The Year of the Rooster, Dragon Dance in Little Saigon

February 12, 2017

when mom tells home tales of her parents

they are muddled in myth and mystery

—they never said much  but always talked story—


and it is unclear how great-grandparents died

—they went to India and we went to France—

that was that      so       we fill in the gaps


blow eighty-thousand fire pangs at the sun

and keep the dark away with a fizz-bang-flash 

roaring   pet the dragon  pet the dragon   feed it red


Bolsa is littered today with red paper and gun powder

boys turning to legend outside the jewelry store

becoming little men    inside the dragon


dancing like war amongst the fire cracking

a crowd has gathered to hear the drums

a crowd has gathered to hear the drums


cymbals clash


the dragon’s head rears and rises


 mouth agape    closed    a    gape

 feed me red              feed me red

 the Rooster calls        into sunset



ward off evil      push back death  

drive the demon down

send a wish and s e a l it in breath


our shadows grow long                      wisps of smoke

the smell of trout and French bread

feed me life                 feed me red



the veterans     kneeling in the graveyard  

play music for the stones

feed the dead                         feed the dead


cat jumps over the corpse

watch it sit up!

yellow flowers bloom in their bed


Rooster breathes fire into the snowy mountain

flame and ice the new year folded in

scraps of paper floating home


blown by this the new year wind

dance into dawn                      feed the breathing

push off the night                                         eat the light!



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