There is More Than One Way to Look at the Lower Body
(TIMTOWTDI about the Lower Body)
I genuinely believe in this, even though I also believe
this is only a truism, which can be the same as
"In the end looking is only one standpoint,"
like a mandarin’s square walk.
The differences, I know, may underwrite the same examples for foes.
Three years ago in Shanghai I was with a lady friend in a taxi
stuck on an overbridge that lay itself down
as an exit of a downtown street to an expressway,
and we were talking about the so-called the Lower Body poetry
in terms of what contributes to the pleasure
of reading or writing those representative ones under that category:
The excretory experience or the expression of it? Are they related?
The taxi was constipated in the traffic and I had to open the window
to let in the dirty air which immediately counteracted
the stale fragrance in the taxi and the faint perfume from my companion.
Then, the car revved up and the air howled by.
I said: See? Sheer speed can be a pure raciness, allegro vivace,
but if not for that, we might not feel the same as we do now.
Oh, I adore that woman, for her unadorned wit and her taste for music.
We were going to meet a boy for a supper, who fell one year later
from a cliff into water
at a breathtaking spot, smarter and far more energetic than I.
Years back in Beijing, in a dorm like a pigsty,
one of my classmates joked: Imagine that you drip for half an hour
and think your bladder is voided, but the moment
you tuck your always flaccid penis back, your trousers are wet.
We was so young then that we could still piss near as high as our heads,
and we could not wait in a queue for a pee,
and never felt ashamed to share a urinal,
holding the shafts aiming at a crossfire.
But his words made me shudder as if fully relieved.
That year, we were crazy about Nietzsche,
and euthanasia was heatedly debated,
while we preferred suicide than senility.
He was hit by a car later that year; he escaped his life,
but dropped out of the school.
A month ago he emailed me:
Due to chronic epilepsy, I am now in
"an accelerated pathological mental regression."
The euphemism he said he still understood.
I replied then, and never receive his RE: RE:.
Another year, in a New York downtown clinic,
a thirty-six-aged metrosexual stepped into the restroom
when waiting to collect his HIV test result.
There in front of the urinal stood an old man, shakily
apologizing for having kept him waiting,
and he tried to distract him into a light-hearted banter:
"Sorry that you are made to be patiently polite
even if you naturally cannot,
but when you eventually find that the women
once made you happy
from your world
while you feel relieved
to find that you do not ejaculate any more…"
The metrosexual suddenly realizes that he is rustier
than the grey-headed, and the HIV test, of course,
proves negative and negative he remains toward family life.
He is happier, though, and he even begins to write poems,
exclusively about love, one of which is entitled
"There Is More Than One Way to Do It about the Lower Body."
A peep of it will learn that this is nothing
but a rubber-sheathed truism, which can be just the same as
"In the end doing is only one standpoint."
Sept. 5, 2007
Note: The so-called Lower Body Poetry is a strand of poetry in contemporary Mainland China. This strand chides and dismisses the learned poetry or scholarly / campus poetry as being too high-brow and alienated from the everyday expereince of the ordinary people and promotes a writing that is not "thought out" by the brains (the Upper Body) but lived out by the body (the Lower Body).