Saturday, May 16, 2015

Reading Baudelaire

By X. Z. Shao
Reading Baudelaire
even in English,
I feel like walking on
a street of perfumes,
neon lights of all sorts
beaming to my eyes.

Like a destitute rural child
with a candy in his hand,
he doesn’t want to finish it fast.
I never jump over a page,
or count how many pages left.
When I put it away,
I save it for the time I need it most.

Out of dumping ground
of filths from human hearts,
he was an artist making collages
of masterpieces out of his picks.
Don’t think he is one of you
brewing toxic drinks.
Don’t think he smears you
by exposing a corner of your heart
crawling with worms.

It is sweet to listen to
songs sung with a dreamy face,
but I prefer to be rocked and torn
by a tumultuous voice
uttered with a face dead serious.
Sometimes it is cold and lifeless
as if you were with a love one
with a terminal disease.
Sometimes you have the Beauty of Ice
beckoning you to your total destruction.

Going over the carefully-chosen words
laden with shared symbols,
and the cadence of mesmerizing lines,
you feel the giant woman, the cat,
the hair, the stone, the moon, the swan…
are all transformed into stars
in the blue night sky over Paris.
The beauty of despair may be yours,
but never Baudelaire’s,
his, a heart of reverie,
a shining star of eternal smile. 


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