Poetry in translation / July 2011 (Issue 14)

Five Poems

by Duo Duo, translated from the Chinese by Mai Mang


In a night full of symbols
The moon is like the pale face of a patient
Like a mistaken, shifting time
And death, standing in front of the bed like a doctor
Some merciless feelings
Some terrifying changes in the heart
Moonlight coughs softly on the empty ground in front of the house
Ah moonlight, hinting at the clearly seen exile…
Sad Marina

"Marina, I love you"
Just like yesterday, she offers her moist lips to me
That sober, that easy 
"I belong to you, Marina"
Just like yesterday, her blue-gray eyes are staring into the distance
No hint of fortune, no hint of fame...

"Don't abandon me, Marina"
Just like yesterday, she is still in my arms
Not answering, not refusing
"Marina, don't abandon me"
Just like yesterday, her blue-gray eyes are staring into the distance
No hint of fortune, no hint of fame…


Trailing the sun's green rays
Once more, in my subtle heart, the symbols are set alight:
Illusions begin moving in and out of the jungle of thought
Riding on the backs of countless stampeding wild beasts
And bathing in the hazy sunset
The golden dust of twilight
All the images attached to my retinas
Are so profound and so rich
As if many strangers
Were slowly walking toward me
From their voices
As if those red and black
Diseased thorns
In the valleys
Were secretly spreading and surrounding me…


It once lingered in a place of misery
Leaving unconscious and indecipherable black spots on the memory
It was sleepless, like a poet, tossing and turning
Passing in and out of ancient rooms of dreams…

Art Exhibition

They guard green mountain ranges
Calling women who see the sunlight for the first time
The cold and emaciated breasts
Face liberation, shyly becoming erect

They march in the wheat fields
Wanting to use the color of red hot feelings
To paint that glowing tragedy
As the evening sun sinks…

They journey towards even more distant rocks
Leaving honest footprints for future children
They intentionally allow the story to pause
As if resting by the roadside

They spread the earliest desire
Like two bodies touching together
They emphasize love and intimacy
Along with an ancient farewell…
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All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.