Monday, August 24, 2020

A Song for the Senior Compiler of the History Office and Rectifier of Omissions under the Chancellery

In order to satisfy
My contrary side, I took
Up my post, poems up my sleeve—

Oh, I have the temperament
To live in cloudy mountains
And be idle all my days—

I am not your gentleman
Poet tempted to office
And service for stature’s sake.

I’m a genuine hermit,
Du Mu, unlike you. It’s true—
I wasn’t born to Duling,

And I’ve had to do some things
For this proverbial roof
On my head, clothes on my back.

You carved your wasted chances,
Feckless loves in blue mansions,
Made them ambiguous chants.

I lived ambiguity,
Bent corporeality,
Blew debt, and took my chances.

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