December 17, 2010


Haven’t been here for too long.

Am really not good at saying goodbye, even to a blog.

But now it’s the finale…

Doctor Wang, well, that really seems to be an interesting title…

January 28, 2008

Going Home——a parody of William Empson's Autumn on Nanyue

Writing about web page

“The soul of waiting” is just
what we travellers have to do
(The souls are not lonely now, this city
trapped 100, 000 and as I write
the number perhaps goes up to two
all shudder at the winter’s thrust
In cradles that enourage ‘flu)
Into the warmer Cantonese fair
we entered and otherwise never dare
And men get curiously non-plussed
more urgent is the food than care
The proper trains to get on board
are those remain in your thought
Let the next schedule be discussed
we bet on the fate and leave it to the God
Going home is quite a trouble
But of mother that dinner
many years have failed to smother
As a piece of ice platter
It would not repay me a double

January 18, 2008


Follow-up to Me from XIULU


Not knowing which world to call home ,
He chose an arbitrary tongue and creed ,
Pitched an improvised tent on sand .
Beneath the canopy of a little star ,
He began his heart’s commerce with things :
was that the real me ?

By chance on his long trek he encountered an idol ,
Assumed the semblanceof a worshipper ,
Calling these men friends , those men enemies ,
Deploying emotions in their appropriate places .
The little shop of his life throve :
was that the real me ?

After a spell of prosperity he went broke ,
As if he had toppled his own dynasty .
The world cold-shouldered him , ridiculed him , punished him ,
And yet all he had lost was his crown .
Lying awake at night he brooded :
was that the real me ?

Meanwhile another world was posting bills for a missing person .
His disappearance surprised the vacant room
Where another dream was waiting for him to dream ,
And numerous rumours were ready to give him a shape
Hinting at an unwritten biography :
was that the real me ?

January 16, 2008


Not knowing which world is the home
He chose this language, this religion
He put up a interim tent above the sand
Then enjoyed the shelter from the tiny star above his head
He started the emotional trade with things
Not knowing if it is really Me.

On the journey he ran into an idol
Then turned into its aficionado
Call these friends, and those enemies
Joy anger sorrow and pleasure are put where they should go
The small shop of his life is glorious and rich
Not knowing if it is really Me.

Prosperity for a time, and he went bankrupt
As if a dynasty overthrown by its own hand
Things slighted him, mocked him, punished him
Yet all he lost is but a coronet
Awake at midnight he does feel sad
Not knowing if it is really Me.

Another world posts a notice of someone missing
His disappearance surprised an empty cabin
Where there is another dream waiting for him to sleep
and many rumors waiting to have him made
All these indicate an unfinished biography
Not knowing if it is really Me

Mu Dan (1976)

January 03, 2008

song of the new year

Happy New year!

Hope it is still now too late to wish myself a happy new year. There was no romantic counting down at all, yet I guess I am already over with those teenage enthusiasm or passion when the new year clock beats. I spend my New Year eve “dating” Hegel and the following evening on the coach back to Zhuhai. I don’t make new year wish, and this year it is a pledge. I have to wrap up everything this year, and it seems now I have already stopped worrying about what I am going to get - a Mexican wrap or a Chinese dumpling - anything, as long as it is wrapped!! There are so many appealing stops ahead: Greek beach, Indian temple, Mexican chilly, even Vancouver cherry tree?? I just need a food pack so that I can go on this journey of my life.

Maybe it’s a poisonous lunch box that I am taking, but at least I know it tastes good…

A song for the new year
-—For my seemingly endless writing on Mudan
Breaking through the soil,
shoots the seed of the tree
Sun-air-dew and it grows
And wildly without a leaf

I study it close and keen,
Knowing that I look not
at the Jack’s bean

Touching its bough and seeing apparition
Frozen on my lip the unasked question
What is it like --
The curse of your verdurous penetration?

As no reply I hear or encounter
Then my tree, or the tree of stupidity
back I go and sit under.

December 10, 2007

Not a feminist

Ran across Hannah Arendt half way in my writing of ‘the political and the personal’. When she drafted this little poem and put it to her own file, did it ever occur to her that it may someday go public?

How could one ever understand a woman in love ---- yet how could one never understand?

