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June 03, 1939 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1939-06-03
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1% ;.

by Richarn



lithe evening lightly laden with its fallen day.
while mortal breath is wheeled in white
by a woman in white down a slim cool corridor.
seeing numbered lights seeing men veiled in gauze
hearing whisperings hearing hurried preparations
smelling starched cleanness smelling galling gases
feeling cold contoured ungiving metal on warm unbending cheeks
breathing ballooning breathing
seeping wafts a phantom numbness creeps
lungs'clogging, as uncoiled the mute mist hacking at
throated nothingness, curdled.,
cut glass, now a spectrum of chiaroscuro
watered, glazed, bobbed out.
an unknown life or a death or no life at all, an
unexperienced senselessness, no sense of change:
spring earth unsunned in winter, a,
cloud melted by snow, a
pebble plopping into equatorial sea, a
frozen shaft speared into the molten magnet of the earth.

no atom and no universe

no' orbit and no chaos: an unfelt thought
and a thoughtless feeling, an unknown unknown.
no blood catapulted through valve on valve
no mind and no bone
no point to point, no
tick to tick in time.
two unending unbeginning worlds unfused and unblended.
an ethered oblivion. a belly tense (a drum's hide),
pencil slit, blood, gut, tied.
both removed from time.
unlighted death and unblackened life
reality's jagged edge; imagination's catalytic emissary.
guts barrelled vice tight, hands twitch,
nerves charged electric with awakened pain. Time enters with

lithe evening lightly laden with its fallen day.

no substance soul psalm shape
no lyric spirit no love no hate
no endymions enraged no prometheans encaged
no frontiered space no island loneliness
no unreached grasp no reach to grasp
no imperious hyperion no unheeded satyr

A coronation of a new day, or the sun moulting with its dusk.
Has time been bracketed, once, twice, or not.
Is Time no Time at all; Death no Death and Life at all.
Who whispers, who speaks, speak! . . speak!

C HEN walked seven times around
the Ivory pagoda, but the face of
his Beloved did not appear. Then
he began to doubt the Legends
and spat upon the ground. Was not the
prophecy "The walls of thy desire
shall crumble at the seventh round'?
Yet, perhaps he might have erred:
he would try again. So once more
he walked around the walls. At
the end of the seventh round he
stopped at the little white door and
waited. He waited . . . and waited . .
And the Glass grew full below, but te
Beloved did not appear.
Now Chen was a prnce and a man
of assertion ii matters like these. He
would wait no longer. Already the sun
was low in the west, and the nightin-
gales were noisy in the thick bamboos.
'I am the heir of all Si-Ling-Shi,' said
he; 'I shall not be mocked!'
The little door looked bluff, like the
flesh-pots in Shusi's house; and old
Shusi was a bluff fellow, too, one that
Chen had always wanted to trounce...
though Shusi was a heavier man than
Well, he would wait no -longer. He
thrust out his chest, struck a pose, and
. .knocked.
'Who is there?' came the voice of the
BIt is I,' said Chen, knowing well that
she knew his voice.
There was a long pause. Chen won-
dered: would she never open the door?
'This house will not hold Me and
Thee,' she replied. And the door was
not opened unto him.
Chen drew back, perplexed and ep
raged. Was he a coistril to be thus
mocked! A nidget, unworthy of the
least lady of Si-Ling-Shi! 'This house
will not hold me and thee!' Very welZ,
he was no beggar! He would find what
pleasures lay beyond the margins of
Si-Ling-Shi; he would sup the cocoa-
oil and dance the sly vengerka; he would
kiss the virgins of Jask, darker lips
than any in Cathay!
So Chen got himself a swift horse,
swifter than the ghostly steeds of
Saudi, and flew away. He ranged North
to the frozen hills of Kamchatka, and
South to the Cape of Comorin; he ranged
East to the blue waters of Taiwan, and
West to the wastes of Nefud.
And the years went by, and Chen
was sad and lonely. He was no more
the heir of all Kweiyang, nor the im-
perious prince of Si-Ling-Shi. Chen
remembered, and he wept.
Then one day he marked the sand
About the borders of Oman Land.
As he walked along, alone and de-
jected, his head down and his eyes
half-closed, he met an Old Man with a
very long beard. Chen did not perceive
the Old Man, and would have walked
on by.
'Thou art sad, my son?' said the Old
Man, and. bowed three times 1) Chen.
He seemed like a kind Old Man, s
Chen opened his. heart to him and told
him of the Terrors of Kamchatka, of the
tearful Winds of Comorin, of the Evils'
of Taiwan, and the Bones of Nefud'
Sands. And Chen wept, and spoke of
the loneliness of his- own sick soul.
But all the while he talked the Old
Man paid little heed. Instead, he would
prod the earth with his toe, or cast a
glance at the resurgent stars, or tear
a leaf from the thirsting shrubs.
Chen was annoyed. He said: 'Old
Man, I am sorry to have troubled thee,'
and prepared to go.
'Look, my son,' said the Old Man, his
eyes sparkling, 'look, there to the west
gleams Corvus, and there Orion, clear
as the noonday sun. I have watched
them many times, but never on a night
as clear as this.' !
He seeied wholly unaware of Chen,
so that the younger man knew not what
to think. He had never nntwed the stavi

