Channeling the spirit of Li Bai – by Stephen Nashef
– A translation (loosely speaking) of Li Bai's 将近酒 (Jiāngjìn Jǐu) written with the intention of being read loudly, with slurred consonants, at a room full of people with bellies full of rum. [part of Writers & Rum night]
The Yellow River crashes down from the sky;
watch it heave toward the sea never to return,
and that beautiful face of yours,
which might yet engage a few
beautiful people into beautiful encounters;
watch it wither in front of your eyes
in the flawed glass of some decorated mirror.
Watch your brilliant hair disappear into scalp.
And watch the yellow river crash forever into the sea.
If you've got a heart, by God be happy!
and never let that moon look down upon
an empty glass in your hand.