Wuxi Feb 4, 2009
Once, in a city in a country cold
with the winds of wisdom from ages old,
a night-time banner I thought I could hold
against the timid and fearsome and broken and bold —
But the words weren't there (in the cold night air)
to clamber or to nimbly traverse — and so (too slow)
I called out to the cab, but the rhythm
The rhythm was gone.
Lost among blocks of coffee shops, somewhere sirens cry:
it's the city — the city's alive, they say, but they won't say exactly why.
Here in my alley of specular slick, there is nowhere but places to die.
and the traffic is jammed into four-lane roads,
the sidewalks are empty and the wind still cold
(despite streetlamps burning, jealous of the sun)
but I've found my apartment door. I've
gone to bed and dreamed of Wuxi —
I wonder if Wuxi dreamed of me ?
I wonder if Wuxi dreams in color
the greens and blues of grass and sky
or the brown of dirt or gold of sand or
the black and white and greys of the city
the phosphorescent glow of screens (petty human interface)
the ebb and broken pipelines scream
(a silent, contemplative scream) a lost-to-madness
lost-to-meaning, lost-to-something sort of screaming
I wonder if Wuxi dreams of the past
(those we lose, we bury, we pass)
I don't remember Wuxi well —
It's hard to remember, hard to remember
I wonder if Wuxi carries on. Where the walls stood barely standing
and the plants had come back, the sun grown darker, the air thicker
the city drifting down a river (great reflection!
let loose your ghosts, for they're long faded from this place
and in their stead a thousand wisps have come to float
(beckoning travelers among the doorways, useless now that walls are useless broken crumbling structures)
time is ruining our city — Wuxi speak to me, you Used to,
please again it's cold it's quiet,
Time has ruined you, my city.
Disgusting filthy lost and transient
no new images for the walls, no fresh paint for the cars,
what a dismal cheap and hopeless
scrap, discarded, broken
Just a dream, my friend, Wuxi.