Three Poems by Pai Ch’iu

Problems of Bird-Raising

White sparrow                        one hundred yen
black sparrow                         thirty yen
A-huo calculates together with his old wife
space: too small
bird-seed: too expensive
There’s got to be selection

A man has to make choices
Heaven, help!
A-huo has to become God
White sparrow                        one hundred
black sparrow                          thirty
Who knows whether the value won’t change
Have anyway been born in the same hedge
Everybody has a right to live.

What remains is 
Space: too small 
Bird-seed: too expensive 
A-huo calculates with his wife 
He’s got to be God 
He’s got to kill semen
before the uterus
He cannot let grow
He cannot let live
He smashes the bird’s eggs
And lo:
All the unborn children
are bleeding themselves

                    transl. by Liang Ching-feng and Andreas Weiland

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