The Revenge of Fu Manchu

11 06 2006

Facing certain death at the hands of MI6,
the inscrutable Fu Manchu
exhorted of his only-begotten son:
     Hold awhile.
     Beside you stands that timely chute
     chanson-sweet and escape route
     for young petals and hands
     and through it you must fly
     and I …

     hold awhile
     the chatter and jab of Empire's justice.
     For we will die like mirrors
     and gloatless pools
     and vanish
     though you in slow deliquescence.
     And so I say:
     Drink of My Bile
     Eat of My Learning
     and so affect the words of those foreign devils
     'mongst which I cast you to

     Eat / Drink / Remember.

But from the son in tow no tears were spread
of all-consuming loss or filial piety.
Perhaps his shaking hands were anticipating
the flat ductility of English sentiments
or the longed-for grain of those
glowing
pallid
pots of
British flesh.

© Tony Lee, October 2002

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