Clara Hsu

Clara Hsu

Clara Hsu is a mother, piano teacher, director of Clarion Music Performing Arts Center in San Francisco Chinatown, traveler, translator and poet. Her poetic activities include combining Chinese poetry with Asian traditional instruments. Her latest publication, Lao-Tzu’s Tao-te Ching, Translations and Infusions, takes the ancient texts for a wild ride in the twenty-first century.

Gold on Fire

Grandma’s thigh is still luscious after a day of babysitting. In the evening she wears black with a single slit that shows just enough and waves two white feathered fans to Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love. Now she spots a glittering gold dress on a shop’s mannequin and decides that the dress needs flesh and blood and a strong beating heart. “Oh…oh!” she is shocked by her own impulse and in the mirror the gilded shape sways.

Harvey’s Coffee

Into a frenzy the milk is whipped
and in no time the eye is formed
a single black hole looking from
heaven to earth—

Enough! That bitter grind
that permeates the water
takes only a whisper to change its nature.
Now the wind blows north south east west
and the saucer rattles.

Some say the problem is the problem.
Some say the problem is the cause.
Some say the cause is the problem.
Some say the cause is the cause.

I am left with the tail of a cloud
as the sun drinks its last drop.
A wet hawk takes refuge on the seat of a car
waiting for Noah’s rainbow.