish dances from water

whoever can penetrate with fire

only that person can be transformed into dust

like banned musical instruments and cast-off shells

all hearts spread the fragrance of flowers from the same void

A Man Passing Through Time [渡光阴的人]

Alive passing through a life

is a difficult affair

flowers bloom in a tree

in their scent the people beneath wish to die

to complete a perfect plot

In the tips of branches women fiddle with details

possessing every kind of garment

a great master breaks the branches, carries away the fruit

yet the person who smells the fragrance

excuses the unimaginable error

In the scent there's a flower vase and fragments

someone smashes china

someone lives wanting to die

the sun shines on the dust

reflects his former shape

just as everyday he drinks tea

poetry is an affair of a lifetime

Words, A House [词,房子]

At last I remember my clothing stays on the chair, my books are placed in the door crack

suddenly red flags assault the portrait of a head

the dust in the shadows is very cold

it's too late for regrets

Sit on the chair, faces all face the center of the table

finally a shape occupies the room

like a head, an abandoned axe

waits to be taken away by the murderer

the hand given to the people again makes you depart from other directions

a house is ruined by a night of blooming flowers

the people in the corridors all hide in the nests of cuckoos

the feet cause us one by one to walk into pairs of cotton shoes

in the house all that remains is the hint of a suggestion

A wall calls up the wind of eight directions, it's a mirror the wind can penetrate

the house falls into a very deep place, does not let us see

it only leaves doors and windows, but lets us come in

open a book or admire the vista outside the windows

you remember Armageddon has already ended outside this book

within and without your skin all that’s left is air

Words, The Edge of a Blade [词,刀锋]

A razor marks out a wound

your skin suffers language

when words reach infinity they only form an empty sound

Like the boundlessness of water draped over a face of skin

with its invisible edge the blade pares away the looks we cast

surnames bright and clear

what we see and hear

the tiniest words are stories and sand

when the west wind comes, it blows up into a mighty, vast vista

on the wrong path we die young

slack the thirst of our skin with a drop of fresh blood

with a year's moonlight cause a narcissus to burst into bloom

A blade's edge gives a surname blood

she is already too pale, an anemic beauty cannot withstand too much grace

with wounds she nourishes all words

when her body bursts, words steal into teeth and hair to ripen

the most limited words are bird and hand

the most are innumerable birds flying into a hand

like my entry in the night

a word leads to everything

the gesture of her hand corresponds to all things

One is everything

the light seen from the flames parts from the burning

in a deep winter, gold and silver are forged into cold swords

when a long, slender blade lights the colour of our skin

when spoken words are continually repeated, grow into facts

seen or heard

uncountable hands release birds

weapons of war grow into gifts of jade and silk

Moon-Set[月落] A sequence of five poems 20/04/1988


In the afternoon I remember a moon-set, I was closing a window, burning paper

where will the words in the flames fly to

if I cannot see

a sheet of glass will slide into the seawater and drift for a thousand years

when beasts gnaw away all plants, they desert us

leaving only a few simple organs to cry and make sentences

a bed readily concludes your status

a sheet of paper writes out your whole life

a patch of skin utterly detests books

the ashes are emptiest, so I incessantly burn books and letters

the more brightly gold is rubbed, it drops even deeper in the sea

afternoon trees are greener, keeping my clear purity of former days

the alternately falling flames of day and night burn back our feathers

whoever pulls in their wings and flies with this afternoon

is our loftiest desire


Idle days are the most perfect

I cannot do wrong, daily deficiencies mature

sunlight angularly lights dust, a vase of flower scent converses with who

the weather of an entire afternoon is placed in my hand

forces me to go have a silk shirt newly cut

use alcohol to splash out the revolution of a generation

in back of eyes there is only sand and ink

a few mandarin oranges, a plate of quail eggs

the brightest and blackest places fuse

pairs of quails, go in and out

on the table all that remains is a pile of peals

all its life a seed wants to bloom into somebody else's flower

when a person wakes up he is more like himself

the icy world suddenly drips on his skin

exactly who is it who knocks at the door

a house so quiet it tilts


When I am drunk I go into the yard and pick flowers

slip and fall into a rotten tree

in amber my tiny decaying corpse is suspended high by you

your nipples are larger than me

like two shocking plots tightly clamping me in

repeatedly constricting me, publicly flaunting your fatal radiance

night after night I can only bury myself in books, drink a cup of tea alone and silent for a time

