Yu, Ouyang

China/Australia, (b. 1955)

The Pig Incident

  1. once I poured boiling water on a pig
  2. you know it was only a dirty pig
  3. his body stinking all over and his snout smeared with mud and shit
  4. his shrieking sounded very pleasant to me
  5.  
  6. the old master scowled at me accusingly
  7. I sauntered off thinking it was only a dirty pig
  8. many years have gone by and I had forgotten that incident
  9. but tonight the dirty pig body has connected with pitying human eyes
  10.  
  11. I hear the sad shriek again from the heart of my hearts
  12. yes he’s stinking all over and his snout smeared with mud and shit
  13. he’s only a dirty pig
  14. but the dirty pig body has clearly grown to have pitying human eyes

 Yu Ouyang. Two Hearts, Two Tongues and Rain-coloured Eyes. Sydney: Wild Peony Press (2002).

The Confessions of a Pig

  1. i have a feeling that my days are numbered
  2. i can eat three meals a day plus fish and meat continuously
  3. i am getting fat putting on weight
  4. i have learnt to bow and scrape before visiting VIPs
  5. i can sleep particularly well and without a dream
  6. and i am clean and moral
  7. for i do not have heterosexual or homosexual sex
  8. castrated i am clean and i am moral
  9. and i’ve got feelings at heart for my comrades
  10. although i have to use my snout against them
  11. to scramble for an eating spot in the trough
  12. and i abide by the rules and i follow the regulations
  13. i sleep my sleep when they are dragged out to the abattoir
  14. what can i do as these rules are made by my superiors
  15. which i must obey
  16. although i sympathise with them i have no tongue to speak out
  17. and it is really good to eat and drink anyway
  18.  
  19. god has endowed me with a pig’s brain
  20. and a pig’s brain to eat/drink/sleep
  21. why should i imagine why should i rebel why should i create
  22. my role is to get fat and put on weight
  23. an order i must follow
  24. i am clean i am moral i engage in no promiscuous sex
  25. and i don’t open my mouth when something unjust happens
  26.  
  27. but i am nearing my death!
  28. take me out and kill me i scream kill me i scream
  29. i must feed you full to transcend my body
  30. i must feed you full to fly beyond my brain
  31. i must feed you full to gain a new life
  32. to imagine to rebel to create
  33. to turn god’s gift into a human brain

 Yu Ouyang. Two Hearts, Two Tongues and Rain-coloured Eyes. Sydney: Wild Peony Press (2002).

About the Poet:

Ouyang Yu, China/Australia, (b. 1955) is a poet, critic, translator, editor and novelist. After a B.A. And M.A. from Wuhan University and East China Normal University,Shanghai Yu left China for Australia in 1991 to commence a PhD at La Trobe University on the representation of the Chinese in Australian literature. He completed his doctorate in 1995.

In 1996, he co-founded Australia’s first Chinese-language literary journal Otherland [Yuanxiang], which he has continued to run as editor. He has received a number of grants and awards for his work, both as an editor and translator, and has spent periods as a writer-in-residence and as a research fellow at various Australian universities.

Yu’s poems, written both in English and in Chinese, have appeared in numerous Australian literary journals and newspapers, and have been frequently anthologised. His first poetry collection, Moon Over Melbourne, was published in 1995, and has been followed by a dozen further collections and several novels. [DES-03/18]

Additional information:

  • Cordite Poetry Review – view all posts by Ouyang Yu. Cordite Poetry Review is an Australian and international journal of poetry review and criticism, and series of print books.

A random image of a pig, hog, boar or swine from the collection at Porkopolis.