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Hung Hung(b. 1964)is the pen-name of Yen Hung-ya(閻鴻亞). He was born in Taiwan and graduated from Theatre Department of the National Institute of the Arts, and has, at one time or another, been an award-winning poet and author of poetry, short fiction, intimate essays and theatre criticism, chief editor of Off the Roll Poetry, artistic and stage director of “Dark Eyes Performance Lab”, which he founded in 2009, co-author of the Edward Yang's films, A Brighter Summer Day (1991), and director of more than forty plays, operas, and four films. He also has been serving as curator of Taipei Poetry Festival since 2004.


The World / 世界


The world is not outside, it’s here

In these trailers where every hour of the day

War and terror, love and laughter

Heroes and demons, celebrities and children

Flying or floating through

Prehistory through futurity

Pass before our eyes like the visions of our souls

Myopic and heavy with sleep

The world is here

Inside this endless spectacle of

Formulaic teasers

No need to even buy a ticket

You can watch them for hours on end

And in every one the people all speak English

Translated by Steve Bradbury


Scrawled on an arm /寫在手臂上


Scrawled on an arm

The name of a lover

And of a foe

Will one day be

Muddled by sweat


An abandoned church

Giving shelter to sheep and donkeys

Is converted into a mosque

Then turned by war into a mortuary


The apricot is sour when picked

But on the long

Sweltering journey to the table

Its flesh sweetens


A kiss

A simple kiss, what might that become, in the end?

Translated by Steve Bradbury


Simple World /簡單世界

you study so hard to enter a complicated world.
only to discover.
it is very simple.

some people think apples are for eating.
some people think apples are symbols.
some people don't have an apple to eat.

some people are hard at work squeezing other's bodies, their youth or their hair.
some people are only concerned with their souls.
some people don't have anything to be squeezed, but still want to give.

some people write history (although nobody reads it).
some people are only concerned with their name in history (although nobody reads it).
some people will never enter history.

Translated by Martin Winter


Homemade Bomb / 土製炸彈

Expel the Indians
To construct America
Expel the Jews
To construct Germany
Expel the Palestinians
To construct Israel
Expel the Manchus
To construct China
Expel all the impure elements
To cleanse a poem
Those unrhymed syllables
Those unpoetic words
Those corpses of language
Those refugee camps of language
An orphan breaks a baby bottle
To make a homemade bomb

Translated by Michelle Yeh and Frank Stewart





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