already too tired, I can't continue to waste away

it has been long since I could write characters into paper

also day after day I see spoken words close in

a compass sets the time on the gunpowder

a key suddenly is closer to the house than a hand

your enemy loves you more

otherwise whose body welcomes your ailment

whose flowers incessantly die of drunkenness


Tear up the lantern, thoroughly smash the day

red flags, iron and organs launch mutual surprise raids

all enemies set out from a bad piece of news

I have long had no heart to trust in mankind

one lyrical emotion sensed the path of a lifetime

a mouth that returns to the hand moves people more, escapes into the ear

hears the heart in a pile of shattered bones incessantly bombing

iron filings in my flesh grow finger nails

with a net of meridians the cosmos carelessly controls us

lets the disease residing in each pressure point evade Chinese medicine

a small needle drives out the evil, then ten fingers barter back a heart

the beautiful brocade of a thousand years is snatched away by a beauty

wheat drops dust from walls

complain bitterly in the most particular prescription, and leave nursing malice

who in fact does a very red mouth await

the sweetest fruit is modest and speechless


Waiting for a moon-set

under a tree I will grow tall

a conversation that will not end for a long long time, is it not you in the grave

the sunlight inserts itself at an angle into a bottle

making the whole afternoon extremely dangerous

abruptly the world is overstated, bad people are carried off by blackbirds

I do not know who picks up a looking glass and distantly gazes at me

through the window the whole season swarms in

tonight's vista is sure to have been burnt up by too strong moonlight

at this time if you do not flee, you will be as fragrant as a flower

but it is still too early for the moon to set

I still have enough time to be shot again

you have only to give a pure look to somebody

and he will more deeply fall

The Scent of Lü Bu [吕布之香] Changchun 04/07/1988

A sudden urge to kill, a fragrance blows over

the coat in the bamboo is truly thin, Lü Bu

yesterday the emperor was bearing flowers, today you can't adore them enough

the dregs of wine drunk till death of drunkenness

want to be a hero you're a hero

a night of deep sleep but apparently conscious

autumn rain in the screen delicate and profound

Tonight there are others who can not sleep alone

some flowers race to drunkenness, others think of swords

all beauties await poisoned wine

Lü Bu, the autumn harvests your head

the hemp and mulberry on the silk covers the hill in a disorderly green

a red fringed skirt, a lover's yearning

but in the mirror the important person is repeatedly wrong

and in a southern blizzard resents a late spring

Last year it was snow, tonight it's still rain

man-eating horses continue to roam free, aren't you the hanging head

Lü Bu, the probable husband's face is covered by tears

an impossible hero everywhere lonely

Lü Bu, if only the fruit of the heart ripens

who will not be blown on

by the heart-breaking currents of air that escape the deep curtains

Lü Bu, as long as your greatest foe is renewed every day

the disorderly scent of skin grows stronger

A Lifetime [一生]

In a lifetime how much paper is wasted writing poetry

drinking very bitter Chinese poetry, the lines of a palm paralyse the people

let others read books

keep the outstanding sentences to yourself

in a far-off place, I am superior and cool

women, please continue your periods and love

I obey your revelations

Today, skin brings us hunger

mother and father both dead, surrounding poets are pretty and partial

poetry is not whole

nor people a fantasy

lean on an illness to pass your days, write snowy vistas in praise of beauties

The words incorrectly spoken to me by somebody are probably doubly wrong

lovers decamp into death, the ancestral land is exceptionally pretty

in the past I was as real as a hypothesis

too much self-love and too contemptible

that is the love of some other person

A Butterfly[蝴蝶] - written while in prison in Sichuan prov. 1990-1992

A flame wrapped in paper

dropped into a bag of tricks by an enflamed tiger

the fragrant odour that splashes out, an agitation for the complexion of a pair of sisters

O, grain as sparse as morning stars and beans ripen

either wash your hair with gold

or leaning on a sunflower lower your head and sleep

O, round mirror in a trousseau, your frail

younger sister on the other side of the air pounces, circles

and senselessly sacrifices quivering thin wings or excuses

Causing ivory skin to give up fresh blood and white snow

on one side you save

on the other destroy

An Iron Skin [铁皮]

