Selected Poems of Jiang Fei
Jiang Fei, born in Shandong Province, China in 1974, is the first poet-in-residence in China. He has received many awards such as Huawen Young Poet Award, Qu Yuan Poetry Award, Xu Zhimo Poetry Award, Haizi Poetry Award, Poetry Journal Annual Poet Award, Beijing Literary Award, Mao Dun Literary Award for New Talents, and Hainan Biennial Award for Literature. His works include Annotations to Tao Te Ching, a monograph of sinology, and such collections of poems as The Writing Format of Biography in the Autumn, Inscriptions on White Clouds, The River at Night, Three Things at Dusk, That, Monodrama, Commemorative Album, and An Ant Starts Its Journey. He now lives in Hainan Province, China.
I’m writing the same poem allspring festival
That offers me comfort
And talk to itself
Like a country church with few visitors
With its manyseats and single audience
I think Ishould say something
Despair isnot way to treat time
A poem comingfrom the terminal
It lights uplanguage
Understandall my memories of love
As I’mwriting, I can hear
It beingwritten by the sky
And by the rain
Feel it’spassing through the door of calmness behind me
Returningfrom pains and gains
Every night Iwould add a few lines to it
If I getstuck, I would take a walk
At times, Iwould hear the fine light
Reading it aswell as the sea
Till thefestival is over
With moreaffairs at hand, I can no longer write it
Till asentence appears
Dark is notwhat is hidden
But what ‘sguarded by light
Till I writedown:
How lonelyhumans are
Without thedark days in their fate
I thinkthat’s about it
I should putit down
Write no more
But look up
At thingspoetic in life
I thinkthat’s enough
I allow it toharm no more
But makemyself feel people
Living, hoping and loving in solitude
As itunderstands darkness
It willunderstand all the past days
Enough towake me up every morning
And offer me reliefall day long
In the rays of dawnlight, at the other shore of the crook
Occasionally people can catch the sight of a magpie.
It walks back and forth along the margin of the wood
Just like a goddess of liberty, but more like her white-tailed maid
It takes walks there and goes back home, keeping a wide enough distance
From us, makes us able to see just a fifth of it.
It divines on the ground
By mapping out the pale of a shrine
It lets us see its eyes—but not its real eyes
We can only see its figure, a black external silhouette
It moves in the distance, in parallel with ours bodies
As if it created a world and comes back here.
It's arrogant, sluggish, capricious, and self-assured,
Making us unable to point out the river, nor to describe the meanings of the diseases.
In the rays of dawnlight, people occationally identify their spare parts through it.
Sometimes they take it as a tram in the station---once a magpie flies into their minds, they find it hard to remove it.
The Sea at Night
I accept this black sea with all my confidence
The Sea at night possesses black whales with black backs
Just like the herds of black horses rising on the grassland.
I hear whole-heartedly its black music played in the bellies of whales
The black waves reaching the land along whales’ skins
Tells me that I should use my whole heart to think about those infinite riddles
To be close to the whales, the hugest living species in the depth of the sea
To look up at it just as I look up at s shrine of God
It is a God, playing guitar
With its tail fin; it is the image
Of a surging river flowing into the sea
We thought it was not good at meditation or speech.
But things would always express themselves in their own ways
Every night, it will let us feel that
It is the one that guard the house of the sea at its bottom.
We make the sea roar within shores and let it retreat once it reaches the shore
But it gives the sea a basis so our meditations
Are rich in content. Every time when we command a view of the sea
The surface of the sea at night, it would circle, migrate and grow
The only reason why the sea surge in billows through the night is a whale.
Linyi City Does Not Welcome the Prostitute
Linyi City does not welcome the sailors,
but welcomes the containers shipped from the port.
not welcome the German,
but welcomes the Engines shipped from Germany.
Linyi City does not welcome the clients,
but welcomes the coins they scattered on the 81 Road.
Linyi City does not welcome the prostitute,
but welcomes them to purchase nice luxury clothes.
Linyi City does not welcome the thief,
but welcomes they bought the deed.
Linyi City is suitable to have a restaurant,
which is deep in the alleys, on the right of the atheist.
Linyi City is suitable to fight a street battle,
to win the IOU at first, then lost the gasoline later.
Linyi City is suitable to have a sparrow flying over,
but does not like to have them stay here by fowler devices.
Linyi City is worth death,
which is always only once.
Linyi City is worth freeze,
maybe your life is freezing gradually.
Linyi City is suitable for a woman,
but the woman must be, a bitch.
Maternal, radio announcer, hairdresser, inmate, head nurse,
a woman not home all night long, gang-raped girl and mother.
Linyi city does not want me to reveal its secret.
Like an excavator.
Like a bulldozer.
Like a blender.
Like a beater.
Like a pasta machine.
Like a blower.
Like a threshing machine.
Like a pump.
Like a B ultrasonic machine.
Like a slot.
Like a TV set.
Like a lawn mower.
Like a blood driver.
But Linyi City welcomes me drop head,
like a running lion,
in face of another larger lion.
Let me touch you
Let me touch you, festival strangers
And your blue ditty in arms and cooing pigeons
Let me touch your twilight
And the night and dawn on the threshold at twilight
Let me touch, the first person walking towards the east after getting up
Speakers, people born for rest days
people praising and respecting rivers
And people celebrating language
Let me touch my hometown
It hide the beans in the sack
And its yesterday and past deep inside the winter
It possesses a beautiful sunset
Sleeping in heaven, like sleeping on ancient bookshelf
Let me touch them then
I am not young any longer
I have not pondered on the question
Why human leave the birth and death on earth
Now there is nothing but touch
Touch is a soft animal
I keep her on my palm
When such a animal walking towards your doorway in the dark
There is nothing in her eyes
Except tenderness and short gaze in solitude
Tonight is a child without hometown
Tonight there are many children like this
They are all writing to hometown
With a pen in rainwater
Whatever they write on paper
It is destined to sink into the silent sea
Tonight there are many children like this
They can do only silence
Next to those children named Future
Silence is like an invisible train
Delivering them to grandma’s arms
From which grandma take out sweets
Sweets is also a kind of sweet silence
Tonight has to be this way
It has space everwhere
But without a home lived human
It is no-man’s land
You throw stones hard into it
but can’t cause any pain at those silent children
You call them
The phone is still ringing
But no one call back
Tonight, the sky
Is a real blank
And a true sky
When touching it
You can’t feel any dirt
And hear anyone saying
only an anonymous corpse flying
only its eyes
from that body
look at you in the dark
for several centuries reputedly