Sketch Notes on Bagua Ling
Every day, educated youth of the erstwhile industrial zone
ride the sightseeing elevator, up and down, crowding
into the skylark that used to bellow card-punching sonatas.
Through the rain-drenched amber-tinted glass, the world
looks like a philosophical hanging bell.
With each stroke
of its radical pendulum, the sunlight
squeezes itself into the earth’s needle-eye
until the horizon exposes its tiger teeth.
Humans, not unlike tigers—with the whistling
of Xingyi boxing moves, education gains dissipate
into torn books and deckle edges of the residue pages.
Under the hoop, the nymph with the buoyant ponytail
turns her chest away; her long, slender yet demure
legs still preserve their eternal,
mysterious decorum. Look! The ball released from
the hands of that teenage boy—flying toward the wet
car roof—discharging thoroughly, swiveling dejectedly.
Translation from the Chinese
Translator’s note: Bagua Ling is an old industrial area in Shenzhen, which was designated as China’s first Special Economic Zone by the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping.