Tuesday Poem


everywhere they are demolishing old houses
in Beijing, Dalian, Shanghai, Ningbo, Guangzhou
everywhere the same mad stampede to be comfortably well-off
constant battling
the economy is like an ocean
like a misfortune no one survives
the economy suffers no nostalgia
the economy knows no ideal, no history
old-style courtyard homes
ancient fishing villages
the small windows and wooden doors of the South
the banner houses and old streets along the banks of the Pearl River
everywhere: demolition
the earth is covered in reinforced concrete
they try to outdo one another in height
trying to be more cool
wherever you go
the fallen leaves are swept by autumn winds
and annihiliated

by Jun Er
translation: Simon Patton