Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #13

#13 Hua Shan
Flower Mountain, beautiful and perilous
How many faithful men have fallen from her face?
Her elegance and danger make my heart race,
Men weren’t meant to scale such peaks.
My prayers are said between heavy breaths,
At a lonely shrine on her western cliffs.
Exhausted, I rest for the night in a hermit’s hut,
Where we drink wild tea and write poems.

龙火花 Long HuoHua

Born Approx AD820 – Died AD895
Timeline Of Major Events During Long’s Life:

AD840 – Earliest known poems by Long
841 – Yu XuanJi is Born
846 – Bai JuYi dies
848 – Emperor Wuzong persecutes Buddhists, Shuts down temples across empire.
858 – Major flood killing tens of thousands (including XinMei) and destabilizing dynasty
863 – Long Starts affair with Yu XuanJi
866 – Long gets sent on official duty to Chongqing
867 – Yu XuanJi is Executed
875 – Huang Chao’s Rebellion
881 – Huang Chao Captures Chang’An
883 – Capitol retaken, Huang Chao Rebellion Ends
883 – Tang Dynasty Starts Decline
895 – Long HuoHua Dies
AD907 – Tang Dynasty Falls

Monday Night Beneath The Towers

It’s a Monday night beneath the towers,
And for no particular reason,
I’ve decided to get drunk.
Maybe it’s the city
Maybe it’s that sucking sound
Coming from my innermost being.
Daoist tears from a thousand years,
Collected in the taste of a beer.
I drink to Li Bai,
I drink to lovers from another time,
I drink to those nails
Which put Christ on the cross,
I drink to all I’ve given up,
I drink to all that’s lost,
And I drink to the hope,
The hope that warms me
In a world gone cold with decadence.

A Drunken Flower

The sound of beating oars wafts in among the flowers.
This shy, gentle girl comes in search of me,
bringing lotus leaves to sip from…
Our skiff rocks among the lilies,
little red waves in the wine.

Her way, wine fragrance, pure as fine vintage.
The flower’s face flushed, the drunkard’s pink;
we two facing.

Drunk, we rested in deep shade;
we napped awhile and woke to find
the boat stuck on a sandbar

-Ouyang Xiu (A.D 1007-1072)

Drinking With Friends Amongst The Blooming Peonies

We had a drinking party
To admire the peonies.
I drank cup after cup till
I was drunk. Then to my shame
I heard the flowers whisper,
“What are we doing, blooming
For these old alcoholics?”
-Liu Yu Hsi

Translated by Kenneth Rexroth

Jane’s Shoes

Jane’s Shoes

my shoes in the closet like forgotten
my shoes alone right now,
like dogs walking dead avenues,
and I got a letter from a woman in a hospital,
love, she says, love
but I do not write back,
I do not understand myself,
she sends me photographs of herself
taken in the hospital
and I remember her on other nights,
not dying,
her shoes next to mine
in the closet;
how those strong nights
lied to us,
how those nights became quiet
my shoes alone in the closet now
flown over by coats and
awkward shirts,
and I look into the hole the
door leaves
and the walls, and I do not


Eulogy To A Hell of a Dame

some dogs who sleep at night
must dream of bones
and I remember your bones
in flesh
and best
in that dark green dress
and those high-heeled bright
black shoes,
you always cursed when you drank,
your hair coming down you
wanted to explode out of
what was holding you:
rotten memories of a
past, and
you finally got
by dying,
leaving me with the
you’ve been dead
28 years
yet I remember you
better than any of
the rest;
you were the only one
who understood
the futility of the
arrangement of
all the others were only
displeased with
trivial segments,
nonsensically about
Jane, you were
killed by
knowing too much.
here’s a drink
to your bones
this dog
dreams about.


The Wine Of God

Dizzy with love.
I’ve drunk too much
Of what Rumi was drinking
And every moment
I am ravenous for more.
Every moment is
An unrealized poem
Floating through eternity.
Life is the wine of God
And beauty is His vineyard.
He bids you,
Come and taste!