Five Poems by Zhang Er

Zhang Er

Born in 1976, Zhang Er is a poet, publisher, and curator. His work has been published in numerous important anthologies and journals in China. His poetry has been translated into English, French, and Swedish, and he was an invited participant in Sweden’s International Poetry Festival. He is the author of Imaginary House, and his work was included in the poetry collection Six Poets.

He has organized several poetry and cross-genre art events, such as “The New Poetry Experiment” and an exhibition of the photography of poets Mo Mo and Lai Er (Shenzhen 2011). He also served as poetry curator and writing coordinator for the First Contemporary Chinese Art and Poetry Exhibit (2011, Shenzhen, OCT Art and Design Gallery), the Academic Force-China Central Academy of Fine Arts Teacher-Student Exhibition (2012, Shenzhen), and many other events.

In 2009, he brought the official journal Poetry Forest to Shenzhen and transformed it into a popular publication with an independent editorial and aesthetic bent, publishing a total of 18 issues. He created Enclave in 2012, which combines contemporary art, short stories, essays, images, and art and music criticism in the format of a poetry journal. In 2013, he established the Enclave Publishing House, an independent publisher of literature and art.

 

Poems by Zhang Er

现实

一日或永恒,镜头化出无数枚针孔
将世界汲入暗室监视的无垠。

岸边,鲟龙裸露着鳞片,缩紧
肉身,骨刺在餐盘中分离,又鸣奏。

财政腥红的曲线裹起绣球,抛挤媚眼。
一名小吏挥泪无产秤砣,在地下造句、生火。

诗,这雪后滑体的词语矿山,振臂一倾
手心沁出的汗渍慢慢冷藏社会余震的残温。

Reality

One day,or forever— my camera lenses grow pinholes
overlooking the world as if in a boundless darkroom.

By the shore,sturgeon fish expose their scales
with tightened bodies. Their bones spur onto a plate,

separate, and then blare in one tune.
Financial scarlet fever curves like silk balls, flirting.

A minor official waves a proletarian weight, tearfully,
making sentences underground, lighting a fire.

After snow, poetry is a mine of words sliding, and rallies a dump.
Your palms sweat, cooling down the residual social warmth.

 

 

地下室

每天都有新的野味,它们擅自离开空气
爬向阴间,散播死讯,砍伐,布道,
并为了获取裁决的权力而恨,它们
的眉骨是凹陷的,隐藏着制度的良机。
人们从不感觉到那是被精心重复的秘密,
你看夜幕,正被装上防腐的金属拉链。

Basement

It smells game everyday. The birds, having left the sky,
craw into the underworld to spread news of death, deforest,
and sermons. They hate each other and fight for the ruling power,
their brows sunken, flickering opportunities for the regime.
Skillfully repeated, people don’t find it mysterious any more.
Look, the night curtain has put on a metal zipper of anti-erosion.

 

 

短剧

经过山川与岸,人们重回沉默的牢狱,光没入鲨鱼之腹。

这个奔命的稻草人,一如咨客扭动劳作的假肢,
他以无声对抗,用风制造无声,但借瓜果挥霍田园。
旅行的双腿赐他一个踉跄的恩惠,
只不过宿醉难醒,假惺惺也是泪。

铁轨向后退隐,不轻易落入那死海的圈套,
轻舞的车厢弹跳,轻轻一跃黄山与华山?
离别不知悔恨,相逢不如装蒜,飞机巧过了平原。
野火烧不尽啊,不掐那一缕春光不尽的野心。

Playlet

Having gone through mountains and shores, people return
to the prison of silence. Light enters the shark’s belly.

The scare crow keeps running, for his life, like a busboy swinging
his artificial limbs.
He resists silently, making silence out of wind, spoiling the fields with fruits.
His traveling legs give him a staggering grace.
Hardly out of the hangover, he pretends and it makes him tearful.

Tracks retire backward, they don’t easily fall into the trap of Dead Sea.
The train bounces gently, a leap into Mt. Huang or Mt. Hua?
Parting with no known remorse, meeting as if posturing,
an airplane glides through the plains artfully—
Oh, the endless wild fire doesn’t burn out spring ambitions.

 

 

移物诗
给F

穷尽黑的背影,社会胭脂浑开脸颊
一滴垂落的小巷,那飘飘然的摇曳之身
被裹紧,再过一年,时间便会倒转,风水呢?

蹩脚的乌龟在假山丛倒立着一枚虚脱的阳具
污浊的水影映穿陡峭的叹息。慢镜头的摇臂
缓缓幻化无边世界静寂的尽头,
纪录着生活的死讯

夜晚,他的地铁向前,另一侧向西,偶然法则
的沦陷,即意味着,这混乱的四野的现世
猕猴桃也有一颗不堪不安的动荡之心,人们又称其为奇异果

Poem of Change
To F

In the far black silhouette,social rouge stirs muddy faces.
A small lane bends, the swaying body gets high
and wrapped tight. In another year, time will reverse. And fortune?

An awkward turtle erects its male part upside down in the rock garden.
Muddy water shadows the abruptness of sighs.The rocker arm in slow motion
slowly turns into an endless end of silence,
recording life’s death.

At night, the subway moves forward, with one side westward,
the fall of occasional order means in the confusing perspective
a macaque peach can have a restless turbulence of heart,
and people call that a kiwi fruit.

* kiwi and “strange” are homophones in Chinese. (– note from translator)

 

蒙面诗

风冻
在小小公园狭而促的夹道中
穿梭
金色的落叶卷起旧
式建筑的一层梯坡
随着时空假想的曲线,散漫向前蜿蜒

下班途中,木棉树和白玉兰光起身子
汽车的尾烟弹洒在鲜亮的柏油路上,
老人们穿上雨衣,跨着褪色的斑马线

妇女举白旗,儿童手握回形针,忐忑

忑!
上下一心,超市空旋,极度默契
之于有限的伦理,自然超度清新空气

每天都在前进!铤向那不能触摸之轻
卷闸门黏上白色公文,墨迹坦然悬干
蒙面者挂靴,便如入无人之境,稍息

真空蒸发狰狞的正气,这,依然是诗!

Poem of Mask

Wind freezes,
then shuttles
in a narrowed lane of a small park.
Golden leaves roll up an old
architecture by one sloping layer,
winding forward along an imaginary space curve.

In the commuting hours after work
are the bare bodies of kapok trees and magnolia.
Buses tail smoke bombs on the bright asphalt.
Old people wear raincoats, astride faded zebra.

Women hold white flags, children paper clips,
nervously walking up down
up
down!
Up and down with one mind. Supermarkets spin empty
with extreme tacit
in the limited ethics, of a naturally super fresh air.

Every day is an advance! moving forward
to the untouchable lightness.
The rolling gate is pasted with white documents,
black ink dried calmly.
The man with a mask hangs out his boots, as if entering
a no-man’s land, resting,

while the vacuum evaporates his frightful and virtue “air”,
and this is— as poetic as ever!

 

Translated from Chinese by June Snow

 

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About 诗东西 Poetry East West

Chinese-English bilingual magazine (will include more languages), published in Los Angeles USA, printed in Beijing China. ISSN 2159-2772

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