I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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2011-03-24 10:49 PM
Shanghai Lit Fest, the absurd version
I don't think you can call it inspiration. More likely, jetlag.
Herewith, a fictional, time-shifted and egregiously-rhymed account. Copyright 2011 SJ Rozan. Permission required for use. Permission hereby granted. Additional verses encouraged. Additional verses copyright their various authors.
(Note: Guangdong Lu is the name of the street M on the Bund, the restaurant that housed Lit Fest, is on.)
Louie Does Lit Fest
Guangdong Louie from Guangdong Lu
Went to take in a Lit Fest event or two.
He was late to the party; this was Week Three,
But he wasn't sure the Lit Fest was the place for him to be.
Until the siren song of literature he could no more deny
So he set his footsteps Bund-ward, the Lit Fest for to try.
At M he checked the schedule, could not believe his luck:
Hillary Spurling would be speaking on the life of Pearl S. Buck.
But first, Silk Road culture as discussed by HK Chang
Started off our Louie's first Lit Fest with a bang.
He heard the Irish Poets spinning music out of words
And he saw the Asian Crime Gang. Well, he knew some of those birds:
Colin Cotterill explaining why he sets his books in Laos,
And also Vikram Chandra, making art from Bombay's chaos.*
The Literary Death Match, Louie copped some tix to that,
He saw Rozan and Lyman take it to the mat.
(Of course, that was the finals. Before that was Round One:
Martina Evans, Nancy Conyers, and a plastic dart gun.)
Over in M Restaurant Louie stopped for dinner.
All the food was yummy but the dumplings were the winner.
Michelle Garnaut there greeted him, Bruno van der Burg did, too.
Louie ordered vodka, said Finlandia would do.
"Finlandia? That's nonsense!" scoffed Bruno with a sneer.
"Bartender, this is Louie! The man drinks Belvedere!"
The place was humming busily with elves** and volunteers
Keeping things all running smoothly like a set of well-meshed gears.
Smiling, calm Amanda Palin ushered writers through the door
To the splendid Tina Kanagaratnam (which there's no rhyme for).
To work off all he'd eaten Louie walked to Red Dust Lane.
Qiu Xiaolong was so enthralling that he didn't mind the rain.
After, to the seventh floor our hero did repair.
The glorious Ann Heatherington was holding court up there.
Louie, sighing happily, sat in the Glamour Bar,
Watched the ships plying the river, lights of Pudong from afar.
'Til his appetite returned and he was ready for a treat,
Just in time to watch the judging of the many Books to Eat.
Of this contest great Nury Vittachi was a judge,
And they didn't need a jury 'cause the judges wouldn't budge.***
Not that Louie gave a fig about who got the final prize
For he knew that once it was announced he'd feast more than his eyes.
The entries all devoured, our man Louie left for home,
Felt completely literary, could've written his own poem.
Without doubt, our Louie told himself, there's just one thing to do:
Next year when Lit Fest rolls around, to buy Weeks One and Two.
And of course, Three; for he'd resolved he would not miss one sec
With all these literati here and at his call and beck.****
So Louie walked on down the Bund, completely satisfied,
Delighted by the Lit Fest sirens to have been Shanghai'd.*****
*That's sufficiently egregious, no?
**Elves, Colin. Not pixies.
*****You thought the worst and most obvious would give me pause? Do you know me?
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