Lawrence Beck


How Do You Say 'cheers' In Mandarin? - Poem by Lawrence Beck

No one here speaks English well enough
To try to talk to me. I'm in the Grand
Pagoda's bar. There are no other
Customers because it's only three
O'clock. That's one reason why
I came. Another is that Mrs. Tang
Is tending bar, and she's not skimpy
With the liquor. Also, in this
Dreadful realm of upscale houses,
Strips and malls, white-collar swells
And perky moms, I feel as if I've
Found a refuge in this cheesy
Little lounge. The Yangtze River's
On the wall, a panda in a bamboo tree,
The smiling face of Deng Xiaoping,
All set apart by strings of beads from
People buying carry-out. I don't
Suppose that this is how I ought
To finish out my days, retired,
Drunk by four o'clock, but I don't
Know what else to do, and I can't
Think of any other place in this
Unsightly suburb where I'd like
To be.

Topic(s) of this poem: destiny


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Poem Edited: Thursday, January 19, 2017


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