Three Poems

by 
translated by 
An observation tower rises out of the swirling froth atop a sea wall
Photo: Momoko Morita/Pixabay

Suitability

The typhoon has arrived.
Wind force 12.
It is merciful.

From this city,
it has taken only one person away,
the one with unkempt hair.
The one who wanders all day along the edge of the city

longing for something new to shake his soul.

Now it’s been realized.

 

Principles

My body carries mind, belief, spirit,
thoughts, desires, eccentricity, wicked ideas, and underarm smell.
They are parasites in the home of my body.
I have to treat every guest equally.

 

Sex Education

It was one of the few journeys we had,
in Qingdao nine years ago.
It belongs to the summer of love.
On the beach there were castles and writing in the sand.
The fresh scallops at the small restaurant
were cheap. I remember
that we stayed in a school,
which had been made into a hostel that summer,
a summer when we loved watching movies.
There was a night that we sat
in the movie theater till sunrise.
We liked the film
about fish.
We were astonished by a kind of fish
called “salmon.”
This beautiful kind of fish ends its life
with delightful sexual intercourse.
Nine years have passed.
And we cannot remember
its beauty,
though its miserable ending
is unforgettable.

Translations from the Chinese

Yi Sha, born in Chengdu in 1966, is considered one of China’s foremost avant-garde writers. He has published over twenty books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction; his influential online column, New Century Poetry Canon, recommends a poem a day to a wide readership throughout the Chinese-speaking world.

Xin Xu is a PhD student in comparative literature at the University of Connecticut, specializing in modern American and Chinese poetry.

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