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Seven Poems by Zhao Xuru:

February 4, 2020

"Let them fart. If it stinks, they will know their ideas are shit" - Someone or Other


I wholeheartedly agree with what's-his-name. We've been smelling you shitty American poets for too long. How long? Too long. Fuck it; we are on to new shit. Joyless House is now a conduit for the best poetry and political ideas the far east has on offer. Cathay, Bernie or Bust! Call it the Hundred Chinese Poets Campaign. Dig in or try dying. 7 poems from Zhao Xuru:




The Dying


I may be dying in this mood:
Sharp pain in the heart
Boundless memories about youth and love
Incomplete life
Angst and nonchalance
About time
In the future not too far, I might bid farewell

To the passed time
In this mood
If it is so
Please casually bury me
On a beach
With pebbles



The Afternoon


I was grumpy in the afternoon
Broke a pile of white
Porcelain bowls
Later on the weather turned bright
While still cloudy
Tigers scattered
A sound of vendor hawking bamboo-ware vanished
A man in a round-neck shirt drying turnips appears on the roof



Self Portrait


I hear you drinking soup alone next door
Speaking of politics
You know nothing about it



Youthful Dogs


Those dogs
We usually
Running on the streets
With shiny fur -
They are all
Youthful dogs
In the very best time
Of their





We live in such a desolate place
Without knowing.

We were living at
The center of the city.

We live in the center of life without knowing.
Thought we were living in
Desolate place
Far from the mundane world.



Dawn Or Dusk


A doctor
A poet
And a part-time pet shop owner
They live next to each other
And often at different moments
Of the day, they overlook the same
River in the distance
A same cloud
At dawn, or dusk



An Hour Away From This World


Now I intend to sleep for an hour
I intend to leave this world for an hour
I intend to leave the socialist system
For an hour
I intend to leave the China history and the world history for an hour
I intend to leave
All the men and women in this world
For an hour -
You all, please be good -
I, now, intend to sleep for an hour


Author: Zhao Xuru, was born in Hunan, China; an established Chinese poet, essayist and book curator; writing since 1988, has published three books (China): poetry collections Days Living On The Mountain Was Shameful and Silver Goblet Kicked Over Last Night, and poem-and-essay collection A Record: Unreliable Time In Lhasa.


Translator: Li He, currently works an editor for the monthly bulletin of

China Education Association for International Exchange.

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