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New Poetry, Fiction, Essays

Three Panels for a Triptych of Dalian by Michael Paul Hogan

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Born in London, Michael Paul Hogan is a poet, journalist and literary essayist whose work has appeared extensively in the USA, UK, India and China. His poetry has been published in over thirty magazines and in six collections, the most recent of which, Chinese Bolero, with illustrations by the great contemporary painter Li Bin, was released in  Dalian in 2015.

 

 

 

 Language has been given to man so that he may make Surrealist use of it.

 Andre Breton, 1924

 

A dog in Taoist headgear and dressed in red walked on a roof like a man.

 Luo Guanzhong, 1522

 

 

FIRST PANEL: LEFT

 

 A city of courtyards /

……………………………………………………….of sudden silences

of expressionist angles and fan-blade shadows

of apartments that wear blue-tinted spectacles

of people painted on paper trams)

………………………………………………………………………………………….a city

of sixty-four squares and clockwork cages

where dogs wearing Dior float over the rooftops

and lick the icing off the window panes

and look in through skylights at couples sleeping

and chase kites and are as invisible

as trees.

 

 

SECOND PANEL: CENTRE 

 

I shall paint this city.

It is not a city of words it is a city

of images. Collage is also an option.

 

I shall prepare my paints and brushes with infinite care.

Also my scissors and a copy of Vogue magazine.

Collage is more quickly than a violin.

 

I shall limit myself to three colors only

(black and white are not colors they are visual

silence. So is a rainbow).

 

Burnt Sienna, Viridian and Cobalt Blue,

one color dominant on each panel,

representing Chunliu, Jinxiu and Malan,

 

where tomatoes sell people with circus faces

and harlequins wearing bicycles

are balloons.

 

 

THIRD PANEL: RIGHT

 

 A city of silences /

………………………………………………..of sudden courtyards

of children’s alphabets on washing lines

of green steel doors and concrete stairwells

of pasteboard people and shadows)

……………………………………………………………………………………………….a city

of parasols where morning markets bloom

and pineapples are captains of pirate ships

and bananas are elephants… A double city

where stars explode in fountains of rose petals

and streets the all are everywhere suddenly

with flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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