prospect hill

12/03/2012
due to raising a flag and rebelling©papa osmubal

due to raising a flag and rebelling©papa osmubal

prospect hill
yao feng

The sun slides down toward West Mountains
The twilight gradually distances the palaces
Tourists walk downhill one after another
Lilacs blossoms alone on the hillside
Delicate fragrance drifts
Drawing me to look out from the railing
The sun rises and sets, same as always
So are the changes of dynasties
Due to raising a flag and rebelling
Due to corruption and degeneration
Due to raising another flag and rebelling
None of this interests me
But I do want to know
How in the magnificent palaces
Three thousand imperial concubines
Beautiful women, spent their days
Before and after menopause

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the world hasn’t changed

26/01/2012
in the dark©papa osmubal

in the dark©papa osmubal

the world hasn’t changed
yao feng

the world hasn’t changed
it’s still business as usual

with a thump, the setting sun
an official seal
is stamped on the horizon

approval granted
I look out the window, like one night
looking at another

*literal translation by Chenxin Jiang (Chris Song Zijiang)
*final translated version by  The Poetry Translation Workshop

*from The Poetry Translation Workshop

—-


nanjing

12/12/2011
dove©papa osmubal

dove©papa osmubal

nanjing
yao feng

Fine drizzle drizzles, and here I am in Nanjing again
French wutong plane trees still talk to each other in Chinese
Rain-flower pebbles look washed clean of blood, sitting in basins of water
by roadsides
they open wide rainbow eyes at travellers

I like Nanjing
I like meeting my friends here in wine-bars
talking about the Fatherland, poetry and women
but these survivors and victims of the Rape of Nanjing
never talk to me of history


many leading western brands expand into china

26/11/2011
leading brands©papa osmubal

leading brands©papa osmubal

many leading western brands expand into china
yao feng

many leading western brands expand into China
but often complain
that affluent Chinese consumers are too unreliable
‘our customers suddenly disappear
they either leave the country
or go to jail’

*literal translation by Chenxin Jiang (Chris Song Zijiang)
*final translated version by  The Poetry Translation Workshop

*from The Poetry Translation Workshop


in the plenary session

26/10/2011
fly©papa osmubal

fly©papa osmubal

in the plenary session
yao feng

in the plenary session
three thousand right hands shot up
synchronised swish
like a lawn after mowing
a springtime swallow
opens its scissors
flies over my arm
I cry out in pain

*literal translation by Chenxin Jiang (Chris Song Zijiang)
*final translated version by  The Poetry Translation Workshop

*from The Poetry Translation Workshop


a shadow always follows behind me

26/08/2011
shadows always follow©papa osmubal

shadows always follow©papa osmubal

a shadow always follows behind me
yao feng

a shadow always follows behind me
with my file wrapped inside
I don’t know who compiles it
and I don’t know what it says
but given my shaky future I can guess
that in the file, I am an ungrammatical sentence
repeatedly corrected by a hooded man
until I fire a shot at the shadow


*literal translation by Chenxin Jiang (Chris Song Zijiang)
*final translated version by  The Poetry Translation Workshop

*from The Poetry Translation Workshop

 


amsterdam

28/06/2011
europe in a room, at the venetian casino, macau ©papa osmubal

europe in a room, at the venetian casino, macau ©papa osmubal


amsterdam

yao feng

Arriving by car in Amsterdam, midnight near now
Sex Town’s fame makes the street lights look shady
Even the face of the hotel boss looks like a semen stain

but nothing at all happened, at least not to me

Outside a river floods with a clear morning’s mirrored light
A gloomy day, sunflowers in the Van Gogh Museum
snap sunlight in two, sistering themselves in vases
Night skies wrench, wheat fields impregnated in moonlight
writhe in frenzied waves

From the artist’s mournful self-portrait
I lift an ear dripping with blood and, back in the streets,
find that here
everyone’s organs are intact and ruddy with health