2 poems by Jay Gao


Endymion


START OF TEXT. CRUISE OF FOOLS. ACKNOWLEDGE

CHARACTER. OFFBEAT SITES. START OF HEADING. ONE

HAUNTED COURSE. START OF PROTECTED AREA.

FIVE LAKES. FOUR SEAS. END OF PROTECTED AREA.

MY GRAVE. SYNCHRONOUS IDLE. NO BREAK

HERE. BAMBOO HARDENS. NEXT LINE. PORTHOLE MOON.

SINGLE SHIFT. EMPTY BERTH. MESSAGE WAITING.

DID I DREAM OF YOUR DESIRE LAST NIGHT?

SHIFT IN. IMPERIAL GHOST SHIP. GLIDED VIDEO. SHIFT

OUT. SINGLE BOY. OSSIFIED. START OF SELECTED AREA.

GROTTO COURT. PRIVATE USE. DRAGON KING’S WIFE.

DEVICE CONTROL. PHOTOGRAPH. INERT FINLESS

PORPOISES. FORM FEED. BELLIED UP. END OF

TRANSMISSION BLOCK. AMPUTATED RUBBER. ESCAPE

CHARACTER. SNOW CRANES TANGO. HORIZONTAL TAB.

GLORIOUSLY ROSY. SEPTIC KNOTWEED. DATA LINK

ESCAPE. MESSAGE WAITING. WAS THAT SHADOW

ON THE DYING LAKEBED EIGHT VIEWS OF YOUR BODY?

START OF STRING. LAST WILD GEESE. DESCENDING

SAND. RAIN ON THE LAKE. TEMPLE BELL. DIRTIED

SNOW. MIST THAT CLEARS. A VILLAGE ALIGHT.

OUR OWN OLD MOON IN AUTUMN. LONE SAIL.

HOMEWARDS BOUND. ESCAPE CHARACTER. SEEING

OUT. END OF SELECTED AREA. MY MEMORIES OF THOSE

INERT EVENINGS FEEL CELESTIAL. PARTIAL LINE

BACKWARD. TWO CLANGS. PRIVATE USE. A PAVILION

GONG. SHIFT IN. A THING OF JOY FOREVER. SHIFT OUT.

THEN ANOTHER. SET TRANSMIT STATE. A PASSAGE OVER

INTO NOTHINGNESS. NEXT LINE. SHAPELESS.

NULL CHARACTER. PROBABLY. END OF TRANSMISSION.

EMPTIED. BACKSPACE. EMPTIED. ENQUIRY CHARACTER.

AND DRAINED OF ALL RESOURCES TO SUSTAIN LAKE LIFE.



The Judgement


Whatever it takes to survive successfully, to persevere

at your cellular expense,

I will do it.



________

Jay Gao is a Chinese Scottish poet, editor, and the author of Imperium (2022), forthcoming from Carcanet Press, as well as the poetry pamphlets: TRAVESTY58 (2022), Katabasis (2020), and Wedding Beasts (2019). He is a Contributing Editor for The White Review. He is studying for an MFA at Brown University, and lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.