Archive of Issues
Archive of Narrations
Syndic Literary Journal

Beijing Is Crying

Written by Cong Rong

Translated from the Chinese by Jami Proctor Xu

Narrated by Jami Proctor Xu


Beijing is crying,

crying like a child

I dreamed a dynasty was engraved

on a rectangular wood board: Warring States

When you’re riding a camel, flying toward the colored-glaze world

My hair changes from red to blonde, black to white

As soon as you see me, you remember what you promised me

when Atlantis was sinking


My name is Catherine, Cong Zhen, Abigail, Ekaterina II, Chen Bangyan

We’ve had many children

They’ve buried our old bodies that loved each other numerous times

Remembering our past lives, necks craned, chirping at each other,

sinking into the world life after life


One life, we loved each other as brothers

You fell into the abyss helping me chop wood

I lived in loneliness for years until I died in a temple


Speeding down the highway   listening to the heart sutra

In Beijing after the rain   tears are like lightning

Atlantis surges up from the bottom of the ocean toward tonight


Cong Rong is a poet, playwright, and cross-disciplinary artist, who graduated from the Shanghai Theater Academy. In 1999, she was one of the forerunners in cross-disciplinary exploration of poetry and theater in China. She proposed the idea of “Chinese Poetry Theater” and established the First Reader Troupe, focused on integrating poetry, music, and the body. She has published several books, of poetry, plays, and the film Season of Flowers, Season of Rain. She’s the recipient of a Golden Rooster Award, Huabiao Poetry Award, and Mo Tie Poetry Award, among others. 
Jami Proctor Xu is a bilingual poet and translator. She is the recipient of a Zhujiang Poetry Award and a First Readers Poetry Award. Her translations of Song Lin’s collection, Sunday Sparrows (Zephyr, 2020), received the Northern California Book Award for Poetry in Translation.


Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
History of Syndic
Write Letter / Contact Publisher
© all photos/text

Archive of Issues

Archive of Narrations