Today’s featured poet is Brian Lu, another (former) student of mine who wrote exceptional poetry that I was sometimes jealous of because it was so thoughtful and adept. This poem, “Re,” draws on Asian influences regarding death and the afterlife and reincarnation. It’s one of my favorites of his, and he wrote it in tenth grade.
When I asked him to send me a bio, this is what I got: “I enjoy having my back cracked when my friends hug me and eating fried eggs with cheese for weekend brunch. I have an art blog that I really should update.” And here’s the link to it.
Men and women no longer with beating
heart or rushing blood or warm skin realize real rest
as they ramble down crowded glowing streets
talk of nothing for the sake of nothing and wallow in steaming bath houses
all the while happy euphoric ecstatic doing anything but thinking
The glorious hammer does not so much waltz near the mind or bother the thought
because as is life repose in the heavens is preteritely short
Well this is death but not really death as the dead will soon live again
upon the resonating gong of a bronze bell rung
Guests of death will be ushered into a line loose like string
and one by one the magnificent hammer will crash upon memories thoughts skulls
erasing men and women into infant boys and girls who leave
to be birthed again rising like bald featherless phoenixes
happily remembering nothing
5 thoughts on “Featured Poet: Brian Lu”
Unfortunately, one of the lines, which is very long, wraps around because of the caesurae in it. I hope that comes through well. Ah, formatting.
The shape on the page here (and I note your comment on formatting) reminds me of the work of Richard Siken. The lexicon and imagery don’t; the diction is high, leaning towards lush, and sometimes he wrestles a word into meaning something else (which is bold). How old would a ‘tenth grade’ student be? We don’t have that nomenclature in the UK.
Brian can clarify here on his age when he wrote this if he wishes, but 10th grade in the US is typically ages 15-16. We go up to grade 12 and then it’s on to college/university, etc.