“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

Li Hongqi's "Lucky Bastard"

By Cindy M. Carter, published

Just bought Li Hongqi's novel "Lucky Bastard" (李红旗 《幸运儿》). It was the back cover blurbs that caught my eye: high praise from Han Dong and Zhu Wen; few first-time Chinese authors can ask for better that that.

In Zhu Wen's amusing preface to the book, he admits that although he has been "lazy" about writing lately, he was pleased to write a few paragraphs on behalf of Li Hongqi, a young poet-novelist who first came to Zhu Wen's attention with his poem "Friends".

I liked "Friends" so much that I translated it on the spot:

Poem: Friends

Poet: Li Hongqi

In the autumn of 1994,
many people were engaged
in the study of sexual intercourse.
That's about the time I learned it.

Naturally, prior to that autumn
there were a good many people
who'd been having intercourse for years,
and of course a whole lot more
who hadn't mastered it,
even by the autumn of 1994.

If all those interested alumni
of the sexual intercourse
circa autumn 1994
could only find some way
to re-establish contact
with one another,
who knows...

everyone might just end up
making a friend.

(Click "more" to see the original poem in Chinese)

朋友李红旗

一九九四年的秋天
许多人都学会了性交
我就是在那时候学会的
还有很多人
在那年秋天到来之前
已经性交了好几年了
当然了, 也有好多人
直到一九九四年的秋天
也没有学会
如果有兴趣的话
那些在一九九四年秋天
学会性交的人
请想办法互相联系一下
说不定大家可以交个朋友

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