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Xiao Qiang: Big Guy

June 27, 2007

1989 Democracy Movement veteran Jiang Pinchao, now living in Los Angeles, compiled 385 poems to mark the 18th anniversary of the June 4th crackdown. Advance drafts of the book, reproduced in pirated editions, have been confiscated by officials throughout China. This is translations of a small selection of the poems.

Big Guy (大爷)

Xiao Qiang (萧强)

Who’s in charge here?
I want to speak with him.

Tell me, whose lousy idea
Was all this?

We were just fine here in Beijing;
What are you doing, driving your tanks in here?

You’re Chinese, too!
Put down your guns, I’ll take you to Tiananmen for a look.

Please, put your guns down!
It’s just a bunch of kids over there.

From “Beijing Notebook” (北京诗笺)