This week’s writings are from a weekend getaway I took to Suzhou and a day trip I took to the TianTong Temple outside Ningbo. They are also infused with my consumption of NYTimes articles about China, Chinese films/books that are banned in China, and of course, my general day to day interactions with Chinese citizens and society.
China is fascinating. I am lucky to learn here.
Stillness // Impressions of China
There is a country that moves faster than all of our
Western Economists Ever Predicted where
Children wear Givenchy in Outer-Space malls where Children wear the same
Dirty Hoodie over and over in Mountain villages tucked away in
Forgotten there is
A country where few can hear the
Torrential beatings of their history’s widespread famines, massacred students, forced abortions, there is a country on
Steroids of consumerism that has grown buildings so quickly it turned the sky grey with Burning Plastic, where
Rickshaws compete with Mercedes there is a country that
At the top of a mountain, on the outskirts of a city, you will land in
One thousand years old
Buddha statues built, burned, rebuilt and
Lanky red incense sending
Prayers for Prosperity
From TianTong Temple
Suzhou // Impressions of China cont.
Octagon windows with
Neon pollution sun
Restaurants warm, the
Clatter of dishes
“Hao-de hao-de hao-de”
Electric Young Women like me who bristle and
Peeling white paint.
Footsteps until my calves stiffen
My breath wets the paper pink mask
Do you get how old it is?
And new it is?
Do you get China?
The central empire of One point Three billion people?
I can’t keep Ming & Qing straight in my head, all I know is Mao – but he is not mentioned in the English Descriptions Available to Me in Museums
Hammer & Sickle
Blood stains on cement bleached out with soap
China is incredible in the sense that I can’t believe it
The birds still tweet when the air is poison
People walk around mouths open
Do I seem cynical? I’m not
I write for windows and staircases and people in prayer
Can God teach me to love?
The sort of love that demands justice?