Thursday, March 11, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Linh Dinh read this poem in Philadelphia last night at the Asian Arts Initiative. It was published in Harper's, but Dinh insisted that it is "not a Harper's poem:"
Clean, Clean, Clean
Belonging to the lower class, you’re expected
To cater to the upper class’ lower bodily functions,
Not to engage their minds but to wipe their asses,
Kiss their cunts on demand, suck cocks for tips,
Unless, of course, you’re an artist, in which case,
You’re an aristocrat of the servant class, to quote
That grand maestro among slaves, Jasper Johns.
I used to clean apartments and houses.
Showing up for a new job, I was greeted
By the mistress, “I have the most respect
For new immigrants. You work so hard!”
Down low, you’ll get a disproportionate
Low down on all things funky and nasty,
Nothing unusual, really, just shit and stuff.
I cleaned toilets and fridges, folded panties,
Got on all fours, dipped into the suspicious.
A young woman confi ded, “I moved to Philly
Because California women were so beautiful.”
She was usually home when I came. The spine
Of her soft porn book turned to the wall. They all
Had some smut in the house. This was before
The Internet made these sad and surreptitious
Purchases unnecessary. I found a teen-aged
Madonna in a closet, so I knelt and sighed.
A fat one lived alone, but once she said, “Sorry,
The house is so messy today. I had company
Last night,” and her face brightened angelically.
--from Linh Dinh's Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (Chax Press, 2009)