Sentences walk by Zhang Wei


Writing is to write sentence by sentence.
To write things in my way.
The blank space that follows the sentences is also a part of the writing.
I always write in an expanse of air.
A proper sentence can bring the right amount of dopamine, which I genially call “sentential dopamine.”
Grab those erratic sentences and stabilize them to become a new substance.
Writing is the design of words.
I need a room to write in. I have no experience writing outdoors.

 —Zhang Wei

1. Farewell

I’ve seen a decent lady, who was so decent that I wanted to call her a lady. But having said that, what is decent anyway – everyone has their own opinions. When I saw her, she was sitting in a chair. It didn’t take long for her to stand up. The moment she was about to get up, she gently left a fart on the chair, and then stood up. Right as she was leaving, the fart rose from the chair, invisible, as a farewell.

2. I’m writing poems

Please hold this book in your hand. It is very light; it takes no effort. You don’t have to open it. You only need to hold it to feel its full weight. It is so light, so light that you don’t care about losing it, so light that you are willing to hold it forever. I tell you that I am writing poems, and at the moment, it is happiness. I don’t know what else is needed besides happiness. When I tell you I am writing poems – should I also tell you what else is in the air besides happiness? I say, I see transparency and I invite you to take a look as well.

3. A rabbit

A rabbit has soft and white hair and is very large. This rabbit appears in the neighborhood at night. Because it is large enough, it sits on the top of a building with its feet just reaching the grass on the ground. Everyone is sleeping when it appears, and no one sees it. But there is a little kid, he is thinking in his heart that somewhere in the world, there might be such a rabbit, big enough, soft and white enough. He would hug it if they met, although he would only be able to hold some of its hair.

4. The crisper a cookie is, the easier it will fall and become dust

If we stop the work of our hands, just merrily eat cookies all day long. The sound of crumbling cookies uninterruptedly rings in our ears. If we eat enough cookies, we can create cookie-smelling dust.

5. Integration

A book has been placed on the tea table for many days, and it has already become integrated in that environment. After removing this book, I feel a temporary vacancy.

6. A leaf

I found a shaded place to park the car and waited to pick up my son. I was reading a book on the mobile phone. Suddenly something fell in through the car window, the sound was loud. I took a look at it, it was a leaf that fell in. It fell from an unknown tree. About this feeling, I wanted to write it down.

7. Events

The motorcyclist lay on the roadside grass with his foot injured a bit and his eyes closed. He said he needed to lie down and take a rest. He looked more tired. Plums were scattered all over the ground like fishing-net buoys on the sea-surface. The motorcycle was parked on the road. The person the motorcycle hit was my nephew – after hitting his leg, he fell to the ground, but the leg wasn’t injured. His head was knocked against the ground. The motorcyclist’s clothes were stained with grout, he looked like a construction worker who was hurrying home. My nephew was returning from school after taking the national college entrance examination, also hurrying home, and also tired. I still remember now when I was in my twenties, at a stoplight. My body flew over a motorcycle, my mouth hit the pavement, and my teeth bit through my upper lip . When I was lying on the ground, I felt relaxed and quiet, didn’t want to get up. Those events that prevent us from moving forward, let’s stop and feel real existence. Let’s look after ourselves respectively; I did not ask this tired motorcyclist to take any responsibility, nor did I help him to pick up the plums that were still intact.

8. Family members walk across the zebra crossing

Every day when I go to work, I walk across the zebra crossing alone. Only after getting off work, my family members cross the zebra crossing together in a fixed formation.

9. Night

The street is a little empty during the day, and at night, the street is filled with night. The night is like an object, placed outside my window.

10. The wall in the frame

To put something in a frame, it reminds us to notice the thing. To think of the four sides of a wall as a frame, we will naturally focus on the wall inside the frame. Sometimes there is light glinting on it, sometimes there are uncertain things in the shadows, and there is a kind of stillness, and there is a kind of emptiness.

11. Writing is my work

I write on my mobile phone, my writing is mobile, so my working studio is also mobile. But I always write in an expanse of air, my studio is an expanse of air.

12. A bubble that appears when washing dishes is a small part of the matter

When washing the dishes, a bubble came out from the mouth of the liquid detergent bottle, and quickly dispersed. It had distracted the person who was washing the dishes.

13. Reading books

An important reason why many people don’t like reading is because the books are unreadable. The writings are unreadable and the books look ugly. You know some books have an extraordinary quality just by looking at their appearance. You want to hold some books forever. There are very few girls who love reading too. If it is possible to write and design a book better, hold it, like holding a beautiful handbag. Also, liking books doesn’t necessarily mean liking to read them. I pile up a lot of books beside the head of my bed. I don’t open and read them very often, but I like that they’re piled up there, so close to me. Perhaps, liking them that way is the real way to like a book. Some books make people happy just by looking at their appearance.

14. Thankfulness

My son found an insect called a “night moth” and placed it into a transparent bottle for observation. The medium between the human and the insect is very transparent. It’s like the air between people, or people and other objects. Here we thank the air, thank the transparent things, and other things that are invisible but actually existing – they maintain our relationship with things.

15. Sentential dopamine

In the microscopic world, a myosin is dragging a ball of fat endorphins and walking on the single fiber of the cerebral cortex, which looks a little sweatful but also a little swaggering. Good poems are associated with endocrine, make the body release pleasant hormones. A proper sentence can bring the right amount of dopamine, which I genially call “sentential dopamine”.

16. Umbrella

I bought a quite portable umbrella in Guilin. Its hood is made of transparent plastic. I still use this umbrella after coming back, enjoying its lightness and convenience. As for its transparent hood, I can’t think of any special use; anyway, it is possible to watch the rain outside through it. Normally we stand outside in the rain and watch the rain. Maybe when we want to watch the rain from within, such an umbrella is just right.

17. Small fan

The child being held in my arms is sound asleep. Her exhaled is somewhat strong, like a small fan with a UPS interface. To put my face close to hers, it almost feels like it is vibrating, unlike a gust of cool wind, but rather like an electric current.

18. Craft improvement

I see a good-looking broom in the supermarket, but don’t know if it is user-friendly. Good-looking and user-friendly tools of labor are motivations to enjoy labor, making people want to improve their craft, just like good-looking knives make people want to show off the art of cutting.

19. Light

Light is everywhere, it seems like it can’t be piled up still on the ground – it is flowing towards the surroundings. Someone in the field is holding a metal tool, and it flashes in the sun. The man looks like he is glowing.

20. What’s important about a sofa is its softness

Sitting on a sofa is sitting on the soft part of the sofa, and that part leaves a depression. So parts of your body sink and are temporarily unseen. A sofa hides a part of you.

About the Author

Zhang Wei (张维), was born in 1980, sometimes writes, lives in Yunnan, China.

About the Translator

Xi Nan (Nancy) 西楠, born in China, writes and translates, author of different genres. Latest hybrid texts: Brandy (published by Alien Buddha Press). Her Twitter: @XiNan_Nancy

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