Lately, I've been digging deeper into my roots and reading more Vietnamese and Chinese poets. Found an interesting poem by Nguyen Quang Thieu in his book, The Women Carry River Water.
The Inn of Snake Alcohol The snakes are buried in alcohol. Their spirits creep over the mouth of the jug, They lie in the bottoms of cups. Creep on, please creep on through white lips-- Listen: Drunk is shouting his vagabond song.
With the top of a hat, with a pair of shoes With glazed eyes that search the horizon With anger setting fires in the temple A whole life stunned by nothingness--
Like a broken stone, like a bending reed With the startling turns of a poem With a frenzy of fears that lick like fire With the laugh in the sleepwalker's crying--
Creep on, spirits of snakes, creep on! Dazzling venom spurts from the jug. There's a man who drinks nothing but memories Whose veins are the paths of snakes.
The little inn buries the great night The forest recalls the name of Autumn Alcohol carries the spirits of snakes And Drunk is making a song from his own venom.