New Year in New York
Chinaman plays his flute on the subway
and the New Year starts.
With a melody -- neutral, like a heart
that finds no solace in hope,
prefers things "as they are".
The sound of the flute takes you far
to the yellow laws of Confucius,
his yellow tales.
To the narrow-eyed gaze that ignores the general,
silver-blue mother of pearl,
a golden, silk thread on the wrist of a girl.
Chinaman plays his flute in the city of steel.
You slither along after the sound like an eel.
Only to find -- Confucius has vanished.
You are back in the city of stone,
where the heart is drained of the liquid love,
thoughts condense to a bone --
discolored, bland, spelling labor and work.
This city stands one-legged
like a frozen stork.