The DMQ Review

Steven Rood © 2003 All Rights Reserved

Chu Ta

            could only live high or low.
Drunk, he’d paint illogical landscapes,
fish glowering out of square eyes,
sparrows teetering on a single leg.
Yet sometimes a fluffy, unnameable,
satisfied bird preened happily
in a corner. To write, he’d grab
a brush and bellow like a madman.
One day, he hung on his door
the sign for dumb and never
spoke again. This is what
was said when he died, “Alas,
Alas, one can get drunk as he
did, but not crazy as he was.”

Nils Peterson
Copyright © 2004

Nils Peterson is Professor Emeritus at San Jose State University where he taught creative writing and Shakespeare for thirty-eight years. He has published poems, stories, and essays on subjects ranging from golf to Shakespeare. He has a chapbook entitled Here Is No Ordinary Rejoicing and a collection of poems, The Comedy of Desire. He lives in Campbell, California.


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