Friday, January 28, 2011


The wanderer's home is just over the horizon
Or so he must believe.
Tell me there is no end to suffering
So I may find relief.

- Hu Ming-Xiang

Monday, January 24, 2011


R.I.P. Bhimsen Joshi (1922-2011)

When you sang the Malhar
we could hear the trees growing,
hear the wood’s ancient
longing for rain,

your voice a season
exquisite with languor,
wild thunders tamed
to the purposes of song.

The night you sang Vande Mataram
we wanted to sing along,
your voice on the loudspeakers
flattened, distorted,

yet deep enough to contain
all our contradictions:
fifty years of freedom
and a tradition

older than grief.
That’s why I have to believe
you will outlast this pyre,
your throat an ember

burning pure and blue,
a constant outpouring,
at the center of the fire, a flame
endlessly wavering, endlessly true.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


prayer, heartbreak, memory

future, present, past

all the ways to mourn

pray, love, remember


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Open Window

Who is it reaches in through my window
A thief, or the moon?
Let the winds cover my room with dust
I hear the cicadas singing.

- Hu Ming-Xiang

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Better off

Returning from the war, you said nothing
And I, who had waited, felt betrayed.
Until I remembered my far-off sister
Who got back nothing but the news.

- Hu Ming-Xiang

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


One by one the birds have taken
Slivers of straw from the scarecrow's breast.
Here I am left alone forsaken
And you far away in your well-lined nest.

- Hu Ming-Xiang

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


You want me to tell you this is not the way out.

It isn't. But only because I never you let in.

You want me to tell you it is not time yet. And it isn't. It's tomorrow. Or the day before.

A speck of sand. A pinch of dust. A grain of ash. A mote of salt. Something sticks in the hourglass' throat.

You spend time like money, as though you could earn more if you needed it.

I have a bag full of stolen moments. I will sell them to you for a song.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

A Beginning

My master has gone to fetch his new bride
I shall strew his bed with fresh-plucked flowers.
Let others warm themselves at the fire
I shall find beauty in the raked ash.

- Hu Ming-Xiang