A white sky on the altar and the crumbling kiln
Powders the roots of antique grass. Here,
From neighboring clay, a dwelling grew
For a son; red between young apple trees.'
-- James Earnest Green

on these dark summer nights, nor
fingered the cuticle of the leaf.
'But I was telling thee of my suffer-
ing,' said Chen, 'thou, it seemed, wast
'Let us watch the stars, my son,' in-
terrupted the Old Man, and he put -his
arm about Chen, the sorrowing heir
of Kweiyang.
A feeling of understanding came over
Chen. He looked more closely at his
Companion. In his face Chen could see
the marks of sorrow, and on his brow
the wrinkles of despair. He suddenly
realized that this Old Man had not
spoken of himself at all, but only of the
stars and the wonders of the world.
Then did Chen perceive that Corvus
held four golden crowns, that Draco
roared upon the aspect of the Bear, and
Leo sought his own confines.
And as the constellations rose and fell
Chen forgot Kamchatka and the hunger
of his soul.
When Morning came, the Old Mara

'I see nothing droll,' said Chen, test-
But the Young Man found Chen's
remarks the more amusing as time went
on, while Chen became the ntore en-
'I say that thou art in for a beating!
he shouted at last, and landed a blow
on the Young Man's bushy pate. The
Young Man seemed very surprised at
this, but exclaimed: 'Thou art indeed
a very stupid fellow,' and therewith
struck Chen full on the jaw, a blow
which sent him sprawling to a distance
of six feet beyond the trough.
But Chen had given the Young Man
what- he had wanted to give him, and
he was content. The strange thing about
it was that the Young Man did not
seem to mind very much, though he
rubbed his head gingerly now and then.
Chen sat still on the ground where he
had landed and watched him.
The Young Man went on painting,
only faster, much faster than before.

At last the dread mendicant has poised a tear--
grown, as tears grow, in still corridors.
Horrible is the sound of-weeping;
horrible is the music of grief.
And the song of sorrow, even,
is a song-nothing more.
It is the bramble wine
the -sweet ferment
(the crushed and wilder grasses)
that hold nepenthe for the cancered heart.

34ctnAIY 'x6nd .5feqwwe
"April is the cruellest month"
Whenever April shakes her hair
all sweetly drenched with soft dim rain
and twists the gilded threads to snare
a quick heart down a greening lane;
or sprinkles city streets with fair
and lucid pools of gold, again
my heart will know the sick despair,
all April brings the sharpest pain.
When April comes, can I forbear
the waking dream within my brain?
And feel once more wild lures to share
the darkened road of men insane.
If I am cold and-still, I know
kind summer will come, April will go.

