***Background: I wrote this on a lonely mountaintop in the middle of nowhere, China, after taking my first job teaching overseas... It was a tough year, but we (the Lingxi Crew) made it through, and I ended up spending six years teaching in Asia! My girlfriend, upon reading it years later, described it as "very emo."
China Poem Part 3Woken from firecrackers like gunshots
Every morning at one o’clock
Town alarm blaring: warning of ?
Seemingly coming from above
Spitting in the streets, it's disgusting!
Broke-down machines, neglected, rusting
Young men bored, a daily routine
They smoke and drink and KTV
Outdoor table ball and table tennis
Do it all over when day's replenished
River dirty like the shores of Venice
Wish people here could afford a dentist!
Boys out-number girls and all of’em get married
But if they’re not, they’re probably scary
Men are generous but very jealous
At first they cheers you, then act zealous....
Gentle wind, slightest breeze
Polluted air makes me sneeze(Achoo!)
I feel congested, so unrested
Bed of wood makes rest so restless
Bug-infested when neglected
Noise is hectic, chest arrested
Everything here is queer and foreign
And when it rains it's f&*$in pourin’!
Old, mould, cold, fool's gold
Fake shit going once, twice, three times - sold!
Typhoon's on its way, heavy downpour
Devouring whole town, torrential sound sore
In my thoughts I drown more…
China's about twenty years behind us
But in kindness their generositycan remind us.
-Lingxi, China, 2010