Ouyang Yu came to Australia in early 1991 and has since published
52 books of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, literary translation and
criticism in English and Chinese languages. He also edits Australia's
only Chinese literary journal, Otherland (since 1995). His noted books
include his award-winning novel, The Eastern Slope Chronicle (2002),
his collections of poetry, Songs of the Last Chinese Poet (1997) and The
Kingsbury Tales
(2008), his translations in Chinese, The Female Eunuch
(1991) and The Man Who Loved Children (1998), and his book of criticism,
Chinese in Australian Fiction: 1888-1988 (USA, 2008). He is now based in
Melbourne. His website is at: www.ouyangyu.com.au.

The evening walk

The trees are louder at this time
of the day when the eyes follow
the feet in search of a pretty leaf
or fallen bark
The air is strong with horse
shit, so strong
you put your nose to the naked
tree to smell the nothingness
of the bark
One will never be
great in this
land lying quiet and
domesticated nor will one
ever be that
violent and bloody
Living overrides all
concerns and creates
them as well here everyone
is a leaf or fallen bark, writable
with little admirable
but everything one
a smallness that matches
the land's sky

C, C, C

Car cancer
Car can't
Collective unwillingness

In the morning drive
Through the unmoving bowels
Of the city

Car caught
In its own

Car con
C, C, C

A Person is Gone
Written originally in Chinese
and translated by Ouyang Yu

before the other person has come back from overseas
the only evidence that that person is gone

is the fragments of information on the lips of the living
and pieces of memory the other person who has come back from overseas has

a person is gone

some say they have not heard of this
as if the going is a normal thing

some say they have heard of it
they use the verb "hear of"

some use medical terms
in retelling the story they use the words "it seems"

the other person remembers that person taking him to a concert
the only expensive thing he did in Shanghai while they were both doing their Master's Degrees

and he remembers the sumptuous dinner that person invited him to when he became a deputy general manager
and the fish: a set of electrical toy that person gave his son for a present

he ponders: when a person is gone
one should not remember these vulgar trivialities

when he told his wife of this in a phone call across the ocean
she only "oh"ed

he's done his sums:
when that person was gone he must have been forty

and he himself
has lived now to forty four

Written originally in Chinese
and translated by Ouyang Yu

so many poems, on this deepening night, die in the mysterious womb
that the pen, lying by the side with the mosquito, is dreaming a white dream
mountains locking mountains, waters sleeping over waters, the wind losing its tongue
and the heart, jumping with musical rests, drizzling continuously

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