National Business

The architect draws from his file 

a map, on which 

a tiny spot is red-circled.

Here, he says,

six billion investment;

His eyes glisten like coins

and his black tie dangles like a sword 

above the blueprint of a tower,

cadaverous, awe-provoking, 

the color of champagne gold.

 

I know the block of the street, where 

rosy clouds flew over

houses with mortared walls, 

though moss-eaten, 

home to eaves-seeking swifts,

rattled now, 

by excavator tires.

A Notebook From 1967

Leather-bound messages,

              traveled from hands to hands 

and arrived here,

              in an antique store;

a display of a turbulent past,

unclear now

on yellow pages, where

a downpour of thoughts had fallen

and a roar of raging words—

                      silenced,

after almost fifty years, 

by a red price tag.

Zhang Yuan

It crouches 

              deep in the garden.

 

A bizarre phantasm in a still

aluminum jungle;

 

A wound where

memory 

            flows and stops 

the air, thwarted 

by the refracted light 

             of modernity.

 

A hundred years—

worms, 

            wars, 

humans,  

            guns,

emperors

            paupers  

built

           demolished

re-built

            preserved now

in the name of a billion RMB

gentrification.

 

The same, 

its terracotta redemption 

when time confiscates the iron-trace 

of humanity.

 

*Zhang Yuan, or the garden of Zhang, is a renowned residential house built early of the last century in West Nanjing Road, Shanghai, now an area for bars and cafes.but news comes this garden will soon be demolished for a new shopping mall.

A Death In The Sun

Man speaks your name like a burning anathema,

and picks up your body where 

butterflies of newspapers circle above you.

 

The yellow sun is in your hair,  the darkened color 

of tamed waters.

The warm yellow sun—

The quiet yellow sun—

 

Your death rides a black van;

Your death, more real than life, comes at five o’clock, 

in a wedding tuxedo.

November, 2018

The sad blue sky’s clear dust gropes its way down 

toward the city,

The asphalt roads glimmer like ice.

Red lights dim, like eyes deprived of sleep, 

trying to understand the great mystery of the morning.

                      

An old man stands at an empty phone booth,  

looking at his map

on which a thousand places are marked,

                                                   with no names.

His walking stick dangles on his arm, 

a compass uncertain of the south, where

the sun throws a shadow.

  

Soot-colored silence,

a black cat,

jumps into an open window, the curtain tied back and knotted.

An army of houses stand vigil on the first day 

                                                   of a lunar winter