China by Bob Perelman

  
China

 
We live on the third world from the sun. Number three. Nobody tells us what to do.

The people who taught us to count were being very kind.

It’s always time to leave.

If it rains, you either have your umbrella or you don’t.

The wind blows your hat off.

The sun rises also. I’d rather the stars didn’t describe us to each other; I’d rather we do it for ourselves.

Run in front of your shadow.

A sister who points to the sky at least once a decade is a good sister.

The landscape is motorized.

The train takes you where it goes.

Bridges among water.

Folks straggling along vast stretches of concrete, heading into the plane.

Don’t forget what your hat and shoes will look like when you are nowhere to be found.

Even the words floating in air make blue shadows.

If it tastes good we eat it.

The leaves are falling. Point things out.

Pick up the right things.

Hey guess what? What? I’ve learned how to talk. Great.

The person whose head was incomplete burst into tears.

As it fell, what could the doll do? Nothing.

Go to sleep.

You look great in shorts. And the flag looks great too.

Everyone enjoyed the explosions.

Time to wake up.

But better get used to dreams.

 

 

Bob Perelman’s famous LANGUAGE poem ‘China’ which I’ve always loved for the massive breadth – so much room for the reader in this one.

2 thoughts on “China by Bob Perelman

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s