The Sunday Poem: Arthur Sze... Pig's Heaven Inn

Arthur Sze, who has traveled extensively in Asia, wrote "Pig's Heaven Inn," after hiking with a group of Chinese poets in the Yellow Mountains of China in 2007. He is the author of nine books of poetry including The Ginkgo Light, published by Copper Canyon Press in May 2009. Arthur also taught at the Institute of American Indian Arts for twenty-two years years and served as the first poet laureate of Santa Fe from 2006-08. He will be reading in Albuquerque at 3 pm on Sunday June 28th, 2009, at Acequia Booksellers. The bookstore is at 4019 4th St. SW and admission for the reading is free. (Cropped image above from a photo by Mariana Cook.)


PIG’S HEAVEN INN


Red chiles in a tilted basket catch sunlight—
we walk past a pile of burning mulberry leaves
into Xidi village, enter a courtyard, notice
an inkstone, engraved with calligraphy, filled
with water and cassia petals, smell Ming
dynasty redwood panels. As a musician lifts
a small xun to his mouth and blows, I see kiwis
hanging from branches above a moon doorway:
a grandmother, once the youngest concubine,
propped in a chair with bandages around
her knees, complains of incessant pain;
someone spits in the street. As a second
musician plucks strings on a zither, pomelos
blacken on branches; a woman peels chestnuts;
two men in a flat-bottomed boat gather
duckweed out of a river. The notes splash,
silvery, onto cobblestone, and my fingers
suddenly ache: during the Cultural Revolution,
my aunt’s husband leapt out of a third-story
window; at dawn I mistook the cries of
birds for rain. When the musicians pause,
Yellow Mountain pines sway near Bright
Summit Peak; a pig scuffles behind an enclosure;
someone blows his nose. Traces of the past
are wisps of mulberry smoke rising above
roof tiles; and before we too vanish, we hike
to where three trails converge: hundreds
of people are stopped ahead of us, hundreds
come up behind: we form a rivulet of people
funneling down through a chasm in the granite.


From The Ginkgo Light (Copper Canyon Press, 2009)


(Submissions to the Sunday Poem always welcome. Write thedictchrider@gmail.com )

Views: 47

Comment by Margaret Randall on July 13, 2009 at 8:24am
Arthur, this is a wonderful poem. So much noticing, which awakens my own senses as I read. And the way you move us through place and space opens all sorts of doors. Bravo!

Comment

You need to be a member of Duke City Fix to add comments!

Join Duke City Fix

Connect with Us!

Community Forum

The May Cafe lumberjack 4 Replies

Started by Skip in General Discussion. Last reply by City on the Edge 41 minutes ago.

Where to Vote: 2016 Primary Early Voting

Started by Maurreen Skowran in General Discussion on Sunday.

What is up with dogs in stores? 14 Replies

Started by Maurreen Skowran in General Discussion. Last reply by hettie May 19.

Where to have lunch in Albuquerque 10 Replies

Started by Gretchen Winchester in Food & Drink. Last reply by Gretchen Winchester May 17.

Hot Green Chile? 5 Replies

Started by Ron Da Bomb in Food & Drink. Last reply by Sophie May 16.

Latest Activity

City on the Edge replied to Skip's discussion The May Cafe lumberjack
41 minutes ago
Marble Westside Taproom's event was featured
Thumbnail

Youngsville at Marble Brewery Westside Taproom

May 28, 2016 from 7pm to 10pm
1 hour ago
Profile IconDuke City Fix via Facebook
Thumbnail

It may be old news, but a fascinating look at stories from #ABQ's past!

News Roundup: 1882

dukecityfix.com

I recently purchased a subscription to a…

See More
Facebook2 hours ago · Reply
Monica liked once banned twice shy's blog post Morning Fix - The Morning After
2 hours ago

Regular Features

Anyone can blog on the Duke City Fix, but here are the folks who blog most often:

© 2016   Created by Duke City Fix.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service