China Journals: Xi’an and Poetry

3pm 08 March ’04 – Bus Terra Cotta -> Xian

Grit & desperation mingles with dust, smoke and begging for a dime, buy one more, one more. Overwhelmed turn flip overwhelmed again. People can’t be people have to see objects see pictures see grit & desperation.

10am 09 March ’04 – Xi’An -> Shanghai

For my Lamb:

Wait for me
On hand and knee
And I will grant thee such gifts
That cannot be told
In these few

After Eight Friend Changing Club. Total locals meat market, but polite, with scrolling personals ads, telephone numbers over tables, pieces of passed paper, Aigela, , the New Yorker who came out to say hi. The uphill battle for Vodka, shared tales from new friends, stuffed animals, smiles… but no hoped dancing girls. That was last night, post-show.

Yesterday we headed off to see the “8th Wonder of the World” – The Terra Cotta Warriors. It really is that impressive. The wrap screen show was laughable, the obsession of the group with coke light amusing, and the statues… a bit overwhelming. Turin it around to walking outside the complex to the beggars and street merchants, overwhelming for different reasons. I bough 4 cats for each of my partners: 3 with pink tails for the boys, 1 with a green tail for Natalie. Met the artist, she let me take her picture -> shrewd bargainers. I adore the art of the bargain. Before the complex we went to the factory. Can’t believe Mi Padre bought a big ole statue. These tours are require to bring folks to the factories as part of the deal, watch the dollars wash away.

We went to another museum, where after looking around the Shanxi History Museum, I chose to just sit in the sun and compose the poem I wrote above. Sometimes art wins over tourism.

The Tang Dynasty show was good, if the food was slight wanting, having been spoiled by one of the best dumpling houses in town the night before. But the dancers and musicians were quite spectacular. Quite spectacular, indeed.

She sits next to me, jade and bulky watch, golden locks and pinstripes. She sits next to me and I can picture her decked out in latex and corsets, and I smile. It’s so good not to be alone. Also met a fellow pornographer (ifex) on the trip, who does stuff as a tour company operator, published in National Geographic. So tempted to submit some of this stuff to National Geographic. So tempted to work for them… even if the pay isn’t great. More of my art in print. Sweeping China continues at full blast. I even got up at 6am and was outside taking street scene pics and cleaner portraits as the sun came up over East Street.

When we arrived in Xi’An, we headed straight from the airport (located 45 minutes out of town) to the North Gate of the old City Wall, then to the Giant Goose Pagoda, where I spent most of my time outside the walls of the temple amongst the flocks of locals out flying kites on a Sunday afternoon. I am the sore thumb, but a smiling one, head covered in a scarf and camera in hand.

Tang Dynasty History Museum, art shop, and watch as I drop $ on modern Chinese art: Balinese silk painting meet Art Nouveau by Chinese artist. I’m excited.

Ancient city walls and uber-modern skyrises, land of 46 universities and manufacturing plants, poverty and street markets lit by single loose bulbs, high priced spas and 24 hour night clubs out on Du Fu Xiang. Children latched onto legs, local college students offering their time, cultural misunderstandings, 17 types of dumplings and the chase of the rose. Over again, the chase of the rose. They call to prayer at the mosque and I keep my head covered, head down, and ask Mi Padre to keep his voice down. Calm down with the stories. Take the escalator down under the city, then up into the 7 story mall.

LA boys wandering into KFC. Trying to explain what a “little black book” is to a nice Chinese girl to try to get my Chop made for my business. Finding art nude/porn books at the airport. Operation Crazy Asian Sock Shopping! Women’s market. Live turtles and snakes. Rediscovering that I actually enjoy tripe when done right. Crazy babies. Conversations on modeling, photography and fetishism. Dried pineapple. Dust. Pollution. Smiles. Cheap happiness. I want to come back to China with Lamb so badly.

Ads of Yao. Actually *wearing* a watch. Kung Fu condoms. Boba tea and frozen kiwi on a stick on the street. “This is a story for you” uttered again and again and again. No sex in Xi’an, not even masturbation. I love it here in China, but I want a lover here with me… Lamb, or Furry? Or Phantom – he would be perfect here, he’s got the bargain attitude to a tee.

Somewhere over the clouds
We are somewhere over the clouds
I close my eyes
And imagine his lips
Pressed firmly
To my boot

11am – Side note: They pressed my socks and tee shirts at the laundry. That is not right. However, for the sock/foot fetishists FYI – I have worn nothing but knee-high striped socks and 16 eye Carolina boots this whole trip.


Lee Harrington

Lee Harrington is an internationally known sexuality, relationships, and personal authenticity educator. Having taught in all 50 states and in 6 countries, he brings a combination of playful engagement and thoughtful academic dialogue to a broad audience. An award-winning author and editor on gender, sexual, and sacred experience, his books include “Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Journeys,” and "Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond," among many other titles. He has been blogging online since 1998, and been teaching worldwide since 2001. Welcome to his world, and your chance to expand your mind and heart alike.

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