Dreams of The Tang Dynasty #11

We rowed out to an empty island on the Wei river,
Mooring our boat to a fallen tree.
She moved like water through the forest,
Like a flood through my heart.
The night was warm and bright,
Lying on my blanket, we chanted poems to the stars.
Naked, we woke up wet with morning dew,
Making love, we warmed ourselves in the rising sun.

-龙火花 Long HuoHua

Born Approx AD820 – Died AD895
Timeline Of Major Events During Long’s Life:

AD840 – Earliest known poems by Long
841 – Yu XuanJi is Born
846 – Bai JuYi dies
848 – Emperor Wuzong persecutes Buddhists, Shuts down temples across empire.
858 – Major flood killing tens of thousands (including XinMei) and destabilizing dynasty
863 – Long Starts affair with Yu XuanJi
866 – Long gets sent on official duty to Chongqing
867 – Yu XuanJi is Executed
875 – Huang Chao’s Rebellion
881 – Huang Chao Captures Chang’An
883 – Capitol retaken, Huang Chao Rebellion Ends
883 – Tang Dynasty Starts Decline
895 – Long HuoHua Dies
AD907 – Tang Dynasty Falls


The Night Is Full Of Storm Clouds

The night is full of storm clouds.
Overhead the wild geese are frightened,
And cry out with anxiety in the murky darkness.
The ice hills are covered with dense fog.
The only thing visible
Is a beautiful shadow on a gleaming gauze window curtain.
Above the clouds the white moon is cold.
Under the clouds the storm wind is cold.
Heart full of sorrow,
Tears dried up with sorrow,
The unbearable sorrow,
Of a heart filled with love –
How can I go on under the beating storm of my thoughts?

-T’ao Tung Ming

I Have a Blue Blanket

I have a blue blanket
I remember it from my childhood,
It goes with me in a bag
In the trunk of my car
And whenever I cant take
The shit of this world
I lay it down
In the park
Or on the river bank
Or in the field at night
After a wedding
Looking up at the stars
And I breath in deep
And know it will all be alright.

Like a Primitive Man

The rain comes down.
Torrential curtains beat across the water
Where I float,
In water warmed by the days sun,
And the rain stings my face.
The sky spits fire across the night
And the thunder sets all things on edge.
Do the birds and squirrels
Look out from the darkness
And wonder what madness grips me?
Lying in the pool like a fool.
The sky could strike me dead,
But I know it won’t
Because only I understand
Its wet and violent rage.
In awe of its power,
I soak in the danger,
Like a primitive man
From the dawn of time.


And the drunks are stumbling
into each other
As they leave the bars.
I slouch in my trusty chair,
Legs up against my loyal desk
With my journals and books
And poems of long dead friends.
These early hours
Have become so dear to me
Through the years.
Reading hungrily
Whatever poems I could find
Clinging to the words like oxygen,
Clinging to them
The way some cling to drink
Or flesh
Or vanity.
Falling in love with Rapa Nui
As though it were a woman.
Driving myself mad
Long into the darkness
Where Chinaski drinks and listens to Mozart,
And fills his floor with crumpled paper.
All those tear stained pages.
All those nights of staring out at the highway
Pondering the futility and purpose
Of all those unknown headlights.
We’ve come a long way
These books and I.
These nights have grown close
Like lovers do.
Secret words and smiles and tastes.
From the cheerie sweetness of Oliver
To the bleak heartbreak of Marichiko,
I am all of them,
And they are now a part of me.
On the nights
When the ink won’t flow
And the bindings won’t bend,
We float together silently
On the highs and lows of melody.
Sometimes waiting painfully for the dawn
Other times waiting
In a subtle warm peace,
For the grace that is sleep.