These are unusual times. These poets are tale-tellers of their world.                  (All rights reserved.)
ISBN 978-1-939426-94-9
21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 6 (JAN 2013)

This issue features the poetry of Zhang Fanxiu 张凡修, Chen Guiliang 陈贵亮, Ren Xianqing 任先青, Liu Congmei 刘聪美, Ah Xin 甘南阿信, Bei Xiaohuang 北小荒, and Li Shangyu 李商雨.

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Zhang Fanxiu 张凡修

Chen Guiliang 陈贵亮

Ren Xiangqing 任先青

  • Pagoda Tree Flowers  |  槐花开了
  • The Sound of Spring Thunder in the Air Again  |  又闻春雷
  • Ms. Grain Rain  |  姓谷的雨

Liu Congmei 刘聪美

Ah Xin (of Southern Gansu) 甘南阿信

  • Afternoon  |  午后
  • Conversation between a Butter Sculptor and a Thangka Painter  |  一个酥油花艺人与来自热贡的唐卡画大师的街边对话
  • Letter to a Friend  |  致友人书
  • Wild Geese  |  鸿雁

Bei Xiaohuang 北小荒

  • Wilderness  |  旷野
  • Did you Deceive My Eyes?  |  是你蒙住了我的眼睛
  • Ferry  |  摆渡
  • Time’s Secret Code  |  时间密码

Li Shangyu 李商雨

From 21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 6

  • All the more unwilling to leave this old house,
  • all the more not wanting to abandon an earthen jar or a pitcher.
  • The iron pan can’t be left behind. I only moved it a few inches
  • to startle the ashes.
  • — by Zhang Fanxiu, If at all Possible

  • Heaven, you see, is blank, so blank,
  • such a vast blank,
  • I wonder what it takes to fill it.
  • It reminds me of Death
  • and the way it is registered on a clan’s genealogy;
  • each entry requires a person to give up his life.
  • — Chen Guiliang, Filling in the Blanks

  • The affair of these gorgeous flowers
  • has a kind of innocent girlish candor,
  • even though their showy bloom
  • may not forecast a year of good harvest
  • for the village elders.
  • — Ren Xianqing, Pagoda Tree Flowers

  • Youlan, hidden orchid,
  • concealed in thick woods on a high hill,
  • ordinary people don’t see her still.
  • .
  • Youlan, secluded orchid,
  • she does not need to over dress,
  • surpassing the loveliest immortal goddess.
  • — Liu Congmei, Ode to an Orchid

  • Afternoon was there for a siesta, a passing erotic dream,
  • a breeze, a letter from the deceased. It had a shapeless volume.
  • But these days we see it differently:
  • it’s a heathen land,
  • an unfathomable autonomous region.
  • Something about it is no longer a secret,
  • but the rest remains fearsome.
  • — Ah Xin, Afternoon

  • My wilderness is not what you imagined—
  • a gentle place with bent grass and bright stars.
  • In my wilderness, I see distant dwellings with small lights
  • and new crops calmly come out of the earth;
  • they gather to see the shining moon, bigger than a stone mill.
  • They wait for me to herd the mischievous grains back the barn.
  • — Bei Xiaohuang, Wilderness

  • The telephone is ringing,
  • up blows a blackish green wind,
  • a seductive wind . . . for one’s lost living,
  • but soon telephone wire, computer wire, and so on and so forth,
  • all come to intrude in continuous coils; he feels himself bound by wires.
  • — Li Shangyu, Seductive Wind