nthposition online magazine

Hinge memory: post-Communist & Karaoke blackout


[ poetry - may 08 ]

Hinge memory: post-Communist

I had flown back to see L. during the Mainland Chinese National Day holiday, when one is especially discouraged from saying certain things. She had invited me, which seemed to communicate that our intensity of euphemism hid a life-long attachment, but I felt foreign and she pushed her long-familiar body onto mine like she was trying to impress a stranger. I became certain when asked to leave the room while she listened to the messages on her answering machine. In her empty bedroom, the television was showing an immense parade to Chairman Mao. Rumor has it that his embalmed body at Tiananmen has decayed and the corpse on display is made of wax: the soldiers, in unison, chanted "A thousand years! A thousand years! A thousand thousand years!"


Karaoke blackout

Didn't want to dance, wanted
to curl into a small space and smoke.

Paul Bunyan couldn't
throw lumber like me.

Swam up and the poet was saying
watch out. Swam down.

The trouble of others
audible during the bridge.

My bladder filled with
unlimited birds.

Good or bad, a procession
of other people's songs.

Sex got away and dug
a shallow pit to sleep in.

Lesson: you can not be
and be standing.

They claim that at some point I
always tell the old story.

Lao Tzu was a man who
so loved slumber.

It's hard to walk
in the sodden gown.

The trouble of others but I
have a personal tab.

The poet on his way out
with his coat and ringing ears.

I have come to ignore
the continual singing.