Mister Chu

Much luck to you if not at all impossible

In Between Days

I am stiff and without electronics (a word that already sounds old in my mouth),
paper-writing and sat on the reddish tile floor of a tidy English bathroom.

There are prints on the walls of Guy’s and St. Thomas’s hospitals.
Antiquated glass jars (empty) with labels advertising citrates and lozenges,
quinine tonics for the nerves.

All else in sight is modern, albeit with the dust of Victorian design.
A brass pot with a tall rubber plant has a lion’s head with an iron ring through its mouth.
The bath’s hand shower sits on a complicated nest of silver
with lettering for hot and cold from the same font set as the printed labels.
Half walls of tile are embellished (white on white) with wreathes and thistles
while far away we are bombing somewhere.

We being the British who only days ago (the begining of our visit)
did the Scottish agree to remain enfolded with.
The idle mind wonders if this sudden sending of planes
to somewhere would have had a material effect on the vote.

I sit on the bathroom floor because all the beds are taken
in the darkness of an early night.
Tomorrow we will aim to ride our own plane from here
across the Atlantic where those other types of aircraft
have also been sent out bombing in concerted parallel.

I am dying.
We all are, simply at different rates.
Some at our own behest, some at the behest of others.
Most of this, while immediate and urgent (however long it takes)
is circumstantial.
People write about it, mourn it, photograph it, protest it, cause it.

The wolves dies out or are shot.
The deer bloom and deforest.
The rivers widen and the fish suffer.
There is a pause (or not).
The wolves are re-introduced.
Causes are effected.
Changes are observed.
Lessons are learned.
Or otherwise.

And tonight, if fortunate, we go off to bed
at our different times and in our different ways
and tomorrow, if fortunate, we carry on or start again.

And it is evolution (in the end and as it happens also)
and all we can consider worthy is any local suffering
that can be alleviated, any anguish that can be forestalled.

And we are mostly small and made so, not just by size,
but also by coincidence, numbers and circumstance.
And then, at some point, for us, that’s the end of it.

And on this bathroom’s floor and separate from the fight
of much beyond my lion and these thistles,
the short clarity of this helps my chattering self
silence not unhappily towards my own sleep.

I wonder, said the Lord, I wonder if I know the answer anymore.

—Norman Mailer (via likeafieldmouse)

Dear Yong Men:


Print it out and pass it along.

It is hard to argue fairly with the dead
for one must offer them a kindness
which to the living one would not give.

-Nanny Chu

What man has bent o’er his son’s sleep, to brood
How that face shall watch his when cold it lies
Or thought, as his own mother kiss’d his eyes
Of what her kiss was when his father woo’d?


For some the comfort of routine brings the idea of freedom. For others, death.

-Nanny Chu


—Theme for Chu (15 Bars)


I see him always as a small man
rushing slowly with a sheaf of papers.

Tonight in Texas


I live in Texas now
and it’s true, about the guns
and the cowboys who carry them.
The rights that get roped or electrocuted
and their women who have none
unless the money’s well colored.
The men who sweep our leaves
and the others, in trucks and lizard boots.
Steaks for breakfast,
along with the narrow sense of a vast self
and hair in undue proportion.
Bullets on the shelf.
But when the light dies
it mostly like everywhere else can be.
The darkness making it into a place
of simple scuttling and dry rot,
the noise of silent children.
The sound of that stench.
Civilization on the brink and hot,
waiting, for shame.


Never have I lived anywhere
as I do in this modernizing Austin
that felt so temporary.
The day paints an illusion
of man abroad and in charge
but at night the real world slithers back.
As it has always done
and will do too
long after y’all.


To be truthful it bothers me
more than I can put up with and just then
a pecan tree limb the size of three men
(and the weight of four) falls down without warning
like a leg that detaches itself
or an arm come off while standing still.
Misses the house by accident
and lays there upended
not going anywhere.
Out there still in the soft night
I can sense the raccoons close by
evaluating this new opportunity,
while those of us who survive until morning
will only believe life to be more manageable
when the men finally come and haul off the carcass.

The Cider House Rules

(Source: sakuranamida, via andreii-tarkovsky)

One of the great luxuries of civilization is solitude, as opposed to loneliness.

-Ian McEwan


Alligators, crocodiles
music lovers, cinefiles

men who work at night for money
every kind of endless honey

when to crawl across the road
how to gut the common toad

all these things and others too
are now available to you

so much so that the normal glutton
barely looks beyond the button

nor needs to rise up from his bed
if he should wish to fill his head

yet still the heart remains unknown
and thus can humans die alone

for without the other to understand
bloodless data is the bane of man.


Icelandic bani (“bane, death”).

-A cause of misery or death; an affliction or curse
-Poison, especially any of several poisonous plants
-A killer, murderer, slayer
-Destruction; death
-A disease of sheep; the rot.


Where are Don DeLillo and Emily Dickinson now? The second in a week-long series of illustrations by Jason Novak, captioned by Eric Jarosinski.

Mister Chu:
I believe this.


Where are Don DeLillo and Emily Dickinson now? The second in a week-long series of illustrations by Jason Novak, captioned by Eric Jarosinski.

Mister Chu:

I believe this.

Only in extinction does the collector comprehend.
-Walter Benjamin

Young man, young man
your arm’s too short to box with God.

-James Weldon Johnson

East from here

Somewhere east from here
-and her also
because we are mostly
in the same location-
a gun and a dog both start barking
at a moment that is too closely the same
as to make it possible
as regards deciding which noise
began beginning first.

The dog barked and got shot?
Or did the shooter
concentrating on another and separate business
cause the dog to start in
as a result of the sudden banging?

If we were to gamble on it
-she and I sat here
so very close as to be touching-
I would back the dog first
and then the bullet
about the precise destination of which
we could then agree to wager upon
quite separately
and one kiss at a time.

It’s gone quiet
and awfully hot
and there’s so little to do
here west of her
and it comes to me she’s a center
a pole by which measurements are made
when in fact her people
came to begin with from Bavaria
where the German Shepherds
also got their start.