Zhang Zhi (Diablo)


Diablo (1965— ), a prominent poet and critic in contemporary China, his original name is Zhang Zhi; Dr. Litt; born in Baxian County, Sichuan Province; his ancestral home is in Nan’an District, Chongqing City.

He is at present the president of International Poetry Research and Translation Centre, member of the International Executive Committee of the World Congress of Poets, executive editor-in-chief of The World Poets Quarterly ( multilingual).

Since 1986 he began to publish his poetry works, part of his poems has been translated into over twenty kinds of foreign languages. His poetry works has won prizes in Greece, Brazil, USA, Israel, France, India and Italy. His major publications include: RECEITA (Portuguese-English-Chinese ); The Selected Poems of Diablo ( English); Poetry by Zhang Zhi ( German-English-Portuguese); Selected Poems of Diablo ( Chinese-English) and The Serial Comments on the Vanguard Poets in Contemporary China. He is the compiler of three poetry selections such as The Selected Poems of the International Contemporary Poets ( English- Chinese); Selection New Chinese Poetry of 20th Century(Chinese-English) and The Book Series of World Poets ( Bilingual).

1. Order Passed On

- An Exercise in Different Lines on a Piece of Out-of-date News

The Regimental Commander to the battalion commanders
“At eight this evening, the Halley Comet
will appear over our garrison area
This phenomenon only appears once
in every 76 years. Order all soldiers
to wear camouflage painting dress and gather on the drill ground
I will explain this rare phenomenon to them
If it rains, order them to gather in the auditorium
I will show them a film about comets.”

A battalion commander to the company commanders
“According to the Regimental Commander’s order, the Halley Comet
will appear over our drill ground at eight this evening
If it rains, order the soldiers to wear camouflage painting dress
and go to the auditorium in line.
This phenomenon that appears once in every 76 years
will appear there ”

A company commander to the platoon leaders
“The Regimental Commander orders: At eight this evening
the extraordinary Halley Comet
will appear in the auditorium in the camouflage painting dress
If it rains on the drill ground
the Regimental Commander will give another order
This order only appears once in every 76 years ”

A platoon leader to the squad leaders
“ At eight this evening, the Regimental Commander
will appear in the auditorium with the Halley Comet
This thing only happens once in every 76 years
If it rains, the Regimental Commander will order the Halley Comet
to wear its camouflage painting dress and go to the drill ground ”

A squad leader to the soldiers
“When it rains at eight this evening
accompanied by the Regimental Commander
the 76-years-old General Halley
in his camouflage painting dress and in a car of ‘Comet Brand’
will go to the auditorium by way of the drill ground ”

The order Passed on
Regiment X, US Army, 1910

Written on Jan. 18, 1999

2. The World Is Swaying in a Binoculars

The world fouled by
trash, semen, nuclear waste, heroin, blood and AIDS
can never be cleaned

Look! The world has entered KTV chartered room
Who knows which beautiful beast
delightfully moaning under his hips again
Tonight, the damned world will surely play rough
—It is also OK
if you image the scene
to be the Third World War

Rivers run east
Misses go west
The world is like a lost lamb
standing at a crossroads
asking robots going north and south
“To whom I should bow, sir ? ”

The world is applauding for politicians with its feet
The politicians bathe the world in blood

The world cannot see clear our faces
maybe we have no face
“We can be shameless since we have no face ”
a certain damned artist said so.

The world is waving its penis
howling on the top of the UN Edifice
“Behold , it is great ”
In fact, last night
this fellow whispered to me in the dream
“Sir, my penis is of no use”

The world is unhurried
The world is not frightened
The world has gone under the wheel of history
but no blood is coming out
Who has ever seen the real blood

Whetting the knife, the world
is gouging out its own flesh
day and night. Dearth
is singing an everlasting song in a drop of blood
“Breast-fattening cream fattens the breast, not the waist”

Written on November 20, 1997

3. Rising

You are aloft, evil, elegance and gloomy
Like a snow leopard, like a crescent moon
My witch, my Mona Lisa
In your melancholy and mysterious eyes
I’m willing to be gracefully cut by your knife
I’m willing to turn into a pile of ash
Pillowing the green hills and rivers alone
Listening to your wordless repent
Plum, I’ll stand in the hell or heaven
To see how you draw back the cutting edge of your red lips

No, in the centre of the storm of time
I, a free poet
In the instant of falling, will die without a burial place
If I refuse to rise

© Zhang Zhi (Diablo)