1: In Psychiatric Department

A yellow
Dark-skinned girl is
Sitting sideways on a
Wooden armrest
Long fringes fall over
She looks at me through her finger gaps
Cautiously, introvertedly

2: Notes from a Bipolar Patient

I’m staying in a mental hospital
Trying to record something
I’m always trying to record
People yearn for immortality

I’m not participating in, their games
The medication in exchange makes my head heavy
Lethargizing, lethargizing, lethargizing
These days I spend a lot of time in lethargy
Really afraid of dying in sleep like this
It turns out, I’m also afraid of death

It cuts my heart to think about leaving this world
There are so many uncompleted things
Uncompleted love
So I just have to, live on
To live on, to love, to create

You must make yourself believe
That everyone, is here to help
You think so
Things will then really develop towards this direction
Give it a try –
Be sober, close your eyes, and lie back with all your strength
Like there is no gravity
You must believe that they are just behind you and getting you
Accepting you. Only love

And if you hate lethargy
Will have to cherish every conscious moment
Oh, my ten fingers for creation
How can I use them to, tell tales

I’m staying in a mental hospital
Trying to record something
The boy next door thought he was in a prison
What he is so nagging about
Is the piece of plastic label tied to everyone’s right wrist
On it there is our name
Age, gender, and department
This boy can recite ancient poems
He recites Li Bai’s “Moonlight there is afore my bed (床前明月光)”
And comes to ask, if I can teach him more ancient poems
Another gorgeously dressed girl
Dresses up every day, pacing back and forth in the long corridor of the hospital
Seems lost in thought
Don’t understand, how can the nurses tolerate her not wearing a patient gown
There is also an old lady who knocks on my door at late night
Claims wishing to make friends with me
She doesn’t wear a patient gown, either
Instead wearing a bright red jacket, sunglasses at late night
“Can I come in and sit for a while? I want to make friends with you”
She says to me
She has indeed scared me
And she comes again and again, “I feel being linked with you by fate”
She really wants me to open my mouth and talk
But hell no, I don’t even know her
There are a lot more things

I’m staying in a mental hospital
Trying to record something
For the first time, I feel so close to death
I even start to think
After death, who should help
To publish my works
Seriously, I should be afraid of the way I write
I’m loving it so much
Therefore, I love, even more than, I write
Always for long, I dare not pick up a pen
Worried about ruining its perfection once I start writing
I am afraid I will be burned by it, eaten by it
I am afraid I will be burned by it

The feeling of burning is exact
No one knows this exact feeling better than me
But now I want to live on
An unprecedentedly strong desire
Now I will live on
For a long, long time
To love, to create, to live a good life

3: Want to Write

Want to write
Just want to write
I want to leave more things before I become a real mad person
Or, to leave more
Before my sensitive nerves disappear
Really interesting, when I attempted to type “disappear” in pinyin*
The computer input has associated the word “hour”**
It also knows, all this has something to do with time
“Elapse” is also related to time
I may not become a good writer
I sadly think
My writing is too lack of planning, too random
Is it unreliable to just use passion to write?
I would pay attention to the footsteps on the long corridor of the hospital
Is that bad?
Mom and Dad want me to think less
Be more positive
Be happier
Yu thinks so, too
I typed “positive” and “happier”
The computer says “almost”
I’m waiting
I’m waiting
Now the sky is dark
A rain that never falls
Sounds of muffled thunder
I remember this was my favorite in my childhood
This feeling, heavy rain, total darkness in the daytime
And I would sit quietly in the room and do whatever
Feeling safe
I will remove this supernatural feeling from myself
Later, let’s just forget about all this
Just live hard
I love this world so much

4: Survived in Death Line

No silly trying, no stupid dying
My medical report has fully
Illustrated this
Something was wrong, seemed to be hepatitis B
The doctor said, luckily
The antigen was negative
Just that the antibodies were so many
Normally it seems to be 10 something
But I had more than 300
My mother said, this meant
Hepatitis B disease had once fought a war in my body
My body competed with it
And the body won, and left these antibodies
The doctor said, the more antibodies the better
Meant the strong resistance to hepatitis B disease
But after all this shows that
I’ve once infected hepatitis B disease
Survived in death line
The mere thought strikes terror into me
How could I, live a better life?
I’m always so bad at life
Am I not holding it too tightly

