Friday, October 1, 2010

The evil of owls revealed!

"I and all my filthy owl friends voted for that nice Mr Abbott"

I would like to be that elderly Chinese gentleman.
He wears a gold watch with a gold bracelet,
but a shirt without sleeves or tie.
He has good luck moles on his face, but is not
disfigured with fortune.
His wife resembles him, but is still a handsome woman,
She has never bound her feet or her belly.
Some of the party are his children, it seems,
And some his grandchildren;
No generation appears to intimidate another.
He is interested in people, without wanting to
convert them or pervert them.
He eats with gusto, but not with lust;
And he drinks, but is not drunk.
He is content with his age, which has always suited him.
When he discusses a dish with the pretty waitress,
It is the dish he discusses, not the waitress.
The tablecloth is not so clean as to show indifference,
Not so dirty as to signify a lack of manners.
He proposes to pay the bill but knows he will not be
allowed to.
He walks to the door like a man who doesn’t fret
about being respected, since he is;
A daughter or granddaughter opens the door for him,
And he thanks her.
It has been a satisfying evening. Tomorrow
Will be a satisfying morning. In between
he will sleep satisfactorily.
I guess that for him it is peace in his time.
It would be agreeable to be this Chinese gentleman.

21 comments:

Alex said...

The poem reminds me of a hundred different restaurant scenes from Shaw Brothers, Golden Harvest, and similar movies I watched when I was younger.

I'm not sure what the graphic reminds me of.

Lewd Bob said...

That's great.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Are you talking about the poem or the picture, Bob?

wari lasi said...

That's a ripper poem Ramon

Lewd Bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewd Bob said...

Are you talking about the poem or the picture, Bob?

There's a poem?

Kettle said...

Cool poem.

I did a search to find out who wrote it and came across some kind of academic twaddle piece that included the terms 'deconstructive reading', 'binary opposites' and 'persona'. I've never heard a narrator described as a 'persona' before: silly academic wanker fuck-knobism.

Piss off academic wanker fuck-knosbism. Piss off I say!

Sorry, I needed to say that.

Cool poem, despite the 'commentary' it has attracted.

Dr. Golf said...

People tell me im really layed back and content. But inside im like a pressurized cyst of angst and self loathing.

Lewd Bob said...

Perhaps there's more to the elderly Chinese Gentlemen than we realise, Dr Golf.

Perhaps he's a pressurised cyst of angst and self-loathing too. Or perhaps a serial killing monster, or a disfigured zombie-like mutant or a filthy child-molester or just a cunt. Things are not always as they seem as you rightly point out.

Or maybe he really is just a content dude.

The wonders of poetry.

squib said...

I tried to google this too but our broadband has been slowed (THANK YOU TELSTRA)so I gave up. If I had to guess, I'd say it's either Walt Whitman or someone trying to be Walt

Alex said...

Well, according to poetryarchive.org, it's called "Dreaming In The Shanghai Restaurant" and was written by D. J. Enright. Whether or not he was a Walt Whitman try-hard, I will leave to people more knowledgeable than myself to decide.

Alex said...

Oh, and two thumbs up to Kettle for the best poetry-commentary commentary I've ever seen.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

That's some fine detective work, Alex.

And running the risk of being called a "silly academic wanker fuck-knob" I think the reason why Squib thought it may have been Walt Whitman is that Whitman and Enright are both broadly in the "humanist" tradition of poetry.

Kettle said...

Ramon I don't mean it's bad to use 'terms' to describe poetry or any other kind of writing, and talking about Whitman and Enright in terms of the humanist tradition makes perfect sense (because you've said what you actually mean). It's just when commentary consists of stringing together a bunch of terms in such a way that meaning is pretty much lost that it becomes academic wankerism.

I thought the piece I found was academic wankery because the writer said they were going to do a deconstructive reading of the poem then didn't actually do one, or didn't explain how what they were doing was a deconstructive reading. I'm pretty easy to convince: tell me you can make sense of something using a particular framework (deconstruction, say) and show me how it's so and I'll believe you (I pretty much think I'm a cult member just waiting for a cult leader to explain to me how we came from Xenu, say).

Anyway, I'm sure you've all got better things to be doing on a rainy public holiday morning (like sleeping, eating) than listen to me raving on so sorry about that; it has helped me figure out what I actually think about this so thanks.

squib said...

No, I think the similarity in style is closer than anthing owing to the humanist tradition

If I had all day I could probably find a better example but this one leaps to mind

Enright:

It has been a satisfying evening. Tomorrow
Will be a satisfying morning. In between
he will sleep satisfactorily.
I guess that for him it is peace in his time.


Whitman:

The past is the push of you and me and all precisely the same,
And the day and night are for you and me and all,
And what is yet untried and afterward is for you and me and all.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

This is probably why I shouldn't comment on matters of which I know very little.

squib said...

That's never stopped me before

When strangers are discussing things I know nothing about at barbecues, I like to throw in, "I think you'll find that's an old wives' tale"

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I like to say "I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that".

That or "Fuck off. Just fuck off."

Either works.

Alex said...

On further reflection, Kettle, I'm giving you an extra thumb and a half for coining the term "fucknobism" as a means to describe pretentious jargon that attempts to disguise an absence of useful information.

I've needed a word like this for quite some time.

Kettle said...

Ooh Alex I do like the way 'fuck' and 'knobism' look run together like that!

Now you simply must share an example of "pretentious jargon that attempts to disguise an absence of useful information" that you've recently encountered.

I've got beer and hommus in the fridge and some fine examples of fucknobism from your good self on the way. Do Mondays get any better than this?

No, no they don't.

Alex said...

Sorry to let you down so far Kettle, but you do realise that it's only a public holiday in New South, right? In an effort not to bore you, I'm still trying to think of a situation where I've encountered fucknoism recently that doesn't involve the terms "hardware drivers", "proprietary interface" or "virtual machine".