Chinatown Villanelle This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Hanzi my world red, shiver it into ginger smoke
Dried crustaceans and cloisonné from China
Like dried lacquers are fanned by hand fans of bamboo.
Clay me a pot, leak me the vintage coins from your Chinese dynasty
Fish juice soaks my bare feet as the mother ducks are lynched naked
Crisp, singed golden like the royal lion at the Chinatown gates.

Paper bulbs like poppies droop down the horned gate
Your terracotta army lies in underground jade sword smoke
I'd like to understand, so I strip their language English naked
Oh! White face-painted, eyebrow-plucked beauties of China
Let me in on the secret of this dynasty
Sculpt me a flute of an ancient bamboo.

The Mongols burnt the mulberry so the silk is now bamboo
Bind my feet into hooves so they curl enough to pass this gate
Sip on the mercury tea and calligraphy of the dynasty
The dragon's nostrils in the sky make gashes of smoke
An empress speaks, “This is China, this is China”
When lightning strikes, the porcelain kites are sponged naked.

When the moon is out, the sun venom dragons dance naked.
Gangrene eyes gargle through the armor of bamboo
They were the chariot soldiers of China.
The men of brushstroke souls walk with their wounded gait.
Your herbal roots boil to an honor code of gut-healing smoke
Oh! Chariot soldiers, tell me of your ceramic-lipped dynasty.

Your musky scented calligraphy engraved an entire dynasty
Laughed into a fisherman's opera mask: their faces no longer naked.
Some turtles wish to see this dream of red mansion smoke
Their shells speak the color of a neon bamboo
They wish to see behind the melon vine twisted gate
The Buddhas and clementine shrines of antique China.

Rice paper dragonfly my mind into koi, dearest China
I kiss the stomachs of your green ribbed turtle dynasty.
Paper birds cross the border of a Beijing gate
The Great Walls are the alleys of the crystal casket naked
Graffiti my name in the Great Wall's forehead with bamboo
Every day your roots of creation get in on some plastic high of factory smoke.

Chinese demons smoke shadow puppets naked
Your dynasty has a chrome forest of bamboo
So I continue to sing to the holiness of your China gate.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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Winter-Wolf said...
May 24, 2010 at 2:07 am
OOOOh I loved this. It really got me thinking. You described everything beautifully, and in a very different way that makes sense, although soem might not notice it first off. This is truly amazing. I absolutely loved it. You have talent!!
 
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