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  • Industrial Zone
  • Zheng Xiaoqiong (bio)
    Translated by Ming Di (bio)

The white light is on, the building is lit, the machine is on,my fatigue is lit, the blueprint is lit . . .It's Sunday night, the night of August 15,the moonlight is on, a full hollow of emptiness, the lychee tree is lit,a breeze blows the clear emptiness in its body while silence keepsits year-round quietness, only insects sing in the bushes.All the lights are on, the city is lit, so many dialects in the industrialzone, so many humble people weak and homesick.The industrial city. Sunday night.The moonlight is on, the machine is lit, the blueprint is lit,my face is lit—the rising moon lights up my falling heart.

Many lights are on, many people are passing by.The lights in the industrial zone, my past my present the machinethe silent moonlight the silent lights the small me so small,a piece of metal, a tool, a lamp—I warm up the industrial citywith my frail body. The bustling the noise the liveliness,my tears my joy my pain,my brilliant humble thoughts. My soul is litby the moonlight. It collects my thoughts and takes them to a farawayplace. They diminish and disappear in the light, unnoticed. [End Page 174]

Zheng Xiaoqiong

Zheng Xiaoqiong 郑小琼 was born in Sichuan province in 1980. She moved to Dongguan city in southern Guangdong province as a migrant worker in 2001 and wrote poetry during the six years she worked in a hardware factory. She won the Liqun Literature Award from People's Literature (2007) and is now an editor in Guangdong.

Ming Di

Ming Di 明迪 is a Chinese poet based in the U.S. She attended Boston College and Boston University, where she taught Chinese. She has published six books of poetry in Chinese along with a collaborative translation, River Merchant's Wife (2012). She co-translated The Book of Cranes by Zang Di (2015) with Neil Aitken, and Empty Chairs: Selected Poems by Liu Xia (2015) with Jennifer Stern, which was a finalist for the 2016 Best Translation Book Award. She edited and co-translated New Cathay: Contemporary Chinese Poetry (2013) and New Poetry from China 1917–2017 (2019). In 2013 and 2014, she received Henry Luce Foundation fellowships. A co-founder of Poetry East West journal, she serves as the China editor for Poetry International Rotterdam. She has also translates from English into Chinese, most recently Observations by Marianne Moore (2018).



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