took his hand and said: 'Thy Nature is
in the Stars and Flowers; depart from
me and seek their verities.
* * *
So Chen left the Old Man.
And wandered into Turkestan.
A Carnival was in full swing at Tadz-
hik Town. Chen elbowed his .- way
through the crowd of Villagers and came
upon a trou'gh for watering horses. A
great white horse was drinking from
the trough. He was so powerful and of
such exquisite proportions that Chen
could do no more than sit down upon
a rock to admire him. And as the
Crowd moved away he noted that beside
him stood a fair Young Man, also
admiring the beautiful creature.
'What a miraculous form!' exclaimed
the Young Man with great vigor, 'What
a divine conception!'
Chen was astonished. After all,, it was
but a steed of Turkestan.
'Why art thou so vehement?' said
Chen, 'a horse is but a horse.'
'Not at all,' replied- the Young Man
as energetically as before, 'I shall show
thee a horse that is a kingdom!' He de-
parted for a moment, and then returned
with canvas, easel, brush and oils.
While the Young Man worked Chen
sat oi the stone and told him of the
Old Man, and of the celestial bodies
and the recessions of the tides. But the
Young Man paid little heed, though he
seemed interested in Chen, so that Chen
became confused.
'Tell me of thyself,' sqid the Young
Now it had been long since Chen re-
membered Kamchatka and the Shores
of Taiwan. But as he thought of his
loneliness once more and of the many
years that lay between those hours at
Si-Ling-Shi and now, he grew sad, his
memory quickened, and with great pain
he told the Young Man the history of
his miseries.
The Young. Man, however, laughed
often, and Chen was furious. Presently
he could stand it no longer.

Suddenly his face broke out into a
broad smile, and he turned to Chen:'
'There! Come, see! The picture is fin-
Chen got up to see. What he saw was
not a horse at all, but the joy and
folly and sadness and laughter and hae
and love of all the faces in the Carnival.
But what he saw more than all others
was the expression of the Young Man,
radiant with life and happiness, now
that the Picture had been painted.
'Come, my friend, we shall buy us a
bottle of wine.' said the Young Man
gaily, gathering up his things.
Chen was eager for talk and con-
'Tell me,' said Chen, as they walked
along, 'Why did'st thou laugh at my
story? Was it really so droll?'
-'Oh it was very droll,' replied the
Young Man, 'and I am grateful to thee-
for telling it.'
A great light broke upon Chen. 'Hast
-thou a mirror?' cried he.
The Young Man drew from his robe
a fair sized glass. Chen looked into it
and took the paints and painted a Por-
trait. It was of a haughty young prince
who threw out his chest and struck a
pose. There was sorrow and there was
laughter, and the Young Man and Chen
laughed at it for a long long time.
But Chen must be on his way. He left
the Young Man and the Wiue in search
of Bread.
* * * .-
And as he wandered, a beggar yet,
He entered the Slopes of Old Tibet'
It was very warm, and he was tired
and thirsty. He shaded his eyes with his
hand to see if there was any spring or
stream in sight, but he could see nothing
more than a broad expanse of burning
Sand. Chen was weary of all this Sand
and Sun; he longed for the rice lands
and shadowed coverts of his youth. Chen
cursed the day that he was born.
Finally he became so tired that he
could walk no longer. He lay down on
the earth and waited for death to re-
lease him. He closed his eyes and soon
sank into a quiet sleep.
Suddenly he awoke with a start. The
sun was- scarcely past its zenith so he
.could not have lain there very long. But
what had awakened him? He looked
around and discovered a tall dark-

skinned E
and eyeing
ordinary e
'Art tho
a deep voue
Chen sh
sand out c
he said, 1b
from thirs
'Then w
self?' retu
Chen lo
of a poucl
little more
skin. He h
lie was str
ing a good
'Well, w
the Strang
Chen w
Stranger la
men were
from his r
and got up
The Str
firmly abc
angry and
about ten
bubbling s
until his w
drink a lit
The Stra
Chen were
much. He n
looked wh
However, h
followed t
dered why
'Where a
'Dost thc
Chen, s
dark patch
'Is that
Chen. 'Wh
The Stra
back good
cause there
there; we
and we sh
Now Che
he would fi
Stranger sc
he had no
what he cct
'Art thou
a loin skin
answered t
'But the
suggested C
'Then w
and I . .
Then it
entered mt
of sun and
strife, a lo
such as he
envisaged I
wine and I
envisaged t
laughter, I
himself an
got the
he started
ran .. .0
across the
chow, and.
reached the
The Ivor
shining as c
and rememi
around the
the seventh
'Who is t
Chen kne
is thyself,' b
opened unto




'he cried.
eypect me to
lg Man, drop-
hing his hands.
st a humorous

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