Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Walking the Future

In the land of Dolly the models model
ovulated faces, a countenance that
takes high bones to melted neutrality
so that it is hard to tell us apart.
Is there something missing? No, not at all.
Not any will do—there is always more.
But when you marry you never know the flower
tucked away in the bones, only the generic
nose, eyelids, straight-leg legs.

The rest of us man our windows of worry
in deference to the Barbie overlay
for discriminating customers, as if
there could be no one love
but in a generic love, a shared matrix
lurking in the dead of north, a winter warming
of natural beauties as if they’d won the Cold War
hands down, not blinking an eye, defibrillated by a smile.

Boys, too, permanently depilated, are granted
white teeth, shoulders filled from the gut or overdone butt
and six-packs whipped up by private trainers.
It makes a cruisy sidewalk, everyone done up
and craving to be watched, everyone a mirror
carrying spare mirrors: taking cell-phone snapshots, 
always double-checking now then
then, other beauties taking the catwalk
sidewalk—beware of the stilettos, jabberwock:

look at me, you miserable bastard!
Now, then make sure the memory of the moment
is always youthful in the eternity of our stroll,
always anti-aging in layers of lotions massaged in
under the bite of the wind,
always unforgettable, an everlasting Amen,
a quiet constant jouissance rising
rising just right now, then just just right—
don't turn away, it's just right, ah!
damn you! you turned away!
It was it, just right. Are you blind?

(Seoul, 2010; Taipei 2013)
(Revised after attending 
Hsiao-hung Chang, 
"East Asian Faces," at Tamkang University, 31 May 2013)