Tuesday, October 2, 2012


So here's the deal, It was last week, I'm sitting around thinking as to whether or not I should head over to the Subtext bookstore for a Saint Paul Almanac show.

This event fell on a Thursday, and Thursday is Project Runway....so now I had to pit my love for Heidi Klum against the Twin Cities literary peeps.

Next I pull out my droid and dial Finley's number, Mike insists I go to the show, and the 2 of us were to meet up across the street at W.A. Frost.

Just before I hung up the phone, I refreshed Finley's memory......

"Don't forget to bring me that Ezra Pound complete works....please."

Tick Tock goes the clock and whoosh...within moments I am pulling open the heavy wooded doors that will let me pass into Saint Paul's most expensive cocktail lounge.

As I sidled up to the bar, I could of swore I saw a ghost....there was Finley leaning forward on his bar stool.

He had a beer in his left hand and a paper back in the right.

This might not seem like much of a deal to you, but if you are a friend of Finley, you can attest to the fact that Mike is never, never ever the first of 2 friends to arrive to a meeting point.

More often than not he slides in with a smirk while you're just ordering your second Stella.

So now that I know that the world is tilted I ask to see the book.

Mike hands it to me.....


I picked it up, opened it....and all the poems seemed like a Chinese version of J.R.R. Tolkien's Elven poems.

I shrieked in silence.

Now Finley takes the book back, utters blasphemy and then confesses......

"It wasn't the book that I intended to bring, b-u-t.....in some ways maybe that will be to your advantage. This book has one of the most beautiful poems in it of all time.....


Then my mentor begins thumbing through the book with attitude....

"What the hell? this book doesn't even have a table of contents....I don't know maybe this book isn't all that good, but you know, it wouldn't kill you to study the Chinese poets. Look at this book....Ezra Pound translated the whole thing. Can you imagine that?

And one thing you have to remember about Pound is that he came from the armpit of Idaho. He wasn't connected or a networking genius....but this book probably is."

Then Finley kinda presses the book to his chest and I began to wonder if he truly let me leave with it.

"You know Klecko....the Chinese poets had probably the best formula any poet could use....

I took a sip of my beer all slack jawed and continued listening to the master........

"Yeah, those Chinese poets were really cool. SEE SEE SEE CRY, that's how they always did it."

Now Barkeep comes and hands us each another beer without us asking for one.

Finley continued..........

"SEE SEE SEE CRY. When Chinese poets wrote their poems, most often they wrote man to man. Their culture found it more romantic than the standard loves poems that the rest of the world engaged in. Instead one guy would stand on a mountain top and tell this other guy friend how sick he was over the fact that the other friend was leaving the mountain and now the two of them wouldn't be able to participate in their daily routines together.

Most of the times when this is being explained, the poet explaining it is on a horse and his horse stands high in the air and leans back."

Finley actually jumped off the stool to give me the visual....

"And the the friend who would be leaving would wail in sorrow, and he was usually on a horse too, and his horse would neigh like hell."


"Yep" Finley responded. In many ways that's kinda a theme that you try to write with.

I looked at my cell phone to see how much time was left before the show started.

The Barkeep brought our tab and strategically set it down right between Finley and I.

With the hands of a Ninja.....Mike slid the tab in front of me and swung around.

As he made his way across the bar, he announced it one more time for everybody to hear.....



  1. Searching in every direction: east, west, north, south.
    Calling back the soul.
    O la, come back!
    O la, come back!
    Whether in the Yi areas,
    Come back!
    Whether in the Han areas,
    Come back!
    Awaiting you like awaiting a father,
    Awaiting like awaiting a mother.
    If you become a guardian spirit,
    You will be our guardian spirit.
    If you become a demon,
    You will be our demon.

    O la, come back!
    O la, come back!

    --Aku Wuwu
    "Calling Back the Soul of Zhyge Alu" (1987)