051.1: Yang Zi:: White Cloud & Black Face & Father
28 February 2011
As oblique as he may seem, contemporary Chinese poet Yang Zi explores lyricism by depicting a non-romanticized view of nature in industrial China. Capitalism runs amok; rivers and moons lay to waste; eight million people race across the bridge searching for fortune; deals are made; elevators and trains speed by. One gets a compressed sense of history from these poems, which reveal national consciousness in the pursuit of a global materialism. Their lyric voice consoles the moon, but the poems themselves offer us little consolation. Who is this mysterious “black face”? Why do they cut the “white cloud into geometric fragments”? The narratives find their propulsive energy from small but inexplicable moments of a disorienting reality. Craft and content merges. Characters in the poems are reduced to their barest minimum in terms of form and psychology, while the ambiance and aura is suggestive and present. Yet, arguably, the very fact of a lyric voice which yearns and mourns and screams is a sign of resistance from an individual confronted by a collective darkness.