Zhou Yaping








The Crow Won’t Be Taken as Divine


We won’t

designate the crow the nationalbird

but if possible, it’ll

hang on the wall

sit straight in the livingroom

stand still in various solemnplaces

it’ll be solid black

pure white

its songs will be sung

by great sons anddaughters




I Love Beijing Tiananmen Square


Free will

is a pair of underwear

it holds tight to myoriginal intention


if you can’t

withdraw your scream

from the expanse


if you can

grow flowers and trees

on the street

and no one willinterfere




Secret Garden


I live with a herd of animals,

only I am dressed neat and tidy.

They walk to and fro

none of them bothered by my beauty.

The dark clouds in the distance dissipate    and gather again

thunder is pressed down

searchingconstantly in the gaps between buildings

for emancipation.

The animals    are walking

the animals     arewalking

the animals     are stillwalking.

Finally a great big animal

lying bymy side, lets me touch

its ice-cold face




We Are Playing Games Barefoot



I’m not someone with a feel forlanguage.

You cover my eyes,

youhold my hand, the right hand

moving left

On the left a candle is lit

On the left another candle is lit

On the left a third candle is lit.

I want to feel the light’s heat,

totell the first candle

fromthe second

andthe third.


The person holding me has bright eyes,

She’s embedded in the dark figure ofshadow,

whileI    lean my back against her breasts.




Passing Through These Things, Move Enough


We’ve all come here riding horses.

One horse. Two horses. Three horses.Four horses. Five horses. Six horses.

In the sky dark clouds press down.

Betweenthe dark clouds and far mountains is drawn awhite line.

Just one white horse.

Just her.

Just her eye.

Just her eyes.

Just her eyes shed.

Just her eyes shedding.

Just her eyes shedding tears.

Just her eyes shedding teardrops.




The Height ofthe Master Almost Reaches the Eaves


Acraftsman carves a piece of wood into a Master

he’s painted black to show the existence of a soul

he’s painted with greasepaint to show the heart’s purity

he doesn’t pee, only sweats in summer






My wishes go away from me.

They brush past my shoulder,

walking onto my back

My back shines a dim light, which is melancholic, gloomy,

and obscure, but extremely beautiful.

I hold my breath. My eyes’ expression is to go forward,

but my bewilderment stands heavily in the same place,stuck.






Melancholic in the rose of flame

Zidane and Zidane    separate


to play their own balls


four Zidanes are running

three Zidanes are running

two Zidanes are running

separately, only one Zidane

the Zidane in the heart


is melancholic in the rose of flame

so lonely that he can only see

the Zidane of the heart

the ball     has become a nuisance




This Rotten Poem Is for Pound


I am indeed lonely

if death by loneliness is my punishment

three deaths are not enough


I miss light when there’s no light

lift up my face as if to greet thethunder in the sky


actually it’s to wait for raindrops


the light drops down, section by section

when the eyes are used up use the muscles

when the chest is used up use the ankle

on the ground a pool of light gathers,like dust


which will fly away if I blow


I adjust my steps to it carefully

and spin my waist, lest the future

go broketonight


oh Pound




Love in Despair


I’min the shape of a ring, a snake

I’mnot able to walk out. The crowd surrounding me

hold flowers and cheese in their hands

asif they were comforting a patient

somany people look like gentlemen

peoplein black top hats

peoplein black scarves

whyso many of them.

I’min the dark, I still see you

youbare your upper body, revolving crazily

youare bumping against the edge of the wall.

Catch,you catch the wall,

catch,you catch a hooting light,

thefence is growing around me

inthe speed of spring, although she

hasno idea what she’s growing. Still,

I’min the shape of a ring, a snake

but now even smaller, more bewitching,herrr——

patheticnessand loneliness in all pictures

haveconcentrated here

alate portrait of love is worshiped

onthe table full of rotten flowers; only one person

indark sunglasses is looking at me

andchanting, half-heartedly, the despair




Translated By Zheng XiucaiPaul ManfrediJeffrey Twitchell-Waas











Zhou Yaping is a Chinese poet, director and producer. He was born in Jiangsu on July 25th in 1961. Now he lives in Beijing and works at China Central Television. Zhou Yaping began writing poetry in 1980s. He and Che Qianzi organized « Formalist poetry Group at Nanjing University » and « Original: Chinese Language-Poetry Group » in late 1980s. In 1994, The journal Parataxis, which is edited by the British Poet J. H. Prynne, made a special issue called Original: Chinese Language-Poetry Group which is a English collection of the poems and articles by Zhou Yaping, Che Qianzi and several other poets. In recent years after 2008, Zhou Yaping published several new poetry collections, including If Wheat Dies, Vulgar Beauty, Opera Theatre, Red White Blue Grey Black Black, With the Public, The Crossed-Out Words and To the Sordid Taxi Driver. Zhou Yaping was selected as one of the “China’s Annual Poets” by the Poetry Magazine Poetry Exploration in 2011 and won the first Eraser Literary Prize organized by the Independent literary Magazine Eraser in 2014.


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