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Sunday, 2 December 2012

Simon Schuchat: In the Multi-storied Hotel


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A brick factory with recently built high rise towers in Baoshan district, Shanghai: photo by Remko Tanis, 11 September 2012

 
I had a burst of adrenalin today
Felt strong as speed stronger
I jumped right out of the Foreign Affairs Office
Hopped on my bike and started down Handan lu
Tried to invent a short-cut to the Consulate
And found myself lost in the factory belt
With only the TV tower to navigate by
In those dusty outer districts I even knocked
Down by accident of course a female comrade
And cursed her in English for my mistake
This was at the cobbled bridge at Shimen Er lu
And I had been going for almost half an hour
Whispering to myself everything will be alright
We'll get married and go to America



Simon Schuchat: In the Multi-storied Hotel, from At Baoshan, in The East Village Poetry Web, Volume 1, 1998



Graffiti on the wall in front of the seawall -- 那么爱你为什(么), "Love you so much, why?" (Baoshan, Shanghai): photo by ruohuif, 30 April 2011


Rainy Street, Baoshan Road, Shanghai
: photo by d'n'c (d. FUKA), 1 March 2007



Rainy Street, Baoshan Road, Shanghai: photo by d'n'c (d. FUKA), 1 March 2007


Reflection, Baoshan Road, Shanghai: photo by d'n'c (d. FUKA), 1 March 2007


Bicycle, Baoshan Road, Shanghai: photo by d'n'c (d. FUKA), 1 March 2007



Puddle, Baoshan Road, Shanghai: photo by d'n'c (d. FUKA), 1 March 2007



Rainy Street, Baoshan Road, Shanghai: photo by d'n'c (d. FUKA), 1 March 2007


 Seawall / breakers along along the Yangtze River, Baoshan, Shanghai
: photo by ruohuif, 30 April 2011

10 comments:

Hazen said...

Schuchat, new to me, I like very much, in both of these posts. More than an observer, he gets inside what he writes about, and reveals himself at the same time.

TC said...

Glad you like these poems, Hazen -- I do too, very much.

"More than an observer, he gets inside what he writes about, and reveals himself at the same time."

That feels right.

Here's a brief glimpse of Simon in his official capacity.

TC said...

(By the by, Simon is now retired from diplomatic service and giving long overdue attention to his poetry -- on Wednesday night next he will be doing his first reading of the century, at St Marks Poetry Project in NYC.)

Sandra said...

nice rain and poem!

Susan Kay Anderson said...

We'll Get Married And Go To China

The Yellow Sea the Yellow River
will welcome reflections

of the moon at certain times
to see it in the place
at the river
under a certain bridge
at midnight

the swirls of the river
stirring the moonlight
we dip our toes
we ran so fast
to get here.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

He looks so clear so competent
not harried or rushed at all
rushing around China
bumping people with bicycles
but everything sifts down
to his actions to get across town
this develops suddenly
solid.

Tom Raworth said...

Tom: good that you have some Simon. He turned up at a reading Doug Lang and I did in DC about a month ago, looking spruce. First time I'd seen him since those Chicago days of the mid-seventies..... so our meetings bracket his career. He was in excellent form and I look forward to his retirement into poetry. love, Tom

TC said...

Swell to have others who recognize the rarity of Simon's brilliance step forward to testify.

Tom is dead on about Simon -- spruce wit, gentle man, nimble mind, excellent form always.

Aram Saroyan, another of the familiar company, sends a word of tribute back-channel:

"Wonderful to see these poems and the video of Simon—I remember him in Bolinas in ‘72...What a journey!"

(And check out, if you haven't done so already, Michael Lally's words of tribute on the post below this one.)

Chris said...

Gosh, Simon Schuchat. I haven't seen his name for a long time. There is a copy of "Svelte" still on my shelf. I wonder if he remembers Judy Lehman.

TC said...

Chris,

About Judy Lehman -- of course I cannot speak for Simon, but I will relay your comment along to him.

He has provided the most adroit (and diplomatic) apology for absenting himself from comment threads that I have yet encountered:

"... if I don't comment it's because of years practicing 'no comment' has left irreparable ruin on my comment mechanism, so to speak."