ZHANG ZHIHAO Two Poems Carpenter’s Unique Desire Wood vanishes in the wood shavin gs. Trees transform in the wo od. Forests disappear in tr ees. Old Zhang’s job is to make somethin g into something el se, turning geometry into an a rt. For his whole life he has been making a c hair but he never sits. While standing, he has com pleted the life of a craftsma n but never finished a cha ir. When I was a boy I was attracted to the sound he made with hi s saws. I asked what he was makin g. He said a chair that nobody could si t on. I asked him when he would finish it. He said tomor row. It’s tomorrow. I’m a grownup, with calluses on m y butt. But Old Zhang stands in the same place, among the sh avings. He takes root there, sprouting here and t here. Tapping and rapping. Some teeth are missin g. Is there such a thing as a chair that nobody ca n sit on? I doubt it. But I’d rather belie ve it. Some people are always on the m ove like a speck of sawd ust
Manoa – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: May 10, 2019
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