Poem: Me, or a Monkey

Here is another poem written by Li Wei (translated by M.J.):

Me, or a Monkey (我,或一只猴子)

To lessen the burden
Of the nation, of the people
An average man
A completely inconspicuous person
A person of no contribution whatsoever to society
Consent to give up from now on
My title as a human
From now on I will rapidly devolve
Devolve into a monkey
A monkey who is symbolically primitive
I think, this for me
Is progress in thought and action
An improvement and a rising in the ranks
And also for many who are like me
For those who feel remorse toward the nation and its people
It is a kind of guidance and encouragement
I sincerely hope
That myself as a devolved monkey
Can willingly be leashed on a rope
My master, is a peasant
Whose home land’s has been swallowed by floods
I would agree, upon the city’s empty grounds
In the short time before the police rushes to disperse us
To perform my most famous tricks
Using all kinds of humorous and amusing antics
Emulating and reliving my previous life
So that I can earn a few pennies
For my homeless peasant master
Spare some change for him to settle.
And for those laid-off factory brothers and sisters
Who happen by fate to watch me perform
To their worn out faces and hearts
I can bring some momentary happiness
Of course, the more beautiful hope is that
The homeless peasant
Has a home has land has crops to harvest
That laid-off factory brothers and sisters
Have a stable income and various social security
A civilized lifestyle of concerts movies and leisurely readings
They all live carefree healthy and happy
They all no longer need me, this monkey
If that’s so, then send me to the zoo
I would much rather be with children
And bring joy to their childhood
But different from the other monkeys in the zoo is that
I would never fight with the innocent lively children
For their apple banana or other foods or goodies
I would be attentive every moment
When I am playing with and entertaining them
To not hurt a hair on their bodies
Because such is how I love them, love them
Like a love for every glistening kernel of star in a dark sky
Or a love for every morning lit up by the brilliance of the sun
They are humans, and are also my – this monkey’s –
Hope for tomorrow, for the future
For this priceless, beautiful hope
I would even throw myself without hesitation
In front of those ruby-colored faces of public servants
And those fat-filled brains of the new emerging bourgeoisie, feasting at the banquet of life
And let them publicly crush my skull
And suck clean the last drops of poetry, what remains of my previous life, still clinging to my mind
And in this way, balance the growing insanity
That continues to wound the country and the people, buttressed by power and money
Would die without regret

So look
I am just such a monkey
A designated monkey
An inconspicuous monkey
A forever patriotic and public-serving monkey.


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