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Chinese Poetry

I do not understand Chinese poetry

its ancient traditions of Shijing and Chuci

my mind is set in Mozart, mustard and mayonnaise

in bullfights, the thrust of costumed muscle

wheels and cogsprings in Swiss watches


The West has enough beef

to make hamburgers for ten million

aspiring poets and pop music addicts

hungry after their writing exercises and juke box routines

sports fields, cheerleaders, novels with unpredictable

endings – even for those who love opera

small print and dandelions


I want to sing my own composition

sit in the auditorium of my thoughts

perhaps we’re not so far away from

each other as the planet spins

all blue ice from space


Flying over the Alps

I see snow covered mountains from above

and valleys

winding creases in the world’s skin

like veins on an old man’s hand

writing Chinese poetry

carefully dipping into the ink

of his mind


signed with a dot and a flourish

of our common blood

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© Johnmichael Simon



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