The China Blues

It is said the Blues sometimes travels in the form of a woman, a woman who changes her form according to the way she travels the tracks of history. She knows the rhythmic rise and fall of hammers laying the ties for the railroads that connected the West Coast with the East Coast, Chinese workers and black workers laboring alongside whites and under white supervision. The hammers rising and falling with the sound of music being born was the rising din of this long bone that became the belly belt of a nation looking to sit on top of the world. It is said this woman knows magic and is magic incarnate, so the regional team the Poetic Advocates for Truth and Epiphanies, otherwise known as PATE, was called to convene in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania on the campus of Bucknell University to investigate the latest reports of sightings. The team launched an arduous investigation, but there were diversions.

As members of the regional team of PATE, we had been given advance warning of her ability to completely confuse our investigative efforts, but none of us thought she would leave this abandoned canary house on the porch of our B&B as a diversionary tactic. However, it worked. We sat around for hours trying to sing the canary blues.

Oh, I got a cage, and the bars wait for you,
Oh, I got a cage, and the bars wait for you,
When you get near me, Baby, my love is like glue.

Of course, after we realized we would never get a record deal, we awoke from the spell she had cast like the chill of the March wind in this quaint Pennsylvania college town.

We sought sanctuary in one of the town churches, thinking we could bind ourselves against our spells, but as soon as we got inside the building we heard the chanting of Tang Dynasty poems, the slow and deliberate chanting that is the way of teaching poetry and Chinese language in the old educational system. Pretty soon we were being fed baked rice by church members who had somehow found the recipe. Then there came the first confession after we interrogated them. She had taught them the recipe hours before we arrived, and she had bribed them, telling them they would get free rides on a dragon boat. We were nonplussed, but were soon let outside into the light to resume our investigation.

We narrowed the search to one of two women, and lo and behold! They were members of our team. Still, we were unable to get them to confess as to who is who, not even after an elaborate and expensive gourmet dinner in one of Lewisburg’s posh Mexican restaurant, so the team advised me to leave you to decide which of these two women is Marilyn Chin, the Magic Woman of the China Blues. Fellow poets and friends in the world, we wish you luck. Her magic is beyond discernment.

Marilyn Chin & Shara McCallum
Shara McCallum & Marilyn Chin
O, Mysteries
The China Blues


Unknown said…
Professor Weaver,
I enjoyed reading your blog. It fulfilled my Weaver knowledge of the week that I will miss while you are across the world in China! I have created my own blog for my Communications Technology class. Take a look. I look forward to reading your next insightful blog of your trip to China. You can learn so much about a person from reading the posts or even writing them. I had no idea you had so much published poetry! What an incredible experience it sounded like you had and more to come. Enjoy!

Michaela Eichenbaum

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