The Sinologist

To leave the airport is to feel you've got off at the wrong stop.
Where are the pavilions to drink rice wine in, the suburbs of love,
the policemen using their rifles to lift skirts up with,
the student to say that all books are useless?


But when a first round of skittles is finished,
one player tells the other: Disputed decisions
shouldn't spoil our sauna. All evening long
they try to beat each other at losing.


How disturbing that grief of incomprehension must be.
Corridors, old pots, new cups, good tea and cruel words:
fat help in grasping the Doctrine of the Cozy Mind.


What fun though! A few little quatrains from the Tang dynasty
make mincemeat of the Left and the Right of today.
Pleasure is possible: the greatness of China is in the kitchen.


Read the author's "Five O'Clock Graveyard"