In rooms and bowls, bodies without

content are reclaimed and cultivated

by clothes sewn into shoulders and minds

burying people alive and killing them

these small humble things, once they hit the head

neither a sound, or a pleasant moving sound

Open a drawer, empty thoughts are immediately cashed in

an emperor without rhyme or reason rides out of thin air

words respectful and sincere, explain flesh sticking to bones

as well as the pressure between silver and gold

These nations are so hollow, names with no substance

at war in vain the two armies pass through springtime

progeny transcending class suspended outside the window

polite and objective, lift high a tree of paulownia blossoms

together with me declining toward rainwater

The sound of a beautiful zither destitute and quick

feelings spread out in the air, pass through the eyes of needles

our happiness has no hope to ride on

our sober empty corpses

in iron skins pluck peppermint people

the ironware in hand as fragile as water

Selections from Time 1988: Air, Skin and Water [时间1988:空气,皮肤和水]

(a sequence of 26 poems)

Part III: Eight Poems on Fate [命的八首诗]


While a raised finger talks of fate, my hand

throughout is an expression of the air. The pose is faultlessly correct, my heart as dark as this


when a red mouth in song thirsts to death before a cup of water, carried away by an enemy

I'm obliged to take out my talking tongue, raise these lofty ears

I make myself remember a stately officialese, repeatedly speak

a few words into the air, the climate that falls at the time mingles with the talk

becomes a window full of vistas pitched in the sky that cannot be invigorated, or grows

into an emperor fallen in a plum blossom amid the swirling dust, drinking with a crowd of girls

and this leads to the progress, pressing or otherwise, of an historic period or sudden death, so

the birth of a nation and a manner of speaking are placed on a par

and outlaws in the grass carry off a land, making me extremely careful

If I lose my grip and smash the glass

abruptly an empire is ruined


When the dust of the collapse blows into a broad vista, all people

fall into foul weather and endlessly grow pretty for no reason, secretly celebrate past missteps

in extremely bad feelings a fisher and a woodcutter answer each other, repress homicidal acts

the libretto is immaterial, like the relationship between teeth and plastic people

and so the pressing vulgarity of the people and boredom swell up only once

cause the state to be frequently inflamed in hearsay, the byways of sex lives renovated


girls are trussed in tall towers by a tardy conjugal fate, everyday stroking their skin scratching

their itch

in mirrors only having relations with perfume, silks and menstrual periods

the result of spying by the edge of a curtain of pearls causes the organs of night to run wild for a

while, eating people everywhere

from here on there is machinery to make flesh and bones, with iron pipes to drain blood and a

handgun to shoot eggs

I was arbitrarily fabricated

generation after generation learns to eat grass, practice acupuncture, pay respect to Confucius

leaving me forever crestfallen, just alive

a zombie making itself widely known


I remember the moment of the birth of some machines, the blueprints dreamt up by brains

completed by hands, and this produced means and other strengthening behaviour

science and philosophy are all within what you practice

creating a consistently identical consequence, the world's temperature suddenly burns your hand

an endless stream of lazy monarchs emerges with primary school textbooks critical of liberty

people loaf around all day, sitting they eat mountains

in the end hands vanish from sleeves, the brain's imaginings even emptier

the birth of idle dreams finally forces landlords to industriously farm the infertile land

in the autumn they harvest the state grain and pay head tax

science's view of the world plastered every place by an ancient folk prescription

has mankind leap forward from castration and polygamy

to sex spies, Aids and the explosion of a defensive nuclear bomb

this makes me remember the posture of drinking water, a dry mouth

leaves my soul guilty, I develop stomach ulcers, rough water

in the manner of urine is pumped into a pail, exquisite water flows into blood, irrigates hair

causes hunger to go deep into bones, to be tempered into an alloy

lets us grow sufficiently hard scalps to meet the blow of the axe and be cut in two


And so I obtain a fixed manner to enter language

when I eat food, my hands hold the fuel, I observe pleasing things

then I grow into one word among many

immediately possess a multitude of curious treasures, spice carts, mules and horses, and female


