Lantern Review: A Journal of Asian American Poetry

Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé

first falling, to get here, ferric by foot

"To the impeccable poet,
to the perfect magician of French Letters,
to the very dear
and very venerated master and friend."
~ Baudelaire to Gautier

between iron roads, the valley shoulder plummeting, red gullies
somewhere subterranean; she is hair falling straight, a fast tear;
such a thoroughfare, open albeit behind us, bullet-proof shields
and windows; his square teat perfectly spaced, boccioni's brawn

the szolnok mural painters hate the minimalism, the tunneling
the regression into everybody can, that every frivolous red can;
for us, thick nuances as mascara run that rends red foundations
a breast-beating, yawning routine too but also red-set preludes

can a farmer be mere auteur, a redder process, of roomy view?
unfinished business is that four-leaved clover framing, crushing
charlotte reds; the rest trimmed, many equal petals yanked, soft
from high boughs but that's just us and wildness; of red like her

Issue 1 | June 2010

rimbaud rolled on his side, all elbowed and hipped; once trophy
now slice of a pillar, a bit of toast; but no, no victory madness
nervous sweetness a mood, overtone song for another wanderer;
the sublime embeds such a red, a street wall; a steady clearance

like the selling; we're collecting our tears, red magnolia now run
through the grind, through that mill, a flattened fictive between;
there we go again, dabbling in dreamscapes, raffish and animist
red opiate showing, pink trilling down her fingers, bleary edges

a vent unbolts; the collie phoenix looks away, embarrassed too
as if ashamed also; such chalkydri have no eyes, one wing bare
pink of its blouse buttoned down; and unshod, open hearts too;
the big pearls won't be painted in, calla lilies pointless in a bleed

make this stationary; but it is already weighed, moresca motion
four cruel columns twisting into beams and arches; an epigraph
lush, square entrée in single moves, last resort; her french tears
an old rending, red wailing still wailing, today an altered chord