Two poems by Ya Shi translated by Nick Admussen.
In a dream the man with the indistinct face
I praised him three times, beat on him three times
On waking near me had assembled many beautiful people;
I am coarse, I am tender
when you rush at the horizon’s flowing clouds, giggling like an idiot
twisting your sprinting knee till it snaps like twisting
a sparrow’s neck till it snaps…where we stop
we remember some things that once bloomed
fresh flowers buried shallow in the split-open soultranslated from Chinese by Nick Admussen
Have I ever been content? Have I ever renounced hostility?
Have I ever trembled in love without reason or cause?
An old star lights the provincial government heaped bodies in the weeds
under a red regime I find a self as yet unnamed
he is precisely as incomplete as he is exquisite
At night he can’t get to sleep when he sleeps
he opens the eyes of the owl so wide —
the moon’s shadow goes west the thief has fallen asleep in his dream!translated from Chinese by Nick Admussen