Monday, July 2, 2012

Looking Up To Jesus by Liu Xiaobo

Jesus, do you know me?
A yellow-skinned Chinaman
From where we bribe the gods with bread soaked in human
we pray to gods and Buddhas solely to exterminate divinity
our gods are burnished in gold
from emperors and sages to soldiers and virgins
countless people have turned into gods
we only beg for blessings and never repent
even a puddle of piss reflects gods upside-down

I don’t know you, Jesus
your body is too gaunt and shriveled
each rib assaultingly distinct
your posture on the cross is too tragic
each nerve bearing the suffering
head slightly angled forward
neck crisscrossed with protruding veins
hands, hanging down limp
when their five fingers extended
it was like dry branches in a fire

Humanity’s evil is too heavy
and your shoulders are too narrow
can you hold it up, the cross
that was forced upon you?
blood soaking into the wood grain
brews the wine that rears humanity
I suspect you were a bastard child
cruel god tearing the hymen open
he made you sacrifice alone
how could it have been a way to
spread the news of God’s love?

Believers who read the Old Testament
are awed by its grammar of command
and terrified by its wrathful God
no questions, no discussion
no rationale at all
belief and disbelief, obedience and disobedience
when He wants to create, He does what He likes
when He wants to destroy, the floods rise high
God has no form
but sows seeds of hate

The creation story is a bit of entertainment
that caused unprecedented evil
our progenitors, the Tree of Wisdom, the snake
make a loop manipulated by God
since the start of humanity’s exile
God has become a bottomless trashbin
back then, Jesus
you hadn’t been born yet

Between the rural manager and God’s cross
a destitute infant
turned a wrathful God into the embodiment of love
continuous repentance and infinite atonement
no boundary, no leeway
like the darkness before history

for my unassuming wife
December 26, 1998
Translated by Nick Admussen

No Enemies, No Hatred; Selected Essays and Poems by Liu Xiaobo; edited by Perry Link, Tienchi Martin, Liao & Liu Xia

1 comment:

  1. Do you happen to have any other poems from this book?