Thursday, March 09, 2006

Shi Tao Poetry

Found here:

Shi Tau is now in a force-labor prison camp in China because Yahoo! revealed his identity to Chinese authorities.

Pain

The portrait on the wall has lost its powers of reflection,
yet the wind at my window cannot stem this violence.
I torment you through one long night of passion
till we're both completely spent - two kites left in the rain.
Once, long ago, I was the star of a children's play.
Once, long ago, I used both my hands to teach children to sing.
Once, long ago, I heard two crows conversing, lit by the moon.
But the brute fact of cruelty
struck me down. Pain lacks the tenderness of moonlight.
Struggling, trapped in an iron box full of lies, I try to be a model patient,
to swallow a spoonful of spite down the throat of the motherland.

Heretical Theories

Take one mad cow and daub it with paint
so that passers by can get 'closer to nature'.
Let the Great Leader's statue sprout rabbit's ears
so that he can hear the non-stop protests.
Take one politician and one wild beast
and throw them in a cage together.
Make Barbie scrub the stairs.
Let cigarettes go wild in women's lips.
Love is just a corny song:
Everybody Knows.
The machine that runs the body
is just a blind bulb.
The streets reek of casual encounters -
nostalgic flesh recoils suspiciously.
Desire scars,
poisoning the body.
Let green sing like a bird again.
If only this shriek of anguish could become
a happy journey. If only stricken Superman
could come down to witness my crimes.

© Shi Tao

· Translated by Sarah Maguire and Heather Inwood

3 Comments:

Blogger sscottyb said...

Shi Tao's poem "Pain" is staggering.

"I torment you through one long night of passion
till we're both completely spent - two kites left in the rain."

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