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NOCTURNE ON A NEW THEME – Xue Di

on January 4 | in Poetry | by | with No Comments

One after another, westward
we drive “love”—this
fashionable car. Its bumper
cuts through cheers and catcalls
Love cuts open our bodies. We
live in a strange country
Love between white and Asian
is a complicated
soup. N.B.: the white
drink soup as an appetizer
while to the Asian, soup means
end of banquet
 

To make love or to leave
whites like to shout at the
top of their lungs. The yellow
manage with a look. One after another
moving in the flesh. Only in bed
are humans allowed to air their
hate without reserve. Biting
cursing, backbiting—all
indicate succulent loving
 

Westward our love moves, on
four tires with a slow leak
Every night through the
pain of growth. Like a whacked nail
bent, we’re making love. The love we’ve
made breaks through the gulf between
races—a work completed
in the dark. The flesh
shines. We know
who we are. Where
are we

 

translated by Wang Ping and Keith Waldrop

headshot, xuediXue Di was born in Beijing. He is the au­thor of three volumes of collected works and one book of criticism on contemporary Chinese poetry in Chinese. In English translation, he has published four full length books, Across Borders, Another Kind of Tenderness, An Ordinary Day and Heart into Soil, and four chapbooks, Forgive, Cat’s Eye in a Splintered Mirror, Circumstances and Flames. His work has appeared in numerous American journals and anthologies and has been translated into several languages. Xue Di is a two-time recipient of the Hellman/Hammett Award, and a recipient of the Lannan Foundation Fellowship.

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