Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Luxury


Luxury
by Laijon Liu 20130129

Luxury is to own a piece of promised land:
a green pasture, a few silver streams
cattle grazing and roaming
pets chasing rabbits in dense woods
waterfowls floating and fishing at easy

rainbow hanging in soft rain
sunset beyond orange wheatfield
golden ripples stirred by autumn wind
and our children sitting on their hilltop
with pleasure and assurance

Note:
I recently watched a very good film, Promised Land. I think this film should be the best film of the year, because it’s topic. It asks me What’s Really Important. We live on our land, we can gamble our pocket, we can earn it back, we put our love or wife or husband on the betting table, we break some hearts and maybe we can change name move to another city meet someone new, but if we risk our land, we may lose everything. And Earth, this complex sumptuous natural balanced environment is slowly developed thru million years.

Related Poem: Disneyland Is Good



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Flower Sermon


Flower Sermon
by Laijon Liu 2013.01.24

A lotus flower is
held in Buddha’s hand,
He smiles
toward life and death.

The followers of wisdom
are gathered before their master
to receive his final teaching:
observe in silence.

The illusions in this world
like blossom that bloom and wither
and when raindrops fall in the pond
the stirred up ripples, soon fading.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Chinese New Years, Peking Opera and Rock

Chinese New Year !&@#$!

New Year Eve: 02.09.13;   First Day: 02.10.13
One of my soccer friends asked me about what date is the Chinese New Year, I told her I didn't know, only my grandma generation would know, old people count their days, not they are old, because they did not have newspaper, radio, clock, tv and watch back in their days, so when they were little (100 years ago), they learned to count the old Chinese calendar. I don't think my parents know the Chinese new year eve without checking the Chinese calendar. and last week, me and my friends drinking, "When is the new year eve?" one of the brothers asked, we were like "hell, I don't know, let's google it later."

