Arthur Sze, Water calligraphy

Posted: 09/07/2021 by vequinox in Literature

To Koskino

– Sunrise: I fill my rubber bucket with water
and come to this patch of blue-gray sidewalk –
I’ve made a sponge-tipped brush at the end
of a waist-high plastic stick; and, as I dip it,
I know water is my ink, memory my blood –

the tips of purple bamboo arch over the park –
I see a pitched battle at the entrance to a palace
and rooftops issuing smoke and flames –
today, there’s a white statue of a human figure,
buses and cars drive across the blank square –

at that time, I researched carp in captivity
and how they might reproduce and feed
people in communes – I might have made
a breakthrough, but Red Guards knocked at the door –
they beat me, woke me up at all hours

until I didn’t know whether it was midnight or noon –
I saw slaughtered pigs piled…

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