The Chinese Garden is a broken circle, a portal opening onto an illusion of tranquility in the heart of the city. I listen for the fragrance of hibiscus, banana trees, bamboo, the Goddess Herself dibbled by rain fallen into the backflow of culture from another dimension.

Rounded posts covered with flowerly calligraphy—wild grass on a windy day—are planted with investment capital.

What am I waiting for?
A change in customs that
    will take 1000 years to come about?
Who will change if I don't?

I circle the banks of a leaky pond, surrounded by roofs with canted prows of sinking ships. By city ordinance, windows leak too. Skyscrapers stare over the walls, wondering what century this is. A car alarm warns of a Muslin invasion.

Too late for serenity, in the Scholar's Room rosewood chairs and tables polished to the sheen of inquisitive minds are turned into the place. Whatever events happened at the place, whatever sequence they occurred in, whatever intervals existed between them, all becomes subordinate to their gambling everything on the courtyard's floor, "plum blossoms on ice crystals," even an Aboriginal Dreaming.

Everything's in harmonic opposition:
screaming child
          patiently smiling guide.
Sasquatch waits in afternoon's gauzy
shadows, not moving this way or that.

 

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