2011 spring poetry strangesymbiosis

by John F. DeCarlo

East is East
& West is West

& Never shall the twain
Not be

China, like the I-Ching
is a book of change & movement:
Tai Chi sunrise
Kick-box economics
The Dali Lama on the run

The great Wall of China now encircles the globe
Grasshopper has left the Buddhist Temple for Wall Street
the value of Caterpillar takes flight
as Peking shifts its stimulus into overdrive
GM survives because the Chinese love Buicks

America consumes Chinese exports like piranha frenzy on a meaty bone
& the Paper Tiger is imparted its daily transfusion of financial credit
Will Chinese herbs or Western medicine provide the aid
for the epidemic of obesity: when the interest owed
outweighs the principle borrowed

There is a hollowness to the bamboo shoot—it’s all pragmatism and things
George Carlin warned about the things & the other things
that are necessary to keep the things of the things
profits pour into the emptiness of affluence—a post-modern water torture
where is Bruce Lee with a flying roundhouse kick to the tanks of Tiananmen Square

Striking with closed fist & bare foot
Mao Marshal Planned women into the factories
all bodies were necessary for the Red Revolution
they now share in the opulence of the corporate cadre
more than their American counterparts

Trade Wars & Culture Wars
if you sold or used Opium—your hands were chopped off
the—remaining end—always justifies the means
it’s not pie in the sky—its scientific cloud control for the Olympic Games
such is the high tech ambience of the introspective Orient

The ghostly butterfly of Chuang-Tzu
still flutters in the misty mountains tops
& as Genghis & Kublai Khan try to invade via Google & CNN
Ping-Pong diplomacy barely gets over the net
of East—&—West

Confucius say: always respect elder
Dow of Eagle young & volatile
Dow of Dragon old & strong

The Tao of the Dollar is unknown
The Tao is the Way?

About the Author

John F. DeCarlo teaches in the Writing Studies Program at Hofstra University. His two book publications include Life & Death: Poetry and Prose (2004), and Walking Through Lebanon (2011). His monograph, entitled Had I But Time... I Could Tell You: Hamlet's Unspoken Dialectic with Descartes, Kant, and Heidegger, is scheduled for publication later in 2011.

Maintained or neglected, familiar or foreign, well-worn or wild, roadways inform our decisions and identities. Their geographies direct the movement
of our lives and sketch the cartography of our stories. In this spirit, 322 Review publishes provocative emerging and established artists whose fiction,
creative nonfiction, poetry, and mixed media artwork wander the paths of human experience. A nonprofit literary journal conceived
and operated by former Rowan University graduate students, 322 Review is based in Southern New Jersey.