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Wang Xiaoni


All night
They curl on straw mats.
What makes them
To open their swamp eyes

Night-odor lingers in corners
With what strength
They stand
Fetch food with accuracy

With what wisdom
They rescue keys
From yesterday’s pants
With what momentum
They speed down the road
Make the correct turn at the crossroads

I sit in the morning of logic
Beyond me I see

A human river
No one asks for directions
I haven’t seen a wisdom
Bigger than my thumbnail

The metal is obviously too soft
What belief makes them walk
Into the sun-dust
Without looking back

Disaster and fortune
Hang on the thinnest thread
The sun rises
Like a gallbladder

Tr. Wang Ping and Alex Lemon




On my left is a wax banana
If I set down my pen
I can walk into the silent night

On my right is a porcelain bird
I’m practicing
how to drink without words

My son under my knees
Positions his soldiers and horses
My he never become like us

You are behind me
Bend over then leave
I only like determined men

My friends have scattered
No need to write
Our hearts keep us home

Evil people come and go
Their shivering shadows
Bring joy to my life

Time flutters
Only I sit still
among sheets of paper

Tr. Wang Ping and Alex Lemon




This morning
I trashed poetry
With friends.

Only, my mocking
Is true.

I collect things,
paper especially.
People think I’m

But I’m not.
To all the poets on streets,
I’m a stranger.

At midnight, I’m sleepless
With a blank page.
Not a single word comes.
I’m depressed, a defeated rat.
Finally I understand
I’m a poet.

Tr. Wang Ping and Alex Lemon



Waiting for Bus

The morning sun
Glows on the bus stop,
Some are vibrant with colors.

Suddenly everyone
Is friendly.

On the waiting,
Without mercy.
Evil hides
Behind the good.

The bus hasn’t come.
The sun can’t wait long.
Good and evil
Shift inch by inch.
Those lit are rotting.
Those in dimness
brighten up.

Your light is so listless.
Poor blind man
In the middle of the street,
For you there’s no difference
Between the kind and bad.

Tr. Wang Ping and Alex Lemon