Saturday, November 19, 2005

15th Anniversary of My Son SETH'S DEATH

"WOULD YOU WANT IT OTHERWISE?"


There is a lingering sadness-
a feeling of choking
on tears shed within:

Time passes;
wounds scar over.

But within,
the many tears unshed

Gather as a
perpetual tugging
at the heart:

Not a black mood-
but an inner stream of sadness and joy

That leaves my vision
a little glazed.

I remember Seth:
crawling to the playground;
wobbling on early sailor's legs;
gobbling up pot stickers;
yelling out of the car after the Super Bowl;
playing electric guitar riffs;
listening to the radio all night;
talking, talking, and talking;
making people laugh-
so talented, so unsure

(a big, shambling puppy of a boy-man).

An old Zen
story
has it that the student keeps

returning for a blessing:

The teacher says,
first grandfather dies;
then father;
then son.

The student questions
if this
is a blessing-

The teacher asks,
"Would you
want it otherwise?



SETH'S POEM (WRITTEN BY SETH DESPRES, 1990):

"CHINATOWN, MY CHINATOWN"

On the 30 stockton
carrying a briefcase
I am the only
bus-rider whose native tongue
is not Cantonese.
Lurching din
Chinese infant
maybe eighteen months,
maybe a boy, grins wide-eyed
over seat-back
showing steel teeth.
Walnut-faced dowager
peers sunglassed out
from beneath black shawl.
She is ancient like clay.
I push my way out at Bush Street.
Jaundiced sun
smiles feebly on
office towers
pigeonshit.
I walk up through Chinatown.
Pullet carcasses hang
beneath red-gold banners,
above black shriveled eels.
Thick air--
I coat my palate
savor the hot stink
cigars,
dead fish,
cabbage,
steamed dumplings.
Cheap tinny violin
squeaks Yangtse rhapsody.
Happy alien voyeur,
I scarf potstickers and chow fun-
I could not wish myself anywhere else.

2 Comments:

At 6:12 PM, Blogger Garmian said...

can you send me your poem in franch pleas

 
At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a friend of Seth's at Davis High School, CA. He was an amazing person. I'm glad to have found his poem.

 

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