first falling, to get here, ferric by foot

by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé

“To the impeccable poet,
to the perfect magician of French Letters,
to the very dear
and very venerated master and friend.”

~ Baudelaire to Gautier

between iron roads, the valley shoulder plummeting, red gullies
somewhere subterranean; she is hair falling straight, a fast tear;
such a thoroughfare, open albeit behind us, bullet-proof shields
and windows; his square teat perfectly spaced, boccioni’s brawn

the szolnok mural painters hate the minimalism, the tunnelling
the regression into everybody can, that every frivolous red can;
for us, thick nuances as mascara run that rends red foundations
a breast-beating, yawning routine too but also red-set preludes

can a farmer be mere auteur, a redder process, of roomy view?
unfinished business is that four-leaved clover framing, crushing
charlotte reds; the rest trimmed, many equal petals yanked, soft
from high boughs but that’s just us and wildness; of red like her

rimbaud rolled on his side, all elbowed and hipped; once trophy
now slice of a pillar, a bit of a toast; but no, no victory madness
nervous sweetness a mood, overtone song for another wanderer;
the sublime embeds such a red, a street wall; a steady clearance

like the selling; we’re collecting our tears, red magnolia now run
through the grind, through that mill, a flattened fictive between;
there we go again, dabbling in dreamscapes, raffish and animist
red opiate showing, pink trilling down her fingers, bleary edges

a vent unbolts; the collie phoenix looks away, embarrassed too
as if ashamed also; such chalkydri have no eyes, one wing bare
pink of its blouse buttoned down; and unshod, open hearts too;
the big pearls won’t be painted in, calla lilies pointless in a bleed

make this stationary; but it is already weighed, moresca motion
four cruel columns twisting into beams and arches; an epigraph
lush, square entrée in single moves, last resort; her french tears
an old rending, red wailing still wailing, today an altered chord

Lantern Review

Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé's picture

Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé has edited more than ten books and co-produced three audio books. The titles span the genres of ethnography, journalism, creative nonfiction, and poetry, several edited pro bono for non-profit organizations including Sok Sabay Cambodia, Riding for the Disabled Association, and the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre. Previously an entertainment and lifestyle journalist, Desmond has traveled to Australia, France, Hong Kong and Spain for his stories, culminating in the authorship of the limited edition Top Ten TCS Stars for Caldecott Publishing. Trained in book publishing at Stanford University, with a theology masters (world religions) from Harvard University and fine arts masters (creative writing) from the University of Notre Dame, he is the recipient of the Hiew Siew Nam Academic Award, and Singapore Internationale Grant, with his poetry and fiction appearing in nine chapbooks, various anthologies, and over 140 literary journals. An interdisciplinary artist, Desmond also works in clay, his ceramic works housed in museums and private collections in India, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.

Last updated May 31, 2011