#17: The American Teenagers Have Theories About The Ancient Chinese Masters

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The American Teenagers Have Theories About The Ancient Chinese Masters

They’re just making stuff up.
Here’s one that says that Li Po
was Wang Wei’s evil twin,
his doppelgänger,
or that the two poets were,
in fact, the same guy,
a sort of Jeckyl and Hyde affair.
Here’s another that
says Li Po was drunk
ninety-five percent
of his entire life,
her exact words,
and that he killed some
people just because he could.
He was an alcoholic, you see,
and I was thinking that maybe
she mistook the ancient Chinese master
for the character in a Johnny Cash tune,
or she confused the poet’s sacred
devotion to wine with her uncle Bob’s
binge drinking,
which, might be reasonable,
as the result is pretty much the same.

They fixate on Li Po’s wine and women
and on Wang Wei’s mountains,
and one of them was–
or–both of them were captured
by rebels and were let go,
not because they were exonerated,
but because they were such great poets,
all deaf, mouth-burned, mountain
and river-loving, drunk and at peace,
in love with the moon unto death,
so yu and wu it’s not even funny.
And that’s why the T’ang Dynasty was
so great for the Chinese
and those Chinese Zen master poets.

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2 responses to “#17: The American Teenagers Have Theories About The Ancient Chinese Masters

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