Yidan Han

  Contributing Editor:
  Kyle David Anderson

Yang Xiaobin


Yang Xiaobin, poet, critic and artist, was born in Shanghai in 1963. He is the author of nine poetry volumes and a number of critical/scholarly works in both Chinese and English. He won the 1994 Debut Poetry Collection Prize from Taiwan for his Across the Sunlight Zone, among other international and domestic literary prizes. Having earned his Ph.D. at Yale University and served as Professor of Chinese at the University of Mississippi, Yang Xiaobin is now Research Fellow at Academia Sinica and lives in Taipei.


Canaan Morse

Canaan Morse is a translator, poet and editor currently based in Boston. He is an original member of Paper Republic and co-founder of Pathlight: New Chinese Writing, for which he was the first Poetry Editor. His translations and book reviews have appeared in several international journals both in print and online, and he was the winner of the 2014 Susan Sontag International Prize for Translation. He holds an M.A. in Classical Chinese Literature from the Chinese Language and Literature Department at Peking University.



The Lighthouses

是灯塔把陆地牵引到大海里 淹没。当我们把卵石投入头脑的旋涡 远远看去,是灯塔,在沙器间 难以分辨,从星空降临的鬼影 眨着眼,掠过衰老的世纪 象站在我葬仪上的教士 用漆黑的袖袍裹走了我的一生 是灯塔,把大地击碎成海面上的船只 放逐了那些盲目的航行者 在众多灯塔的迷宫里晕眩的旅人 背负家园,喝完了 随身携带的月光,就开始寻找 但我们脚上的旅程比锁链更重 更痛,在灯塔与灯塔之间 战栗,徘徊。在岸与岸之间 灯塔用潮水弹奏着大海 无人倾听的小夜曲,弦上挂着残骸 和血污,就象挂在天边的 一盏灯塔,无人照看的 我们内心的终点,灾难,彼岸 孤零零地,在悬崖上含苞欲放 这是抵达不到的,这是 一个即将废弃的词,残留在贝壳里 缄默不语,一个 陌生的暴君或天使,如今 被朝圣者选中为时代的渔夫 捕获烽火,却用灰烬喂养我们 让我们锻炼,成为死鱼堆里的盐 那些白炽的盐也无法照亮 午夜的旅人,疲惫 被远方看不见的灯塔所迷惑 失足,坠入欲望而窒息,而赤裸 羞于启齿,被更多的灯塔击落眼睛 但我们仍然听见鸥群 在塔尖上筑巢,用粪污滋养 我们的墓碑,然后 飞出它们的居所,觅食 对灯塔不置一词


The lighthouses lead the land into the sea to drown. When we throw cobblestones into the brain's whirlpool we see it, far off, indiscernible between sand castles, a spectral shadow dropped from the night sky it blinks, sweeping over this decrepit century like the priest standing at my interment carried my life away in one black sleeve. The lighthouses break Earth into splintered ships and banish the blind passengers Travelers reeling in the lighthouse's maze forsake their households, drain their flask of moonlight and begin to search But the route at their ankles is heavier and hurts like shackles. Between lighthouse and lighthouse they shiver and pace. Between coast and coast lighthouses play the ocean's nocturne on the tide. No one hears. Carcasses and bloody flotsam dangle from the strings, like a lighthouse hung on the horizon with no steward Our inner destination, disaster, the other side A single bud breaking over the cliff wall This is beyond reach, this is a word becoming obsolete, remnants in a clamshell and unable to speak, a rapacious tyrant, or an angel, chosen by pilgrims as the fisherman of the age who steals fire from the mountain, yet feeds us ash, makes us practice, and become salt in the fish pile Yet the white-hot salt can't illumine the traveler at midnight, exhausted deluded by the lighthouses he cannot see he stumbles into desire, suffocates, naked and too ashamed to speak, smote eyeless by lighthouses Yet we can still hear the gulls nesting at the top, nourishing our headstone with feces. They leave home to find food, and make no mention of the lighthouse.

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