Marshall Walker Lee and Drew Scott Swenhaugen – Thre

Marshall Walker Lee and Drew Scott Swenhaugen

Three Poems from 99 Fires and a Fire


One of the most important tasks
is to await the wave called Song.

Be patient, this can take a lifetime.
All attendees are in listen only mode.
A backpack full of exotic candies
from the dark flowering century
swings open like a gate:
The news says swallow
a thimbleful of gunpowder.



Changchun: a four-season, moon-influenced
wound. To control bleeding we begin
by asking questions: Water lilies bloom
on the Long River, right? Lots of syrup, yes?
The light’s long knife a drinking party,
did I understand correctly? Married sight,
dismayed, erased or graduated
like the Happy Cylinder!
The Deaf Forest loves
you back but cannot say so. Best
to make yourself
a nest of eyes,
a sugared bowl,
a cough
outside of time,
ringing between
white mountains.
If you have a tunic
bleed into it.
Ha, a basket.


Look, outside:


Yes to the million fires of the past
Yes to the farmer’s daughter, second-born
Yes to mashed garlic, mustard seed, a sea of shining of noodle leaves
Late May, the scout returns
with a yellow crocus in his hat band.
See how he weeps! He weeps for Xining!
City of Ten Million Still Warm Symbols
at war with a powerful neighbor.
Yes I left my hat there
over a series of summers
at the bottom of a who knows
how many bowls of wine!


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