The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Friday and National Gallery Modernism


The Japanese Dragon Poem
By Ryū Tatsu

The Japanese word for dragon is ryū;
it sort of rhymes with the word dew,
but these dragons
are anything but a gentle brew.

The Japanese dragon is wingless,
he’s a spidery serpent, long and winding,
with short agile legs and long clawed feet.

The Japanese dragon has ancient eyes
that will see through you and into you;
his long whiskers started to grow
back before man stumbled
in his first upright steps.

The Japanese dragon greets you
as you enter the shrine;
he sits at the fountain and watches you;
careful now,
less he reads your impure thoughts;
he spits the very spring water
with which you must purify your hands
before you are ready
to petition the spirits of the old
and the dead—
to the Japanese dragon
your wishes are trivial and vain,
so bow down and show your respect to him
less he chooses to shatter your hopes.

The Japanese dragon knows
just how foolish you really are,
how empty and naive,
and if you are not careful with your dreams
he’ll silently sweep into them
and then in a flash, he’ll take you far away—
such that when you wake
it won’t be you that wakes
but a shadow self—
your friends or family
always wondering
just what became of you.

--------

Denise came over on Thursday, and, after a stop at the mall for boba, we went to an EX raid at Timberlawn Park, where we caught Deoxys and played in the giant spiderweb jungle gym. Afterward, she headed back to Baltimore and I did a bunch of cleaning, laundry-folding, and other enviable tasks.

We watched the last two episodes of The Boys, which got much more violent and had some very creepy sex stuff though the women for the most part got more complicated roles. Here are some photos from Wednesday at the National Gallery's modern and postmodern galleries in the East Wing with my parents:

2019-08-21 13.36.18
Do I match the Rothkos?

2019-08-21 13.41.04
Magritte's Condition Humaine

2019-08-21 13.52.34
David Smith's Circles

2019-08-21 13.39.20
Kandinsky's Sea Battle Improvisation

2019-08-21 13.49.13
With the enormous Calder mobile that a son of mine once suggested could probably be turned if another people blew on it.

2019-08-21 13.31.48
My father amidst the Rothkos

2019-08-21 13.39.53
Kupka's Localization of Graphic Motifs II

2019-08-21 13.26.22
Fritsch's Hahn/Cock, a naughty pun in German and English
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