it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken
matociquala

they're pouring heavy water on me


Because nothing creates creativity like spending the day killing your brain with idleness, I bring you the first draft of a poem.

Li Bai drowns while embracing the moon


If Li Bai wrote our greatest human poetry
in lines extravagant of idleness, drunkenness, the cloud-washed moon,
petals on water,
of the sensible industrious women who left him--idle, drunken--
to those petals and that moon...

(some of these things are true)


If Li Bai wrote our greatest human poetry
staggering drunk and idle, if he drowned extravagantly,
and broke the reflection

of the pigeon-colored moon. If ghosty petals--drifting, drunken--

smoothed over his inarticulate corpse...

(one of these things is true)

 

If Li Bai wrote our greatest human poetry
then made his death extravagant in the sacred gutter Yangtze

a plunge through blossoms,

a mirror that would not bear his weight--still, chill--

and after, those lied who knew it for a suicide...

 

(all of these things are true)

 

If Li Bai wrote our greatest human poetry
in chrysanthemum robes falling, falling, all the while falling,

reciting as he fell,

(the neighbors behind their hands said--shitfaced, shiftless--)

then still. Still--

 

Still.

 

 

--Elizabeth Bear

12 September 2008



For your reference, Li Bai's poem "Amusing Myself" in English translation:

Facing my wine, I did not see the dusk,
Falling blossoms have filled the folds of my clothes.
Drunk, I rise and approach the moon in the stream,
Birds are far off, people too are few.


If you happen to read Chinese, here's the original.

The idleness of computer games is probably slightly better for you than the idleness of rice spirits, but probably not by much.

Tomorrow, I expect my brainkiller will be playing in photoshop. I have a bunch of CM icons I want to make. Do you suppose that will lead to more poetry?

Tags: poetry
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