I take care to remember the places they haunt, clearly remember how each of them grow

and I become a sentence full of soul traveling unimpeded through a sinister climate

at this moment from many directions food is passed into my hands

the spice cart draped in colourful silks wildly pursues me

the aim in undertaking a book abruptly undergoes a miraculous change

from originally looking at pictures and recognising words becoming a laboratory test of a virus

to recognise truth

even in forums for lofty discussion, the greatest problem is surely something born out of


carry the words written on goat skin to those on shells and bones, and piece together poems and


or abstract a philosophy into one word

concentrated into one element, so light that all life finds it unbearable

it has to drop down out of thin air, in a flash blowing a city to smithereens

a mighty massacre by a word

the unhurried persecution of history by a diseased sentence


I can only open my books again and look up the suspicious pacts

but everything is watertight, like hair meticulously ordered by a comb

I slip into a word, these neatly attired beasts

the same as the plot laid out by a chessboard, neat, sanitary, convenient

a multitude of brushstrokes presides over radicals and character components with a system of

collective punishment, while mouths and shells grow long

even my private life is often inquired into and grows into an illicit affair paraded everywhere

syllables and semantic meaning, the curly hair and hats of fabricated characters

for what calamity does the world not have words, there isn't an argument that doesn't exist. This

is enough to deeply convince me

the words in books freely liaise according to the highest instruction

with exaggerated iron bars they seal off the inside news, already shot

And now it's even more dangerous

at a four-way intersection, some people down knockout drops in wine

then go on to eat buns stuffed with human flesh, I saw

an ejaculating pen, a face that eats the dead, as well as an overbearing way of talking

I rush to find the leak, so as to get free

but the prison of words is boundless, a manner of wording battles its way in and out

sometimes an extreme snake, sometimes the frenzied dance of beautiful trash

the greatest foe appears, kills people with a song

if you do not run now, you will fall into empty words and waste your life


My heart clearly sees behind the play a still even bigger stage in performance

empty-minded heroes of consummate skill cup hands on their chests and swear brotherhood

the danger tends toward a cool note, even to total opposition to the state

leading to us being able to sit in a teahouse together with a gang of hoodlums reading an

unofficial history

we see very cold swords on the road to murder

being embroidered into a tree of beautiful fruit that falls into the moon

the sounds of incisions, uniforms for the night running wild, the heads plucked off by

boomerangs still talking

and still in the manner of moveable type the world pieces together open secrets

changed into material for idle chit-chat to educate the new generation

In days of good farming weather, inside and outside the world everyone drinks big bowls of wine,

eats large slabs of meat

comes up with a few decent suits

extremely bored people have full stomachs and empty minds, everyday in back gardens they

temper their strength

in an attempt to get a knife and a gun from the border government, they obtain closed-off wives

and sheltered children, and a name in historical annals

in the wind the apricot-yellow banner grows thin, ostentatiously flaps into being an indicator

a bold decisive network of roads becomes an interlude of fancy boxing and lovely legs

the wild land of lakes and rivers merely passes on into a sentence inscribed on a strand of hair


But another species of person runs away from the narration of written words, put about into the

likes of flying apsaras and flames suspended in midair

in siestas unable to sleep they drink untreated salt water, excuse every kind of evil

mouths particular about what they eat swallow metal spit flames, the corpses that cannot die

are high above

or go deep into the folk strewing superstition, binding feet, promoting filial progeny

but blood flows from the anus of the people who everywhere consume the fire and smoke of the

human world, their forms dry up and whither away

you can only pick out bones between the skin and flesh

Another kind of person has mastered the secret of becoming a sage: gourmet's luck

the mouth that eats all under heaven speaks one sentence that refutes ten thousand

beds for every purpose are born, and a grand charm is all the rage for a time

on account of this, nude models, queens of sex appeal until cruel punishment in broad daylight

finally conclude in the tax system and secret trials

this leaves a tyrant incapable of ever being particular over what he eats

breakfast alone has the power to make immortality as well as the right to guillotine a head


I maintain silence about the truth I know, like a man of great virtue

the same as your responsibility to somebody terminally ill

the world is yours, fundamentally ours too, but in the final analysis yours

blast genesis from a bud, from an ovum, from an embryo, day by day death grows taller

the fall of a moth makes a season suddenly chill

the death of a beauty causes a generation of emperors to go missing in a mirror for a thousand


the fine china in a smile is smashed, the nation becomes a heart-rending roundelay sung plainly

night after night

all that is left is us, in extreme music pursuing a revolution in the arts that destroys genius

or at a sumptuous banquet reciting the rubbish of poetry

When my gestures come to an end, a grand affair abruptly vanishes

when I am informed of every form of death: suicide, homicide, bloodless murder

the silence I hear is that of a human throat being cut

the blooms flying in the wind are the heads of millions falling to the ground

The sunlight shoots in at an angle, the magnificence of the air is hard to clear

the world is still cut to death by a drop of fresh blood, or carried away by the brilliance of a


as to fate, my heart is clear as never before

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