Three Poems
LIUYU CHEN 
Moonlight Pours on Li Bai's Bedside and He Thinks It's Frost

I turn my face to the window. In my sleepless 
eyes the moon multiplies. Mom
hand washes our clothes on the balcony again.

She kneads, brushes, twists and drains. 
Sometimes she stops for a loud sneeze. 
Nobody says Bless you back home. 

Half-bucket of water splashes my dream. 
Smooth on one side, the soap scents my skin, 
my hair, my ears, my neck.
Listen, before you toss and turn again:

Unleash your desire,
see how far you can chase it.



月光洒在李白的床前,他以为是霜


我将脸转向窗外,在我失眠的
眼里,月亮叠晕。母亲
又在阳台上手洗着我们的衣服

她揉搓,刷洗,过水,拧干
偶尔停下来打一个响亮的喷嚏
在家里,没有人说:“祝福你。”

半桶水泼溅在我的梦里
半边光滑的肥皂闻着我的肌肤,
我的头发,我的脖子,我的耳朵
听着,在你继续翻来覆去之前:

让你的欲望脱缰,
看你能把它追到多远。







Nothing Falls on the Fisherman's Dream

Soon the sea's colors will lap away 
as clouds mount over low ribs of sky.

The fisherman reels his heavy rod and heads home 
with empty boxes, feeling content.

Soon the town will warm up,
kitchens clinking, doors swinging, 

men arriving. A few human voices rise 
as the moon ebbs and the tide wanes. 

The last stranded fish let go 
of its fortune. It becomes all quiet again. 

Soon the night will begin grinding the opaque water,
underneath, currents are warming each other.

No language is adequate for this communication.
Nothing falls on the fisherman's dream.



渔民的梦里没有杂质


不久,海的颜色将拍浪褪去
云朵爬上天空低垂的脊背

渔民卷起沉重的渔竿,提着
空箱子回家,心满意足

不久,小镇将回暖过来
厨房叮当,门锁开关间

脚步停住,言语升起
月亮退潮,海浪亏缺  

最后一条搁浅的鱼放手
它的命运,一切便又安静下来

不久,黑夜将开始研磨深水
在它的腹中,暗流彼此取暖

有一种交流无需言语
渔民的梦里没有杂质






Desert Well

Struggler, look up, eye a target in front.
Walk here, now here, always follow a straight route. 
Let your limp feet tread through camel manure 
and skeletons gathered like firewood. Don't look, 
don't look down. Plough the invisible map, 
inch closer and closer towards the well 
inching away. You see, as if real, a green sea 
turns and turns up its bright corals--look beyond 
and move forward. Don't stop until you see
a pond of sky, its clear water lilting down 
to a far village. As your chapped lips resume 
pronouncing, your deep, sweet throat 
tries and tries not to swallow the sweeter lie:
that you'll never die. 



沙漠中的一口井


迷途的人,抬起头,目视前方
走到这儿,然后那儿,记得沿着直线前行
让你无力的双脚穿行在骆驼粪
和堆积如柴的骨骼之间。别看,  
别低头看。犁开脚下无形的地图,一寸
一寸靠近那眼井,虽然它却在步步
远去。你似乎真实地看见,绿色的海浪
不断翻卷上鲜艳的珊瑚。抬头远看,
不停前行,直到你最终看见
一潭天空,清水欢歌,奔向
远方的村庄。当你皲裂的双唇恢复
丰满的欲望,你那深沉的,甜蜜的喉咙
一次又一次拒绝吞下那更甜蜜的谎言:
你将再也不会死亡。













LIUYU CHEN is a bilingual (Chinese and English) writer and translator. She was born and raised in Zhejiang, China, and has studied and lived in Beijing, Kentucky, California, and now in New York. She received a B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature from Beijing Language and Culture University, and an MFA in Creative Writing-Poetry from New York University. Liuyu was selected for the 2014 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Immigrant Artist Program. Her poems have appeared in Hanging Loose Magazine and elsewhere. Liuyu is also an active translator, and she has completed translation projects for The Asia Society, the Museum of Chinese in America, among others. Beyond her interest in writing and translation, Liuyu is also passionate about humanitarian causes. She is currently interning at the United Nations Population Fund advocating for universal reproductive health and rights of women and girls.  
The Adirondack Review
FALL 2015