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Saturday
Apr072018

Leo

“A human life in China is worthless,” said Leo, 14, born in a Re-education-Through-Labor Reform Camp in Hubei.

His mom worked in the empty university library.

After school exploring forested hills on mountain bikes Lucky and Leo shifted gears where the rubber met the road. One day they stopped in an old quarry to play in dirt.

It was an abandoned country. An abstract concept.

They stood in a deep excavated canyon. High dirt walls bordered by pine, evergreen and blue sky wore sharp deep gashes after machine teeth gouged out dirt.

Workers harvested red clay for imperial jade tombs at the university where 15,001 students struggled to survive in a harmonious society. Students hiding from recycled Mao-styled uniformed security guards mastered eating, texting and casual sex.

They stood at the bottom of a bottomless pit.

“Everyone is a spy,” said Leo.

“How did you surmise this theoretical fact?”

“Life is my teacher. It’s our 5,000-year history plain and simple. Their job is to keep an eye on us. Think about it. We have too any people here and so, to monitor our behavior, attitudes and thinking, they recruit students and teachers as spies. Informers. Minders. They’re paid with passing grades or cash. My father was an informer during the Cultural Revolution. It’s Darwinian logic, evolution of the species. Survival.”

“I’m not surprised. This was common through dynasties. Perpetuate control and authority. The Central Party created a climate of fear. Husbands reported wives. Wives reported husbands, sons and daughters. Daughters and sons reported fathers, mothers, aunts and uncles. Concubines reported lovers. An evil cycle.”

“Yes,” said Leo, “evil is a myth. Everyone is a charter member of the

Big Ears Sharp Eyes No Mouth Society.

Our generation of informers and spies make good money. Knowing their place they keep their mouth shut to survive. Creativity is my meditation. I meditate on the comic, the absurd. Don’t take life seriously. It’s too short. If you laugh you last.”

“Thanks for life lesson #5.”

Lucky shared writing-living suggestions with eight new Chinese teachers.

Make your characters want something right away, even if it’s a glass of water. Characters paralyzed by the meaningless of life need water from time to time.

It’s your job to create conflict so the characters will say or do surprising and revealing things, educating and entertaining us.

Characters change/grow.

Kill your darlings. If a writer can’t or won’t do that they should get out of the trade.

A writer is a hustler.

A writer treats their mental illness every day.

Write like you’re dead. Someday you will be.

Ah the drama - the unfolding play observing sensational phenomena. 

Entertainment is alive and well in Asia. It’s the entertainment capital of the world. Keep them stupid and happy. Children of all ages stay amused by cell phones, Lose Face fake social sites and the idiot box. They surrender their consciousness. Watch TV. Miss the show.

 “Keep your hand moving,” he said to lazy Chinese robots. “The hand is directly connected to the heart. You are pure sensation. Be an anarchist. Take risks. Take a line for a walk.”

As a foreign language barbarian wearing a Tang Dynasty five-clawed red dragon, yin-yang symbol, a rising Phoenix and a crying crane flying through mist covered mountains he witnessed emperors screwing concubines inside Forbidden Cities with red lacquered emotional curiosities where visions of detached ebullient phosphorus streams wove silent abstractions of zither tonal quality in extreme bliss.

Manifestations of superior phenomenal detective analysis and forty questions of the soul redlined final exams.

“We know so much and understand so little,” said Lucky.

“I don’t understand a thing. People are more affected by how they feel than by what they understand,” said Leo. “On day one my teacher said, ‘I only want you to bring two things to class. Your ears.’” Hear ye, hear ye.

The Language Company

The Street - Quanzhou, Fujian, China

Wednesday
Apr042018

Shiki 

Without my journey

And without the spring,

I would have missed this dawn.

Shiki

Sunday
Apr012018

Book Blurb - TLC

Creative non-fiction. Journalistic facts. Literary imagination.

Lucky Foot facilitated English at The Language Company in Ankara and Bursa, Turkey in 2008.

In 2012 he facilitated English in Trabzon and Gerisun on the Black Sea. Collecting data. Field notes.

Gonzo stuff.

He is a Vietnam veteran, writer, street photographer and facilitator of courage.

Since 2004 he's gifted luck in Burma, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos and Turkey.

He shows up for a moment nurturing positive relationships in the long now.

Accompanied by Humor and Curiosity he helps students speak English with confidence minus illusions of fear and phobia's relatives:

Fear of taking a risk.

Fear of being incorrect.

Fear of peer ridicule.

Fear of poverty.

Fear of starvation.

Fear of being ordinary.

Fear of success.

Fear of abandoning a manuscript by Zeynep entitled TLC.

Fear of accepting responsibility for choices and accepting the consequences.

Fear of letting go of old conditioning. Shadows.

Fear of being alive and real. Growing.

Fear of_______. (Your free choice)

Lucky, Humor and Curiosity observed parents, schools, religions and countries fostering passive acceptance, fear, indifference and rote learning teacher-centered systems.

It was all about vomiting the material to pass exams. Product. Not the process of how to be more human and think for yourself.

Status quo. Sheep mentality. Blend in. Questions are forbidden. Authority washes your brain daily.

Zeynep, his young genius friend in Bursa taught him about life in her totalitarian country.

"As a literary outlaw I say what others are afraid to say. Anxiety is a chronic national problem. Adults here are good at two things, eating and fighting. 'Dissent is terrorism,' say our corrupt manikin authoritarian figurines."

Leo revealed dystopian China. "I spent years carrying shit in a Re-education through Reform Labor Camp for questioning Authority. Everyone here belongs to the Big Ears, No Mouth society. Oh the shame. The bent nail gets hammered down."

Rita, the independent author of Ice Girl in Banlung shared stories about her Khmer culture and Cambodian history. "We've had twenty years of hopelessness. We breed. We work. We get slaughtered. Poor people see education as a waste of time and money."

"I dream I am a free person in a free country," said Curiosity.

"You're dreaming," said Humor.

A seven year-old Vientiane kid explained Laos. "I develop my authentic character with critical thinking skills, humor, gratitude, abundance and wonder as a free thinking individual. I have my junior philosopher's badge."

"If you want to do great things you must take great risks and suffer greatly," said Zeynep. "You either let go or get dragged along."

Awareness. Mindfulness. Compassion. 

"It's not about people buying this book," said Rita. "It's about people reading it."

The Language Company

Friday
Mar302018

Dust. Coffee. Rice.

"I have walked through many lives some of them my own, and I am not who I was." - Stanley Kunitz

Dust coffee rice
Home zone bamboo ice

Voice language culture
Shadows

Old man cleans ears
A professional stranger shows up
Among whisper smiles

Old man balancing on bamboo staff
Shuffles

Voices decipher cognition

Plain clothes officers clean spectacular spectacles
With what they don't know
White paper

A girl loving geography
Lights four incense sticks with gratitude.

Dance now think later.

Hoi An, Vietnam

 

Monday
Mar262018

Screaming Lao Man

The screaming Lao man
Thin, late 20's, shorts, flip flops, black hair
Walks away from
Lao Provincial Hospital

Leaving a ward

Leaving someone he loves

Screams [speed of sound]

Broken by silence
Between knowledge and ignorance
 
He screams, closer
Screams...

He stops near hospital entrance

Frozen in midday sun
 
Burning pavement

Burning his heart
Throws out his arms
Drops to his knees

Screaming

Folds his head into his arms
Faces ground sobbing

Silent solitude grief
Loss heartbreak

A blind Khmer musician and his daughter.

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