Elegy for Ho Chi Min
“Every woman adores a fascist.”
My first god was Stalinist
as steel, carving my body
from his bankrupt escrow,
sightless and covered
in mildew, decaying
in public parks. His
production values nill,
he barked commands
from a projection box:
rights of self-simulation,
representation, and speech
lost, concentricity of
Money is not logos,
but logorrhea of intent.
If this is commonwealth,
let it be known it will not,
nor can its despotic,
The glittering eyes of the hula girl
(living likeness of Queen Lydia
Liliuokalani, deposed in 1894
after the abrogation of the last
monarchical regime) catch mine
in the 20-foot breech birth
between spectator and stage.
Beyond theater: the snake
dance of embodiment, suffering
difference (futurity), beyond
endless recapitulations of
regressive trauma (time).
My feet rustle: my hands,
shot sparrows, twitch
with the life force prior
to articulation, or death.
I sip my Mai Tai, the
very picture of obsequy.
What is there to desire
but to be, if not loved,
then marked, and seen.
Welcome to the Tang Dynasty. Today
we will not be departing today, walled
within a 24-hour convenience store
as a metaphor for jails both temporal
(the infinitely regressive present)
and gustatory (living off charbroiled
hot dogs and powdered donettes).
The cops flood the occupied state,
sirens blaring in cacophony with the
fire department (another false alarm),
EMS, Homeland Security, and the fed’s
twisted arms of intelligence (FBI, CIA),
locking the body of state in a frozen
embrace: forced mating of endangered
species (Psyche and Cupid) at the Louvre.
Portraits at the Stock Exchange
substituting for love,
men gather in greatcoats,
exchanging papers and
mustached grins. Only
the lowly are gauged
by taxes, and asked to pay
for purchases (armed militia,
corporate expense accounts)
they are either ignorant of,
or deplore. Heads of state
look, from this perspective,
interchangeable, and voices
sound, with minor variations,
the same, thoracic chords
pumping toxins of flat-footed
pedantry into the mise-en-abyme
of occupied France, en plein air.
Lost on the trail to paradise, or hell,
pluck freshly fallen star fruit from
towering trees, dropping manna
hourly on the deciduous forest floor.
Like the Chinese mafia gathering in
lounges during “free love” years,
Hawaii is shackled by debt, and
willed worship of a Protestant god.
After the military coup of 1898,
parceled into plantations, then
granted statehood, the electric
current of imperialism today carried
by ancient trade winds, primordial
rage of a whaling people wafting from
resinous rosewood oars above my bed.
The crested wave of eros has faded,
Hokusai’s “Kanagawa-Oki Nami-Ura”
depicting yet another failed attempt
(epic) to domesticate the sublime:
freeze-frame, narrowly escaped,
of cupidity’s unconscious thrall.