Meeting a Chinese Poet


You are one of the delegation sent to meet the poet. At the railway station, standing in the shade, you stare north into the glare. The day is peaceful, one of those filled with continental solitude. Next to you along the platform there are dwarfs, silent and motionless. You are on the verge of remarking on this when, soundless, the train arrives, its doors sighing open. The poet in cheap clothes steps out, his face that of a man who has been released from prison only to find no-one awaiting him at the gate.



John Mateer

Author: John Mateer

John Mateer has published books of poems in Australia, Portugal, Austria and the UK, as well as booklets that have appeared in Johannesburg, Kyoto, Macau and elsewhere. The latest of his books are Emptiness: Asian Poems 1998-2012 and Unbelievers, or 'The Moor'. Over the course of two decades he has read his work in many countries. Forthcoming is a German translation of his book The West: Australian Poems 1989-2009 and a Portuguese translation of Unbelievers, or 'The Moor'. Early in 2015 The Quiet Slave: an History in Eight Episodes, his year-long collaboration with the Malay communities of the Cocos-Keeling islands and the town of Katanning, will be exhibited as part of SPACED2: Future Recall.