Chinese Silence No. 40

1 November 2014

After Hayden Carruth, “Of Distress Being Humiliated by the Classical Chinese Poets”

Hey mister, can you tell me where to get a good mock duck in Syracuse–you know,
the kind consumed by Chinese vegetarians
Willing to make a great display of their virtue at the expense of taste?
I miss the one they used to have at Yu Hu’s New York Chinese Café.
What’s the matter, cat got your tongue? Oh, I forgot your language consists entirely
of silences;
Your minds are the minds of men who think you can eat duck without meat in it.
I can see in your eyes the serenity of an ancient culture contemplating the white
man’s sterility.
Even now the headless horseman of progress is galloping down the interstate toward
you, reeking of hamburger.
You will sit there quietly and let yourself be trampled.
Bummer. But before you die, tell me
Where I can find an orange chicken that is so good that it will fly forever through the
nauseous twilight
Of my endless appetite.

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