A Fateful Night

I drink tonight, to the city that weeps.

A toast it shall be,

from the lips of a man who loves truly

the vast lands of China.

— she deserves better;

But it doesn’t matter now, does it?

Salvation comes to those who need it not.

 

An old woman by the garbage dump—

A black dog with a severed tail— 

Everyone is drifting into the endless night.

It comes early now.

Eyes Of A Man

I fish out from your eyes of dark sea 

the rising new moon

and paint it into a golden sun.

For when you look at me, for a second, 

my body unfurls like a dahlia in the late August.

Your touch will bring fruition,

Yes, your touch— 

 

I write you into my poems but a poet is a liar.

For I’m just a stranger in a cafe falling into your stories, where

no spring will come and no winter’s ceremony 

will grace a silent character like me, while 

your eyes flow and dwell at no places.

 

My somber heart searches for you nonetheless,

and my body, like a dahlia…

A Death In The Sun

Man speaks your name like a burning anathema,

and picks up your body where 

butterflies of newspapers circle above you.

 

The yellow sun is in your hair,  the darkened color 

of tamed waters.

The warm yellow sun—

The quiet yellow sun—

 

Your death rides a black van;

Your death, more real than life, comes at five o’clock, 

in a wedding tuxedo.

To P. Schief

Our stars are distant now, brother, 

they are fleeing from us like yesterday’s ambition, soon to be lost

in a used-up reality.

In this concrete jungle, like school children, hardly prepared 

for the whirlpool of life, we too thought youthful dreams could stay useful 

and ideals, time-worthy.

 

But we hang on to our pen, hour by hour, day by day,

walking on the streets where whores and beggars cut life

into poetry.

Sometimes death grabs one of them and crowns them in a faraway kingdom,

we marvel at the loss, 

we envy,

But we can’t turn blood into ink, 

But we can’t.

We are thirty years old, almost

time for whatever hidden seeds to sprout, almost

time for whatever hidden seeds inside us 

to sprout.

But we can’t turn blood into ink, my brother.

But we can’t.

We can only write and write, wringing the eternal from a pile of wastes.

 

On the empty streets they give us life and weep with us.

On the empty streets they give us death and laugh with us.

We take and take, hands full and empty, full and empty, 

until we think we have the world in our hands, a handful of dusts

on the last day of October, a burning October.

 

Our stars are distant now, brother,

the stars that guided us in the first thirty years of our life are fleeing 

into the next thirty years, if only in a fantasy.

But you and I, like school children, have a vision of the world 

where, like Ithaca, the treasure of the earth-and-heaven is given 

after a long long journey. Some reach it in a jet, 

while we must trek through swamps, rivers and even oceans.

We’ll be there, brother, we’ll be there!

 

Because we hang on to our pen, hour by hour, day by day…