Family and Friends · music

Guest Of The Sea (or The Gecko’s Virgin Blood)

In the Tang dynasty geckos were crushed in mortars to prepare a potion, which was then applied to mark a young girl’s arm. If she lost her virginity, its red color would change. This fantastic potion was used to regularly inspect and discipline women. The poet Li Shangyin wrote: The red Shou Palace lies in…… Continue reading Guest Of The Sea (or The Gecko’s Virgin Blood)

Family and Friends · music

Westwards From Jingmen (or When Beethoven Met The Migrant Kids)

About the time Li Shangyin and I were meeting in Shenzhen, the drug wars in Central America had intensified. The United States was still a country that drew the oppressed, huddled masses. However, there was a growing sentiment in the country that change was coming too rapidly. America was turning brown and many were afraid.…… Continue reading Westwards From Jingmen (or When Beethoven Met The Migrant Kids)

music

The Palace of Emperor Chen – Two Poems (Or Mozart in Prague)

On one of his travels across time, Shangyin landed in Prague. It was January 1787. During a brief stint as a reporter for Prager Oberpostamtszeitung , he interviewed the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart was a little under 5 feet tall, with an unusually large head topped with a mass of carrot colored hair. He…… Continue reading The Palace of Emperor Chen – Two Poems (Or Mozart in Prague)

Family and Friends

A Reply Sent From The Southwest Expedition

A Reply Sent From The Southwest Expedition (or How Did Time Begin, And Why Does It End  When One Dreams?)   When I was a child time vanished, or perhaps nothing ever changed. When I made my first deep breath, the baobabs and acacia trees of the savannah and the tea and coffee bushes of the…… Continue reading A Reply Sent From The Southwest Expedition

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

Regards to Official Cui

Happy To Hear That Official Cui At Tai Yuan Served The Imperial Censor, And Also Sends Regards To The 3rd And 2nd Year Fellow Exam Candidates  One day, Shangyin told me, “I was summoned to the Emperor. Terrified and amazed, I kowtowed before him. He looked at me sternly and said “Shangyin, why do you…… Continue reading Regards to Official Cui