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叶星优酸乳

叶星优酸乳

从阅读中汲取勇气和力量
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Xu Lizhi

A few days ago, when mentioning Foxconn, let's also mention Xu Lizhi, a worker who worked on the Foxconn assembly line during the day and wrote poetry at night.

He used words to record his resistance to life, his thoughts on the Foxconn suicide incidents, and his observations of daily life. However, from the time he wrote his first poem in 2010, in just four years, he chose to take a leap and ended his short life.

Xu Lizhi (July 28, 1990 - September 30, 2014), a Chinese poet, was born in a rural family in Jieyang, Guangdong. After graduating from high school, he worked in Guangzhou and Jieyang. In February 2011, he entered Foxconn in Shenzhen and became an ordinary worker on the production line. After the expiration of his three-year contract in February 2014, he sought employment in Jiangsu, but soon returned to Shenzhen. On September 26, he signed another three-year labor contract with Foxconn, and on September 30, he fell to his death from a building, suspected to be suicide. Xu Lizhi loved poetry, and after his death, his works were selected and compiled into a collection called "A New Day." Sourced from Wikipedia.

Here are some excerpts of his poems for your appreciation, which can give you a sense of his melancholy through his words. If interested, you can visit this website to view over two hundred complete poems by him.

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The paper in front of me is slightly yellowed
I use a pen to engrave uneven black marks on it
Filled with vocabulary from work
Workshop, assembly line, machine, work permit, overtime, salary...
I am obedient to them
I won't shout, won't resist
Won't complain, won't accuse
Just silently endure exhaustion
At the beginning of time, when I stop
I only hope for that gray salary slip on the 10th of each month
Grant me belated comfort
For this, I must grind away the edges, grind away the language
Refuse to be absent, refuse sick leave, refuse personal leave
Refuse to be late, refuse to leave early
Standing by the assembly line, I stand like iron, hands flying
How many days, how many nights
I fall asleep standing like that

——"I Fall Asleep Standing Like That" · August 20, 2011


I walked through the factory, roadside stalls, newsstands, shopping malls
Like walking through a wriggling tunnel
When the sun rises openly from the east
I secretly walk through the darkness

——Excerpt from "After the Night Shift" · September 8, 2011


The speed I hear comes from the industrial area
The thickness of orders surpasses three hundred poems
The sweat, tears, and blood of ten thousand people
Piled up to its height
Coated with a layer of pink color
Renminbi, counted by the money counter
Reviewed by the boss
We just need to stand quietly on the side
Listen to the heartbeat during overtime
How many jumps it has made

——Excerpt from "Heartbeat" · September 11, 2011


Ice and snow never forgive winter
In the solemn ceremony of late autumn
Fallen leaves yearn for the elegy of summer
Playing the prelude of late spring

——"Countdown" · September 14, 2011


One year, I returned to my hometown
The hills of my childhood
I sat under the longan tree, lychee tree
Under the gourd and bamboo, eucalyptus tree
Looking at the houses, rice fields, and cooking smoke below the mountain
For the first time, I felt the emptiness of the distance
I lay among the grass, among the white clouds
Under the clear sky for thousands of miles
If there was a stream flowing by
I would be a child

——"Returning to the Past" · October 1, 2013


At my funeral
They cried until their faces turned red, veins exposed
Just like when I was young at the KTV
Singing until love dies

——"Filial Son, Filial Daughter" · November 6, 2013


In a space of about ten square meters
Cramped, damp, without seeing daylight all year round
Here, I eat, sleep, defecate, contemplate
Cough, have headaches, grow old, not die from illness
Under the dim light, I repeatedly daydream, silly smile
Pace back and forth, sing softly, read, write poetry
Every time I open the window or the firewood door
I am like a dead person
Lifting the coffin lid, slowly pushing it open

——"Rented Room" · December 4, 2013


Window of the World, Happy Valley, OCT East
Sea World, Xiaomeisha, Fairy Lake Botanical Garden
Diwang Building, Kingkey 100, Bao'an Airport
Shenzhen Central Book City, Shenzhen Library
Shenzhen Concert Hall, Shenzhen Youth Palace
Shenzhen Grand Theater, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen North Station
Shoe factory, electroplating factory, mold factory
Electronics factory, plastic factory, paper mill
Wire factory, furniture factory, brick factory
Toy factory, hardware factory, printing factory
Electrical appliance factory, motor factory, clothing factory
Knitting factory, product factory, meat processing factory

——"Shenzhen Shenzhen" · December 4, 2013


I swallowed a moon made of iron
They call it a screw
I swallowed this industrial wastewater, unemployed orders
The youth lower than the machine died prematurely
I swallowed the rushing, the displacement
Swallowed pedestrian overpasses, swallowed a life covered in rust
I can't swallow anymore
Everything I have swallowed before now surges out of my throat
Spreading across the territory of the motherland
A poem of shame

——"I Swallowed a Moon Made of Iron..." · December 19, 2013


A screw falls to the ground
On this night of overtime
Descending vertically, making a gentle sound
It won't attract anyone's attention
Just like before this
On a certain night
Someone fell to the ground

——"A Screw Falls to the Ground" · January 9, 2014


If it weren't for the empty house of life
I wouldn't follow myself
Walking back and forth
Crossing from one tile to
Another tile
As if taking a step above
Two tombstones

——"In One Step" · June 17, 2014


I want to take another look at the sea
Witness how vast my tears have been in half of my life

I want to climb a high mountain again
Try to call back the lost soul

I want to lie on the grassland
Flip through the "Book of Songs" my mother gave me

I also want to touch the sky
Touch that gentle shade of blue

But I can't do any of these anymore
I am about to leave this world

All those who have heard of me
Don't be surprised by my departure

Don't sigh or be sad
I was fine when I came, and I will be fine when I go

——"A New Day" · October 1, 2014


On September 30, 2014, Xu Lizhi allegedly died by jumping off a building. The next day, his final poem "A New Day" was successfully sent through a pre-set timer.

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