***    Tradition, is something culture heritage that observed and past on thru generations.   ***


I remember back in China when I was a kid, new year means feast with good meal, dumpling on new year eve, that all family relative sitting in my grand parents house making dumpling and many dishes, every family was so poor, we rarely ate meat, like the present day North Korea, but nothing is the worst compare to the Great Famine of Mao's glory period 1960-1962 as my parents recall. Me and my cousins were the luckier ones, we at least could stand in the kitchen wait for the cooking to be done, so to get the first bite in every new year eve. And firecracker surely Northerner and Southerner do share this common festival practice, but I had never seen dragon or lion dance, my friends from Sichuan province had seen dragon and lion dance festival in their hometown, but I first saw it in NY Chinatown, damn, that's my lesson of Chinese New Year Tradition, and so many Cantonese dishes I could not call them right name, not to mention the vegetable and fruit are the same exotic in front my eyes, I first heard Cantonese in Chinatown too, and I buy food or fruit the same way as native Americans here "Hi Sir, gimme two these and three those, thanks!" and one time in Chinatown a White American girl asked me about where to buy some kind of Chinese herbal loose leaf tea, she gave me both names in English and Chinese, and I still couldn't figure out what was she wanted to buy. Well, those all my traditions, but I don't think I ever observed it, not due to my immigration life in US that I lost them, I guess it's the radical changes four generations Chinese had and lost them along the way. Chinese people used to hold brush write and paint, most learned men composed poems, common people read novels and watched opera show... these traditions are all gone, my grand parents generation fought Qing Emperor, Imperial Japan army, Chinese Civil war, many died, a few found a way to leave the country, they survived changed their own language from traditional character to simplified character, they even spoke and sounded not like Chinese back in their days, they changed their dress, traditional men Magua and women Qipao as in the beginning of movies To Live and Farewell My Concubine to nowadays Western dress, it was too easy for them to change their language and dress, but too difficult for people's root to change and especially people don't want to, after WW2 my oldest aunt and uncle regained their Chinese lessons and got taught everything mandarin in class, and when they could speak and listen Japanese radio in their lifetime, they had seen dragon lion dance, and my aunt's feet were deformed by the early childhood feet wrapping as Han's tradition back to 1000 years maybe, I was scare to see her feet, and I don't remember I ever saw she took off her shoes. Civil War, regional conflict, and gangster turf war, most are all same shit. groups of people united by interest of benefit go at each other to slice a biggest chunk of cake or pizza or win it all thru violent struggle. Winner side get to write down history, erase the fact, and brainwash their nationwide slaves as their property. that's a true tradition that my grand parents , my parents generation suffered, and that's the reason I and my friends come to America and stay, that's the same reason Dalai got out his country and could not access his home, and people in Tibet are being forced to lose their tradition, culture and language right now. My dad watched Chinese opera, I don't recall my mom watched Chinese opera, but my grand parents loved opera, and sat with me when I was little we watched Chinese opera on tv, my grandma sometime told me the story of her teenage time she watched opera show in her village, real people and actors, real costume and stage, real loud music played by traditional instrument... every new year eve her village had a Peking opera of Uproar in Heaven, people with their kids sat in front of stage and laughed and cheered, well, culture revolution smashed all those, and government produced some propaganda Peking opera shows that my parents generation most can sing and recite the lyrics, I hated it, I even hate it more that I don't know why they somehow still can recite it, I guess children do savor their childhood memory, if there is a tiny glimpse of happiness or illusion they will hold it dear and rare as their life, even though they never understand the purpose and meaning of lyrics. now I listen to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Cui Jian and Tang Dynasty... and I never picked up enough lesson how to hear out an different pronunciation of each character in Peking opera, so Chinese opera is foreign to me as to all my generation and some my parents generations, my oldest cousin listened to Beatles when he was 20 some yr old in China, culture revolution just finished, his high school class ceased when the 10 yr madness started, and after it was done, his generations were all fucked up, my mom told me that he used to be top 10 in his HS class, he was so smart and there was no problem for him to be in college, but during culture revolution he got no school, his study years were well over after it. then Deng opened China trade gate, it used to be only China high rank officials family and friends could listen to American and British rock music during the culture revolution, after Deng Xiaoping opened the trade gate, many Chinese kids got rare copied Beatles tapes in market corner, that my cousins, the northerners, tall and high noise bridge, not very slant eyes in my opinion:-) wore tight jeans and John Travolta's Saturday night fever t-shirt with long messy hair often snuck out at night with a bunch of neighbor 20s young adult drinking smoking chilling in the dark street corner. He had a Sanyo cassette player, of course he would never let me touch it, it was so expensive, I didn't know where and how he got the money to buy it, but the music I liked it, no more Peking opera I could not understand, no more the propaganda red commie songs we were forced to sing, but rock I did adapt to this tradition, as many Chinese kids loved it, my younger cousins loved it. I collect music and songs as well as poems, I guess I picked up one most important Chinese tradition in US, not in China, I started to read poems, learned to compose poems, could earn enough money to buy liquor, and partied with my close friends on weekend as most ancient Chinese poets and artist do, it does not matter about the quality of artwork, it's the moment of enjoyment that values. Me, my grandparents, my parents, have 3 radically different experience, radically changed we are and in most of our life we try desperately to adapt to endure to hope, as China radically changes from its culture and landscape environment. American have Thanksgiving, it's always family, warm, and full, home feeling; Chinese have new year eve, it used to be family gather around, but now are many separated in different cities for the poor farmers lost their inherited field to government, now slave themselves building high rises to create an advanced illusion under dusty clouds, the fortunate ones got a chance to study or survive abroad, a long distance call over the low quality digital service carried their tradition across the continents, new year eve is not the same for every generation, but all of us or them, are carrying our true tradition, to endure, to move about, to adapt, to run, to escape, to get by, and to lose, and the government controlled by a few people are keeping their ancient Chinese tradition too, keep their ruling and making decisions for those that are enclosed by the Great Wall.

1)
My grandma's New Year's festival:
Pecking Opera:
Monkey King Uproar In Heaven
Link 1 (Martial Piece: No Singing, Just the monkey fighting all celestial soldiers)
Link 2 (Full Version)
Link 3 (Cartoon: with Opera Music Background)

2)
Northern Chinese Folk Rock music by Second Hand Rose Band
(Picking a Flower Youtube)
Link on Amazon Track: 01, 03, 06, 07) also these 4 tracks all contain New Year Festival spirit and the music element that played by northern traditional festival instrument, there some similarity compare to RocknRoll.

3)
Peking Opera Rock:
mix Peking Opera with Rock, song title: Beat the Tiger, by Ling Dian Band
http://www.56.com/w44/play_album-aid-7244277_vid-Mzk2NDI0Nzg.html