For most of my life, Chinese poets have been climbing
through mountain mists, "wandering-cloud poets,"
writing on rocks and scraps of bamboo.

Early autumn morning, a moist wind from the east prevails. From beneath a woman's bandana, sweat drips over high cheekbones, knobs of black basalt she wipes, and coughs, as the bus bucks over downtown streets, loosening rivets, she turns to me and says, "It's the angle of the sun, not the weather, that tells the trees it's time to give up their leaves."

Sasquatch cracks a smile, exposing the mature work of an artist who went beyond elementary realism to create, in a conventional female form of the epoch, a precious object of paleolithic art. There is another detail of unusual interest in this figure. The skillful play of some missing teeth.

Were there really poets who walked
on mountains living on flasks
of wine and the crust of
stale glyphs?


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