Vegetarian Hugging a Rooster
£4.00, ISBN 978-1-903488-30-0
trans. Zhen Zhen and Jeff Twitchell-Waas.
from the translator's 'backdrop': Che Qianzi, born in 1963, belongs to the second wave of post-Maoist poets, following closely on the decisive opening created by the slightly older Menglong or Misty poets in the years around 1980. Inevitably, the Menglong poets inspired widespread imitation and dissent among younger poets. In defining his own direction, Che objected to the Menglong poets’ tendency to adopt a heroic, even vatic pose for the poet as the voice of the repressed cultural psyche and the elevated poetic language this tended to entail. Che’s stance is situated in the commonplace, even the trivial, which de-emphasizes personal style and opens into an unbounded range of language and observation. Compared with most other contemporary poets, Che seems unburdened by Chinese history, both recent traumas and the accumulated mass of past cultural achievements, while avoiding the common antithetical response of derisive cynicism. Younger poets necessarily see themselves as releasing the repressed possibilities of a language that had suffered the extremes of instrumentalization during the period of their childhood, yet few if any have been willing to go as far as Che in giving free rein to the playful possibilities of Chinese. Certainly no naïf, Che’s work is remarkably uninhibited, extending into performance, sound poetry, visual poetry, poet’s prose, as well as to the painting and calligraphy he assiduously practices in the tradition of his classical predecessors
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Orange. Lobster. Tobacco. It's a small world. Tranquillity.
"Struggle in youthful years." The desire for improvement and sex. Not new fish
As well as contact. Spring mountains done in red ink. Doggerel. What joy.
Scream. Get together. Orange peel blind-gut, hung up
On evil spirits. The newly cut out patrolling young woman.
Che Qianzi jots down
Splash-ink landscape egg-roll no. 4:
Nostrils, white bridge, chorus. People sit around m
--Jesus! we ate milk
After that, chairs. And all are, tables.
English translations include:
Original: Chinese Language-Poetry Group, A Writing Anthology. Parataxis Press, 1995. Selections in Jacket 20 (2002)
Old Cultural Work: Poetry of Che Qianzi. Cambridge: CCCP Translation Series, 2002.
“Hand-copied Paperback.” Xcp: Cross Cultural Poetics 3 (1998). Reprinted in New Generation: Poems from China Today, edited by Wang Ping. New York: Hanging Loose Press, 1999.
“Astronomy.” Tinfish 3 (1996)
Three poems. Tinfish 12 (2002).
“Big-Character Posters.” Chain 11 (2004)