Kaiser Kuo

Kaiser Kuo combines China hand and metal head, is cohost of Sinica podcast and works at Baidu, which has been described as "like Jon Bon Jovi went to Google”

Posts by Kaiser Kuo

Old Chokey Christmas

Winter in Beijing – festive verse by Kaiser Kuo


Ed: This poem appears in While We're Here, our anthology published this month by Earnshaw Books. Listen to editors Alec Ash and Tom Pellman talk to Kaiser Kuo about the Anthill, the book and China writing on this week's Sinica podcast


In winter all’s still, and the sun’s scanty rays

Filter downward in pewter and silvery grays.

I find myself strolling down memory hutong

To Beijing in winters when life was more putong.


The Hornèd Hand

Men of metal – short fiction by Kaiser Kuo


Ed: This story was read out at the Anthill Scotch & Stories night, accompanied by the Ardbeg 10

The place: Beijing’s notorious Get Lively club, where it’s Metal Moshpit Monday and the heads, they are a-banging. The band: Daomuren Gonghui, the locally-legendary Grave Robbers Guild, voted Beijing’s Most Morose Band by SinoMetal magazine three years running. They’re harder, louder, faster and far scarier than any band should reasonably be – even one that plays “Dess Maitou,” as they call their genre.

They stalk the stage, menacing and murderous, each clad in a black tee emblazoned with the undecipherable thorn-font logo of another Dess Maitou or Hei Maitou band. They’re painted up to look like they’ve just been exhumed from month-old mass graves, as though what flesh remains on their gaunt faces and gangly arms might slough right off. Fortunately, it doesn’t.

The relentless blast-beats the drummer kicks out slam into you like a jackhammer shoved up against your sternum.


Provincial rhapsody

A tour of Chinese regional stereotypes – doggerel by Kaiser Kuo


In Dongbei, whence the Manchus came, the men do like their liquor.

While effusive with their friendship, with their enmity they’re quicker

Though they’re honest and straightforward, at the slightest provocation

They’ll show why they’ve been slandered as the Klingons of this nation.


The leggy Dongbei ladies for their beauty are renowned,

(I attest that in my travels, few more fetching have I found.)

But they suffer from one drawback, and it’s very sad to tell –

When they open up their mouths to speak, they break that magic spell.