A Koan Catalogue

A new catalogue has arrived. It sells everything in even numbers from hampers to visors to worry stones. Da-Ren moves his thumb across the face of the angel carved into his jadeite piece. That was a birthday present from the curator with the cellist. Da-Ren wrote him a masnavi in return, about a mythic river that had dried up into a periglacial lake. It's now retrofitted, a parking lot, where the maroon and mango-yellow Volvo resides. “It comes in other colours,” Da-Ren recalls the other cellist saying, afraid the chess master wouldn’t like the brown-tinged green. But Da-Ren sees the tree of life in it like a forest in India and all the bloodstone it can afford, the martyrs within forgotten. “Take this Caravaggio and follow the splash zone,” Da-Ren says. “Reach the foot of the water-logged mountain in Montenegro, and there, a box poem at page bottom, left and right of centre.”

by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé
from I Didn't Know Mani was a Conceptualist (2014)


SELECTED POEMS: "jericho" >