CHINESE DREAM 1
Timid Timothy read Cathay,
indiscrutable Timothy moped.
I tuned his voice,—a thing all pieced together.
It was the silence that they violenced
(they could do it) that made Tim quiet & dismay.
But could he have called out defiance?
All the world like a Marco Polo
once did plumb poor Timothy’s mind.
Then came a translation.
Thereafter nothing fell from his mouth but coin.
I can see how Timothy, rind
of the world’s desire, fell behind.
What he has now to say is a song
plundered by the world, clear & free.
Back in the bamboo I was mad
as a clattering bowl, and I rang.
Soft on the hand glows prosperity
and quiet grows every head.
CHINESE DREAM 2
The brain is zoned! no Chinese here, no bro
there, no silk road, and still no promises.
But poets’ purposes
need exploiters, readers. Timothy’s o-
ppressed. Honored gentlemen, y u no shame,
make poor Chinaman take the blame?
Confucius say that all chinks come to grief,
but what he know? We do a fan-dance, sir,
one scrape, one fumble,
if that make you feel like you inspire! Thief,
Columbus, what you call, mister; just give us
—Charlie Chan, or Fu Manchu: so sorry
we illegal & we home. How you feel?
Sun rise still in east.
—So hard. Chonged or chinged, though, Ch’ing & Ming.
Excrusion act, say Chinese go home.
I no home to go.
CHINESE DREAM 3
Ginger, burnt incense, ashes, puckered skins.
—I am so old that now I’m young again,
said made-up homely P.R.C.
A filial child scrubbing father’s floor, the stain
(—My Confucius can lick your Confucius.) All Chinese come here as orphans.
These old-timers will all sooner or later
be evicted. I’ve been reading old books.
The I-Hotel, out of business now.
Thin chests sick. Secret Asian men.
They hold their breath til they feel
the walls whiten & waver.
Li Po was a dick.
I abhor his wine & sadness
& translated all-American journeys.
A drowning worse than the poems
where the dull render & mug,
Li Po’s. As he said,—
CHINESE DREAM 4
Filling your full & avaricious body
with kung pao chicken, you quote Confucius
Feigning interest, I cleared your table
and only the fact of history & my four grandparents
kept me from springing on you
or kicking with my little feet and crying
‘You are the dullest one for years of write
that Tim’s poor ears
have suffered, Bonehead.’ I discoursed upon
(despairing) chop suey. —Doc Fu: world full
of poets, feed on you.
—Black hair, complexion sallow, slant eyes
downcast…The mob inside me feasts…What slanders am
I gnawing on, under here?
The restaurant swells. Just go back where you came from.
No where you’re really from. There ought to be a law against Chinese.
—Mr. Chan: there is.
CHINESE DREAM 5
Timothy sit in jar & grow old,
turn to grass inside grass,
older than U.S. & its gold,
his life is a complete silence,
Timothy sit on train & no say.
Quiet Timothy no speak aloud
but where China Man dug in ground
and blast Mountain hole to light,
history buckles & train corrupt.
“Sir, so sorry.” “S’alright.”
Timothy lie on Angel Isle,
while the poemcarvers scale the walls;
Yellow Peril, China Man,
come to build a golden land;
the bodies of the dead give their metaphors
to the hungry child.