Philosophy · Religion

Heavenly Questions

When Li Shangyin saw copies of the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible and the Talmud in a local bookstore in Shenzhen’s Book City, he turned to me in astonishment: “The authors of these books must have known Qu Yuan!” (pronounced CHU you AN) “Qu Who?” I said, thinking he had sneezed. “The greatest poet…… Continue reading Heavenly Questions

Art and Aesthetics · nature

Swallow Terrace Poems

As I was biking along the Shenzhen boardwalk, I looked up. The sky was a cool plastic slate that stretched from the west, where the sun blushed behind pearly screens. Around me the sounds of hip hop mixed with the tinkle of bicycle bells, the scent of jasmine and barbecued meat. Along the shore of…… Continue reading Swallow Terrace Poems

Art and Aesthetics

Thirty Rhymes Delivered To Tai Yuanlu and Si Kong

I once dreamed Li Shangyin[1] was banished from court for speaking his mind.  He fell into a deep depression. On a dark day, he went to an oracle and asked the soothsayer to examine the turtle bones and divine his future path. The oracle looked at Shangyin and said: “My son, what is it you…… Continue reading Thirty Rhymes Delivered To Tai Yuanlu and Si Kong

relationships

Poem Without a Title 18

The Phoenix is a magical bird that would be a Chinese Casanova where it not for the feathers and beak. In this poem I write about seduction, which it symbolizes, and whose singing is to women, irresistible. In Chinese mythology, white jade (白玉) has many amorous connotations. What is my phoenix? It lies in my…… Continue reading Poem Without a Title 18