Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Thaddeus Rutkowski: Two Poems

Two new poems by Thaddeus Rutkowski, reproduced here from a broadsheet published by

Anarchist Manifesto

I believe in anarchy.
but not if everybody goes wild.

I want to be the only wild one,
among the law abiding citizens.

I want to be the hyperactive youngster
among the fuddy-duddies.

I want to run amok
while everyone else goose-steps.

I want to be the loon among the obedient geese.

Hong Kong

I wanted to eat fried scorpions,
or at least crispy grasshoppers.
But instead I ate chicken a la king at a KFC.
I was told snake was a popular food,
and the idea of snake struck me,
but the reality was, snake was out of season.

I expected everyone to be traveling
by scooter or bicycle, or on foot,
but I saw lots of cars, no simple conveyances,
and a vanishing network of hutongs, or alleys.
All signaled a consumerist system,
not a Communist colony.

Nubs of incense sticks sat in ash-filled burners
at doorsteps as if to ward off bad luck:
recession, financial breakdown,
a tip in the balance of trade,
loss of shelter from taxes or typhoons.
These were the Asian business risks.

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Thaddeus Rutkowski grew up in central Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Cornell University and The Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of the novels Haywire(Starcherone/Dzanc), Tetched (Behler Publications) and Roughhouse (Kaya Press). All three books were finalists for an Asian American Literary Award, and Haywire won the Members' Choice Award, given by members of the Asian American Writers Workshop. Haywire reached No. 1 on Small Press Distribution's fiction best-seller list. Tetched was chosen as one of the best books reviewed in 2006 by Chronogram magazine. You can find out more on his website: www.thaddeusrutkowski.com

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