Spring Drought

Yin Lichuan, tr. from the Chinese by Fiona Sze-Lorrain
| poetry

spring days feel a little salty
dry sun, a cold and hard ball of white
wind lifts our house
up to mid-air, a tree of peach blossom
slanting by a bazaar’s stone steps
like a half-stretch of pink sand
no rain, no green
no murmur…
thin growing voices
a county truck
passes by in a thunder
loaded with black petroleum
toward a plain of blooming spring flowers
this is just hypothetical
as for us, still suspended mid-air
through the city, sitting in a red icy theater
listening to “The Peach Blossom Fan,” the tune of spring woe
still so thick and soft, but for whom

Chinese poet, fiction writer, film director, and scriptwriter Yin Lichuan ( 尹丽川 ) rose to literary notoriety as one of the founders — and the most prominent member — of the “Lower Body” Movement based in Beijing during the early 2000s.  She lives in Beijing.

Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s third poetry collection, The Ruined Elegance (Princeton, 2016) is a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award.  Her latest translation, Yi Lu’s Sea Summit (Milkweed, 2016) is a finalist for the Best Translated Book Award.  She lives in France.

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