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Manoa 17.1 (2005) 54-56



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from Spinning Polyhedral Mirror

Part I

16
My nearsightedness must wear tears to see life clearly

21
My blood cries to your blood
Let's not circulate in a battlefield

24
I don't want to ride a sickbed into the twenty-first century
But the twenty-first century rides into my body on a sickbed of its
own

28
To live like a stone, many conditions must be met
Besides texture, color, temperature, and shape
You have to know more of the earth's historical secrets
Than mankind does, yet not speak of them

29
No matter how young you are
Within your mind, you have to take care of the senior citizen named
Thought

30
A wristwatch is the cruelest device for torturing time

35
"Who winds the earth's mainspring?"
I wonder each day
As I turn the doorknob [End Page 54]

38
After plunging into themselves
Many people find they cannot swim

41
In places where my countrymen have wept for a long time
They begin to make salt

45
I like freedom
But I feel that a cage is too bulky to wear

46
Humanity is the aftermath of humanity

48
A head-on wind is combing my hair
For beauty's sake
I do not look back

65
The patient's pet-loving complex is beyond treatment
He has the capacity to accept the running dogs of all dictators

68
On the back side of the world map is a blank space
This is the inheritance that God left to artists [End Page 55]

Part II

10
She often opens the drawer
And checks if her thinking has a change of underwear

25
No matter what kind of explosive you are
Language can serve as the fuse

40
I asked you to help me with a project
But you have been so slow
Even my tears over this
Are falling more and more slowly

48
People who drink jasmine tea
Fail to notice how even jasmine flowers swirling in their brew
Wait expectantly for scuba-diving honeybees

49
A great robber lives to steal other people's hearts
He won't give up even if he becomes president

59
Think how many couples every night
Cross the boundaries of clothes and flesh
The world's territorial problems are nothing to this

Translation by Denis Mair
Yan Li emerged as an active member of China's avant-garde during the Democracy Wall period. His journal First Line gave exposure to the new poets, some of whom went on to become China's pre-eminent poets of the 1990s. He lives and paints in Shanghai.


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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-943x
Print ISSN
1045-7909
Pages
pp. 54-56
Launched on MUSE
2005-07-07
Open Access
No
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