5: Dismal Life of a Smoker

I want to hide by the only open window at the end of the hospital corridor
To smoke a cigarette
But there are too many people, they’re doing exercises
Stretching arms, stretching legs, whatever
I thought even though they were stretching their arms and legs or whatever
Nobody would walk to the window, so deep
But a big guy comes over
It’s like, he has already seen through my conspiracy
I want to smoke a cigarette in the small garden on the sixth floor of the hospital
But there are signs everywhere in the small garden:
Smoke-free hospital, smoking is prohibited here, and so forth
The small garden is just facing the one after another doctor’s office with their windows open
Damn it
Anyway I could smoke on the first floor
There is big empty space for parking and reversing there
I go for a walk with Yu whenever I get the chance
Happy like a king, for a little while
The problem is
It’s too troublesome to go to the first floor:
I need to lock the door—too many patients stay along the corridor
And I don’t have the key
This means after the door is locked
After just five minutes by when I’ve finished a cigarette downstairs
I would have to run upstairs and ask the nurse for the key
And if I keep doing this
The nurse will hate to see me
Finally I decide to hide in the toilet in my room to smoke
I take a disposable plastic cup
Pour in some water
It then becomes a perfect ashtray
The cigarette butts I secretly smoked the last few times
Are lying quietly in the cup now
The butts are soaked and the water has become yellow
Like a kind of pleasant psychedelic
I pick up this cup again
Lock myself in the toilet
Wolf down my cigarette
I keep inhaling until the filter tip becomes hot
Oh, damn sweet

6: Everyone on the Terrace of the Sixth Floor is Like a Long Take

Everyone on the terrace of the sixth floor is like a long take
There is a small garden on the sixth floor of the hospital
And I prefer to call it: terrace
Open air, a romantic way to call it
People on the terrace of the sixth floor
They’re always walking slowly
Going in circles, or pacing in a same place
Anyway, they’re slow, slow
Some people do exercises, stand in a place
Alternate arm flailing, pounding their shoulders
Or step on the flowerbed edging
With alternate leg, too. It becomes bouncing when speeding up
There is also an old gentleman who plays badminton
The first time, he saw me and Yu sitting on the concrete steps beside
He said to me: “You two are so happy! The disease must be gone quickly!”
He also suggested me to smoke less
I’ve seen him playing badminton twice, on the open air terrace of the sixth floor
The second time his sister came
Sister lulled him and said: you can leave the hospital tomorrow, how great
Sister wanted him to do more outdoor exercises, play badminton or something else
Sister was gone, the old man hugged her tightly before she left
Others saw his sister gone, they asked the nurse:
Will he be discharged tomorrow?
The young nurse shook his head with a serious look
When the old man turned to the other way
And bent down to
Pick up a badminton that
Fell on the floor
Everyone on the terrace of the sixth floor is like a long take
Sometimes I sit on the long concrete steps on the edge of the terrace
There sits two irrelevant strangers beside
They’ve taken off their shoes, barefoot, light a cigarette
Use their home dialect to talk about something
Their home dialect is very much like Hokkien
But I can’t be sure
And there is an old lady in wheelchair
Brings a radio of her own
Rustling sounds from the radio, and there is music
All old Chinese songs
Very much like going back in time
It’s so damn romantic
It’s so damn romantic
Everyone on the terrace of the sixth floor
Is like a long take

7: Untitled

I didn’t realize any truth from poetry
My desire for self-destruction is so deep, so heavy
Never disappears
But love, oh, creation
Oh, love, to walk back towards
Our life – right now
This thought defeats everything else


pinyin (拼音): the Romanization of Chinese characters based on their pronunciation. In Mandarin Chinese, the phrase “pin Yyn” literally translates into “spell sound.” In other words, pinyin is the spelling out of Chinese phrases with letters from the English alphabet.

** The words “disappear (消失)”, “hour (小时)” and “elapse (消逝)” have similar pronunciations in the Chinese language; so do “happy (快乐)” and “almost (快了).”