Re Vita Activa
This book’s dedication has been left out.
How should I dedicate it to you,
To the most trusted one,
To whom I remained true
And untrue
And both in love.

November 20, 2007

The Key

What does a post card want to say to you? On what conditions is it possible? Its destination traverses you, you no longer know who you are. At the very instant when from its address it interpellates, you, uniquely you, instead of reaching you it divides you or sets you aside, occasionally overlooks you. And you love and you do not love, it makes of you what you wish, it takes you, it leaves you, it gives you.
Jacques Derrida Post Card

Long ago I told my students that I felt writing a blog is like writing a post card without an addressee. My text travels, and I locked up the meaning with my words. It frightens me suddenly as I logged into my long deserted blog today, that if the only key is my memory, what would happen if I lost it? Would I become a stranger to myself? Or rather would the place become a wasteland, not Eliot’s wasteland, but no man’s land of growing weeds?
Reading Sartre’s Why Write this week. Struggling to convince myself that he must be right: it is a commitment to freedom that we write; and then the amnesia becomes an ultimate blessing, for it sets the writer free.

July 26, 2007


late dinners
scrounge nights
and seeing the midnight bear*

eggo’s waffle
Illy’s coffee
and missing the frech eclaire

deaf ears
blind eyes
and knowing the sky is getting clear

  • Yesterday, a bear came to our yard at 12:30 midnight. We stared at each other for a while. Sympathetically, she left quitely.

July 11, 2007

you might be a graduate student if

Joined a a facebook group today. The Group is titled: Graduate students: We are not bad people, we are just people who make terrible life decisions.
In the group description, the administrated list 101 possible ways of deciding whether you have already become a “graduate freak”. I checked them out, and happily found that I am trapped desperately in some of the following symptoms:

you have ever brought a scholarly article to a bar.

you rate coffee shops by the availability of outlets for your laptop.

you have ever discussed academic matters at a sporting event.

you find the bibliographies of books more interesting than the actual text.

you look forward to taking some time off to do laundry.

you have more photocopy cards than credit cards.

you get irresistible urges to use in-text citations in casual e-mails.

you procrastinate on one project by working on another project.

You might be a grad student if you feel slightly sick whenever the thought occurs to you that the entirety of your thesis will be read by a maximum of five people: your advisor, an external examiner, a selfless friend editing the spelling mistakes and perhaps one or two nerds who – for some reason or another – are interested in the same stuff as you. The feeling of sickness is soon accompanied with the related question “Is it really worth all this???”

you cannot see the surface of your office desk anymore because it is covered in books, photocopied/printed articles, printed spreadsheets/graphs, half-eaten junk food, at least three empty cups of coffee stained in various colorations and a half-full cup of coffee, pens, worn-out computer and a calendar marking the days left until you have to hand in the thesis.

you find comfort, company, and solace in visiting Facebook/Myspace in the wee hours of the cold morning in the library all alone

you sleep with your laptop at your bedside.

you are startled to meet people who neither need nor want to read.

you have given up trying to keep your books organized and are now just trying to keep them all in the same general area.

you understand jokes about Foucault.

you consider caffeine to be a major food group.

you’ve ever brought books with you on vacation and actually studied.

Saturday nights spent studying no longer seem weird.

you can read course books and cook at the same time.

Very inspiring indeed, huh? I realize now I did make some REALLY terrible life decisions. : ))

June 26, 2007

my country my people

Writing about web page

Last time it was her, si yi,
the litte girl with the sweetest name,
and the bitterest death

this time it is them,
young slaves in the darkest brick kiln
and their heart breaking parents

Do we still need the legend
of the crying cuckoo
Do we still have tears
to soften the stone
Do we still dare to close eyes
in the dark
Do we still care what’s going to last
in our blood

do we still remember
do we still believe
do we still dream
do we still suffer
do we still speak
do we still think
do we still hope
do we still read
do we still pray
do we still feel
do we still act

do we still let live
or do we still live

I wrote all these in trembling and fear,
and again I ask even that I have the answer

how can I still assert
the hope of the hopeless
how can I still argue
the power of the powerless
how can I still fancy
the freedom of the never freed
how can I still write
the ethics for the unethical

and how can I still insist
what I am doing is
actully right

Outside my window I see a crow hopping joyfully among the smelly trash

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