Ten Poems – Fish Lu

*Translated by Xi Nan

Fire Hydrant (Selection)

I can’t see my
Woke up in the morning
And saw my room
Most of the time
I stay inside
Occasionally go out
Wherever I go
My life
Or, me
Is my life

I am lying in bed
The room is full of light
There are also places where the light does not reach
Then it is a shadow there
Some continuous sounds
Pass into my ears
That is not one sound
It is a mixture of many sounds
I think of the afternoon
Not only the afternoon
I have spent so much time in nothingness

From the end of the corridor on the 10th floor
Can see the street below
There is a small river opposite to the street
I walk in the corridor every day
When reach the end of the corridor
Will take a look at
The small river below
Most of the time
I Just habitually
Look down
And don’t see anything
Sometimes it is raining
I see the rain falling on the river

Opposite to my apartment
There is another apartment (in another tall building)
Every day from my window 
I look at the opposite apartment
I can’t see those people
Living in the opposite apartment
They can’t see me, either

Things may not be
So important as imagine
Like sadness
Like difficulty
Even ‘meaning’
These are indoctrinated things
If we change a position
It might be totally different
Thus nothing is
A must or an irreplaceable
The world is very big
Very wide
There are many possibilities
What we see is
Just one of them
And so
Nothing is a big deal
And so
To be alive – 
This is the most important thing
This is all the
Possible possibilities
The thing is like this

I have written a lot of poems
And I gave them
Different names
Today suddenly found them
No different
They totally could be
Named under one name
They are actually ONE poem
The truth is that I am living
Am writing one (long) poem
I will always write
Until I die
The thing is like this
(The thing is like this –
It is the name of a long poem
And of a poetry collection of mine)

The first tweedle from a cicada that I heard when opened my eyes in the morning
Hit on a red fire hydrant
This could only happen on a summer morning
When reach noon time, it usually drifts further into the sky

A horse
Appeared at the seaside
A photographer who lived by the sea
Took a photo of it
Many years later
One afternoon
I see it again (a horse)
On the open ground by the sea
One side is the sea
One side is the beach


It is raining today
I am reading Johnny’s work at home
(When it is not raining
I am also usually at home)
Johnny comes from Sichuan
Likes to write poetry
Now lives in Europe
To be specific
Holland in Europe

When I just arrived in Wuhan (city, China) a few years ago
People often asked me
Where I came from
I said Henan (province, China)
They would then say, Oh, Holland
Wuhan is a dialect region
When listen to Wuhan people
I can not distinguish between Henan and Holland (similar pronunciations in Chinese)

Johnny in his poems
Wrote about a single bed
Wrote about black people
Wrote about the red-light district
Wrote about cannabis
Wrote about the winter snow in Holland
Wrote about his
Foreign and Chinese friends there
Wrote about his journeys in other countries
Also wrote that he rode a bicycle to work
Every day

The rain started from last night
Until this morning
It was still raining
It is now noon time
I have finished reading Johnny’s work
The rain has not yet stopped
Neither getting any smaller
Nor any bigger

Leaf Fall Collector

As you can see.
I am a.
Leaf fall collector.
My work every day.
Is to pick up.
Fallen leaves on the ground.
The leaves are big and small.
There are pretty ones.
Not pretty ones.
And dryrotten ones.
Some are soaked in rains.
Trodden on by feet.
Or crushed by wheels.
What I have to do.
Is to collect them all.
One piece after another.
This has nothing to do with beauty.
That’s right.
I am a.
Leaf fall collector.
As you can see.
I pick up fallen leaves every day.
This is my job.