Tong Wei

Translated by Stephen Haven and Li Yongi

from Issue 24
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Its pearly eyes gaze through the window.
It only hears the toothed sunlight grind leaves.
They drift to the ground like the winds’ ears.
Dizzy, blindfolded by children,
The horse swirls around, carried by a somnambulist.
“If this is dreaming, don’t let me stop.”

From its wooden muscles
Oozes a crooked smile,
Laughter choked by children.
Time tocks out of its darkness
Then it surfaces, the shriveled face:
“No, no, it’s not like this.”

Does not open its dumb mouth.


Tong Wei was born in Beijing in 1956. She has published two volumes of poetry: When the Horse Turns Its Head (1988) and Revenges on Dream Addicts (2012).

Stephen Haven is the author of The Last Sacred Place in North America, winner of the New American Press Poetry Prize, and two previous collections of poetry. He directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Ashland University, in Ohio.

Li Yongyi is Professor of English at Chongqing University, in Chongqing China. He is the author of one collection of poems, Swordsman Poet Phanton, and has translated fourteen books into Chinese from English, French and Latin, including Catullus’s Carmina.

Original text: 小木偶 and 小木马 from Revenges on Dream Addicts Guilin: Lijiang River Press, 1988.

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