Monday 5 August 2013

3 Poems by Ray Hsu


#邱聪理 (a.k.a. Ray Hsu) is a poet and entrepreneur. He co-founded Art Song Lab, taught poetry for two years in a U.S. prison, and gave a TED Talk on How to Live a Creative Life. His latest project is, where writers can sit, write, and connect.

[Author's headnote: Here are three poems from a series I call "Spoiler Alerts," in which I take paragraphs from articles and black them out except for "poetic" lines. Users can see the poetic lines but must highlight the text using their mouse in order to see the context.] 

Only people care, and people care about fiction because it is always about people, even if those people look like rabbits. And so, too, do the humanities make space within the institution of scientific knowledge for the valuing that occurs in the psychic theater of human experience and nowhere else.,_Posthuman_Comedy.pdf
Economic opportunity. It was obviously booming—there were big skyscrapers going up, and people couldn’t read maps of their own street. So I went back to business school in Boston, at a time when there was of course very little economic growth in the United States. When I finished business school, going to Asia seemed the obvious thing to do. I found a job in Hong Kong, as a securities analyst with a local, Hong Kong–Chinese stock-broking company. This was 1986. In the first twelve months I was there, the Hong Kong stock market doubled—then I woke up one morning and learned that Wall Street had fallen 23 per cent overnight, and Hong Kong immediately fell back to where it had started. By 1990 I had joined James Capel, the oldest and largest UK stock-broking company at that time, and they sent me to Thailand to manage their research department there. We had ten analysts watching all the companies on the Bangkok stock market. At first, there really was something of a Thai miracle—the growth was solid and fundamental. But very quickly, by 1994, it was obviously a bubble and I started being bearish on the market. I wasn’t saying it was going to collapse, but the growth was going to slow down. But it just kept accelerating, and the bubble turned into a balloon. When it did finally pop, in 1997, Thailand’s GDP contracted by 10 per cent and the stock market fell 95 per cent in dollar terms, top to bottom.
As we consider the enthralled, anxious US chroniclers of Chinese automobility, we might ask, as the political scientist Harold Isaacs did in 1958, “Insofar as they [Americans] have had to react [to Asia’s impact on the United States], what did they have from their past to react with? . . . What are [the] ideas that reach them, where do they come from, what do they feed upon?”4 Recent reports of Chinese automobility both recapitulate and revise narratives that have been shaped and reshaped in changing historical contexts of political, economic, and spiritual interest in China. From the first published accounts and artifact exhibitions in the eighteenth century to the 2008 Discovery Channel series The People’s Republic of Capitalism, US missionaries, merchants, artists, journalists, and scholars have created and consumed knowledge about China. This knowledge has been positioned within multiple, often overlapping rhetorical frames of admiration, bemusement, disdain, pity, eroticism, paternalism, romance, and dread.

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