From small notebook, I had taken to Hong Kong

From small notebook, I had taken to Hong Kong, when I resided at 20 Renwick Street, in 1984.

Added, May 4, 1998

Hong Kong. Beggars prostrate. One kneels beside a yellowed page covered with black characters, ideograms, runes? A few greasy coins of various small denominations are placed over certain marks in, so I assume, some kind of spiritual roulette. Whereas if life instructs you, your face is, over time, carved like a mask. But when thought, or, better, introspection, tutors one, features are worked like clay.

To grow strange, purely strange, as if divinely shaped and inspired. The City, its congestion lit by neon suns, its countless buildings filling every inch of space, climbing higher and higher. The city, obeying laws older than urban planning.

Unhappy? Because you want answers and money is the antithesis of answers. Because you desire dialogue with trees and want to read the calligraphy of clouds.

But anxiety about money intrudes, keeping you from more satisfying anxieties. For example: Do the walls have ears, and if so, what good are ears without tongues? Is the entire inanimate world nothing more than a gigantic stenographic pool?

Waking up drunk although not a peck of booze consumed the night before. Not so much as a kiss of spirits touched my lips. Stupidity looks back at me through the mirror.

Absurdly squat Chinese club chairs, whining violin music. The ceiling so low it’s like seeing the Harbor and Hong Kong from under a bed. It does not seem altogether real. What in life, when examined, does? Oh, God, is that man there, across the room, wearing the face I’ll wear in 10 years?

On love: Damn the mute phone, the drained pen, the made bed, doors that open to empty rooms.

On globalization: After climbing the 1,000 steps you read: “Color processing by Kodak.” Charter Bank across the way from Plenty Frozen Meat Market.  All the marvelous ideograms, all the gilded names, selling such mundane things.

Each new day is a broom sweeping the littered remains of experience into the gutter of eternity.

From small notebook, I had taken to Hong Kong

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