29 June 2012

Pun and Punishment

water is torture
going without going under
not going across
going going gong
mickey mantle just hit a home run on the radio

what I am said to have said
in my sleep in my bed
who told?
they have written down
in the form of a confession

I am swimming, dog paddling to be precise,
in small discrete sea of uncooked rice
in a walled courtyard of a small country church
with a handful of guests waving
waving as from the shore

I have apparently cried out in my sleep
     I want to marry Marilyn, not Mei,
     but Marilyn from America
so they seized all of my books
except for the little red one

I must wear paper handcuffs
(and if I tear them then I’m clearly a rebel)
not because of my dreams
but because of my letter in
perfect English

I wrote my sister that
my cat took a long march
into my neighbor’s yard
and returned to my porch
to clean her hindquarters with her mousey tongue


  1. Hello.
    Thanks for posting this. I was reminded of the Yang Lian poem: "The Non-Personal Snow."

    In stanza 6 he writes "a set of paper handcuffs  make the convict more terrified yet."

    Nice pun on Mao Tse-tung. Funny and bitter at the same time.

  2. Anonymous,
    Notice there's a "mous" there too!

    Thanks for your great comment and the Yang Lian intersection. Here is a link for everybody to the full poem:

    The Non-Personal Snow