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Four Poems - Chen Zihong

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I no longer make a sentimental shape

I no longer make a sentimental shape
Such thing the polity over and over ---
How the hell be clear on what the hell in dark corner
Three years, three-year-old pickle smell spoilage
"The ferment the success", this their rule
Dressing characters on streets more and more
Bowls and chopsticks on table credited
Hurry up your rice-eater
In Chengdu, still the Lantern Festival, still snacks

transl. by the author from Chinese



A simple ray of bulb
Classic warmth as a fireplace
I sleepless, people in deep-sleeping through night
I feel myself weak and splendid

Now I feel very bad
Depressed or excited
Tenderness or conspiracy
Never fall, the waited happiness

Please stop hurting me with speech
I control and patient myself very much
Only a thought: to love or not
Never say good-by, good-by is to part

transl. by the author



Now with flowering the peach & plum flowers,
Spell of small lanterns becomes withering.
People, are living their dull life,
Opening a can of meat, cooking noodles, counting color money.
Machines thundering, old bucket is in well.
As simple as unselfish to flout at a louse.
Ancient people said:" Now, the spring is more than wine."

Blue mountain and green water embellish white hibiscus in city,
A kind of radish named aged-spring-never.
Long willow branches --- why should mind human troubles,
As an effeminate scholar, what is my previous life,
The whole cells or a central point?
Here and there the restless days, many poems
Cannot but change into pots whistled.

This is a general illusion,
Everyone using the word---landscape,
Lies in daylight, comments then follows at random,
On tongues admire or detest cannot help being love or hate.
Bridge, a phone line between two contraries.
The setting Sun can't be seen in gloomy weather.
Day and night are silently exchanging each other.

The frequent cloudy days, the rain just build a poet.
Geological time presses all living, slighting
Our mouths. as rocks compel a flower.
Axe Lane* is long, winding but sharp,
Can chop firewood even cut off slender waist,
Which right had to say meet less than miss,
For narrow-mind or busyness?

transl. by the author

* Axe Lane is a very small alley in Chengdu.



I imagine the very details plain-looking
Change into a chain of reveries and digits on calendar
And look upon eating and sleeping as a merit
The buxom tone-values and fancies
Let infatuates drop into deeper intuition, to go
To flourish on branches with peach-flower
But the very dread is the wordless Tangwu*
Or even the wind permitting of no witness from mirror

Imagining fishes to close in a swarm
They are in agreement on the thing reality
After tired of the complex goose-liver, the despotic incisors
Turn their eyes to the vegetal in dish
And many a finger, play on the table of a vegetarian diet
The life of living a valuable life will be shown
Some days the pool shrinking slowly
Will become dry leaves and mud

Please looking at bitter bamboos at sugar-cane
The gentle centipede, this strange happiness
The mass of passive words have faces in full humanity
They are unlucky black-rice, birds ganging up
How sad is the lamplight on a dull face
Only can repeat the Gong, Sang, Jiao, Yu monotonously**
With pipe. Between fence and the nature, becomes a pheasant
To toy with dim metaphorical meaning

How to reply this custom unequaled contemporaries
In springs from clothing and foods, like tick beans
Put forth from bean pole, is no longer word from conjectural person
Beyond number all the coldness and deepness
Wool drawn from a wooly, landscape from scenery
On damaged wall, bat can't becomes iron-chicken to point direction
A vacant referring can't adds amount to self
Which one more relaxed? Busy or idle

Letters are framed up by wordless oral type
In garret of a lane, some inquiries controlled
Come foot by foot. Conduct without an act
Each beat of heart is as a horse running like mad
As item not for sale shown in a store
Nonhuman smell also spreads from mankind, pulpy and dry
Another syntax spare appointed, act by a speaker
The most important I not go astray

I don't changed, only more solitary
Among urgent sound of gongs and drums, withstand self and keep
Propriety. here doesn't the orange resist orange-tree and weather
Squeak of temple mice can't mixes together with math
In this evening hard to get, my hands
Are tree-shadows severe or lenient with views
When I sit, the time without any iron
Is but a simple grill with transitional stage

March 1991
transl. by the author from Chinese

* in Chinese, the Tangwu meaning the middle room of the hall, one can pass through it into the back yard.
** four of the five notes of traditional Chinese music, the other is Zhi.



Chen Zihong lives in Chengdu, China.

P.S. you can also check out his poems at the pathetic.org website http://www.pathetic.org/members/hochen.

Notice © 1999 IP and the author

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