Lantern Review: A Journal of Asian American Poetry

she rises from the bed, saying
shhhhh, baby,
just shut your mouth.

Issue 4 | Winter 2012

Timothy Yu

Chinese Silence No. 37

after Tony Barnstone, "Get Zen"

Get laid, you think. Or try. Indulge your lusts.
Think of a joke: What do you say to Freud
when he comes to your wiener stand, bill poised
for payment? “Sometimes a hot dog is just
a hot dog.” Easier to close your eyes
and think of Buddha, roly-poly gut
and empty loins—he's kind of like you but
on purpose, not a loser full of sighs.
Gratification is a young man's game.
Now that you're old, it's time to turn Chinese
and cultivate a neutered silence. Please
to make an Eastern virtue of your sad-
sack self! You don't really think desire's bad;
self-pity's just better in Buddha's name.