'When the City Gets Old' - Lok Fung

When this city starts to get old
how long can we stay young?

The night of the handover
fireworks were everywhere
scattering over every face in the city
ephemeral, flickering and gone
on our walk you were cold and remote, I was wan
on the winding slanted road
the impatient cars and seething crowds
zoomed past us
like falling firecrackers
dragging their extravagant beauty behind them

The rain-drenched steps
flickered with wet reflections 
a smell of alcohol from Lan Kwai Fong
whirled with the burning neon in the sky
soft singing seeped out from the crowded corners
revelers embraced and wished each other well
walking behind you
I lowered my head to avoid the rain from the canopies
and watched your patterned cloak
flapping about your thin form
people streamed in every direction
in the silence and chill of an ink-blue winter night 
I followed your footsteps
a light rain pitter-pattered down
misting over my eyes
and suddenly I couldn’t be certain
of the true outlines
of this city and you 

Imagine this city were already old
how long could we stay young?

After midnight passed
it was said another era was beginning
broken beer bottles dotted the road
and the shattered glass flashed with dark green light
we paused and looked around
for the way we’d come 
the insubstantial wind stirred our restless hair
I kept close to you
listening to a drunkard’s song disperse across the dark deserted alley
cheers came from the other end of the street
how should we find our way into this new century?

The journey to the century
began with a New Year’s festival
bright red, brilliant and jubilant
people in ethnic dress danced 
with a sleepy golden dragon while others sawed out squeaky tunes 
on the huqin and others put up a white stage
and piled a symbol of unity on its heavy body
but that night you wore tired black clothing
had your face lost its happy expression because
you’re not used to rowdiness or 
you’re too used to silence?

We walked past a public square full of people
and a pavilion newly erected on the water
the flying vermillion evoked the abstract brackets
of history and culture
an amplified debate 
blared out of the Legislative Council Building
we left the camera lights 
and circled the building
not grieving the columns and arches that were about to vanish
we just couldn’t avoid the light rain
and heavy wet air
we looked up to the roof where the goddess held her heavenly scales
and uneasily breathed in a new century’s night air
lightning burrowed into the right side of the sky
lights and singing filled the left side
standing on tiptoe in the uncertain middle ground
I wanted to hold on tight to something real
you looked down at me
I turned to watch the colorful lights
in the streams of people 
we were breakable as the raindrops hitting the ground

The rain started to fall harder
the street inclined and so did our drowsiness 
Leaning my shoulder toward your thick eyebrows
I asked you:
when we start to get old
how long can this city stay young?

Translated by Eleanor Goodman

Featuring Manchu, Mongolia, Tibetan, Uyghur, Hui, Tujia, Yi, Pumi, Wa, Korean and Kazakh writers, the ebook edition of Pathlight’s eighth issue is available now from iTunes and Amazon.

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"The latest issue, from Autumn 2013, is the best we’ve read yet. With a mix of short stories, poetry, author interviews, photography and art, it’s more New Yorker than HarperCollins, and the taste of the editorial board is well honed through years of immersion in Chinese literature - in the original language." A full-page review of Issue 7 in City Weekend!

"The latest issue, from Autumn 2013, is the best we’ve read yet. With a mix of short stories, poetry, author interviews, photography and art, it’s more New Yorker than HarperCollins, and the taste of the editorial board is well honed through years of immersion in Chinese literature - in the original language." 

A full-page review of Issue 7 in City Weekend!

Poets! Yes, you. Beijing Cream and Pathlight: New Chinese Writing are excited to present Poetry Night in Beijing at the Bookworm Literary Festival on Sunday,March 16, a curated community event to promote English-language POETRY in this wonderful city of ours. We need your help.
We are seeking four poets enthusiastic about reading their work for a keen audience of peers and poetry lovers. There are no limits on theme, subject, or style, as long as the pieces are original and in English. Poems written with a strong voice that plumb the depths of honesty and emotion while remaining intellectually compelling will be favored.
Those interested should send three to six poems of reasonable length to poetry@beijingcream.com. Previously unpublished work is preferable, though there is some leeway; please let us know if your submission appears elsewhere, including blogs. The soft deadline is Saturday, March 1. 
All submissions will be anonymously read by Canaan Morse, poetry editor of Pathlight: New Chinese Writing; Helen Wing, Artist-in-Residence at the Harrow International School Beijing and author of the poetry collection Archangel; and Eleanor Goodman, Fulbright fellow, Harvard Fairbank fellow, published poet and translator. We will make an effort to contact all who email, but forgive us for being unable to provide editorial feedback on all work.
Again, those chosen will be asked to be physically present at the Bookworm on Sunday, March 16 for Poetry Night in Beijing, part of the Bookworm Literary Festival.

Poets! Yes, you. Beijing Cream and Pathlight: New Chinese Writing are excited to present Poetry Night in Beijing at the Bookworm Literary Festival on Sunday,March 16, a curated community event to promote English-language POETRY in this wonderful city of ours. We need your help.

We are seeking four poets enthusiastic about reading their work for a keen audience of peers and poetry lovers. There are no limits on theme, subject, or style, as long as the pieces are original and in English. Poems written with a strong voice that plumb the depths of honesty and emotion while remaining intellectually compelling will be favored.

Those interested should send three to six poems of reasonable length to poetry@beijingcream.com. Previously unpublished work is preferable, though there is some leeway; please let us know if your submission appears elsewhere, including blogs. The soft deadline is Saturday, March 1

All submissions will be anonymously read by Canaan Morse, poetry editor of Pathlight: New Chinese Writing; Helen Wing, Artist-in-Residence at the Harrow International School Beijing and author of the poetry collection Archangel; and Eleanor Goodman, Fulbright fellow, Harvard Fairbank fellow, published poet and translator. We will make an effort to contact all who email, but forgive us for being unable to provide editorial feedback on all work.

Again, those chosen will be asked to be physically present at the Bookworm on Sunday, March 16 for Poetry Night in Beijing, part of the Bookworm Literary Festival.

Pathlight Internship: Graphic Design

Pathlight: New Chinese Writing is currently looking for a Graphic Design Intern to work alongside its English-language editorial team as they prepare to launch a brand new website and expand other operations over the upcoming months. 

The suitable candidate must be based in Beijing and will be expected to commit for a period of 16 weeks, helping out with a wide range of creative projects, including (but not limited to): overseeing online advertising campaigns, producing promotional materials, designing and updating logos and online avatars, and exploring merchandising avenues. 

Published collaboratively by People’s Literature Magazine (《人民文学》), one of China’s most influential literary journals, and Paper Republic, Pathlight publishes exclusive translations of work by established and emergent Chinese writers, such as Nobel Prize winner, Mo Yan (莫言), Su Tong (苏童), winner of the 2009 Man Asian Literary prize, and nominee for the 2011 Man Booker International Prize, Tie Ning (铁凝). Broad literary resources and a repertoire of award-winning translators have made Pathlight the newest authoritative voice on Chinese literature internationally.

Interns will be gaining comprehensive experience in working with an international brand, and leave with a broad range of materials for their portfolio. If the candidate is interested, there is also the opportunity to learn more about the process of running a literary magazine. All interns will be provided with future career support after they leave, in the form of access to a network of publishers and industry contacts, as well as the promise of supportive references. 

To apply for this position, please send a portfolio, along with a CV and personal statement explaining why you are applying, and how you can help develop our brand to alicexinliu@paper-republic.org before January 25th.

Original call posted on Paper Republic: http://bit.ly/JMpjSg