I Wish I Were A Chinese Superman

By: Christopher Jones

I wish I were a Chinese Superman,

I’d put on a red velvet jumpsuit

with black gauntlets and a cape,

grow a big Fu Manchu moustache

and I’d save the whole world,

just for you.

On Monday I’d whiz around Hong Kong

rescuing orphans from burning slums

and beating on the guilty.

Tuesday I’d fold Tianamen tanks

into origami swans,

deliver bon mots to the foreign press

while frying assassins

with my laser-heat vision,

and later,

maybe take some old people out to a buffet.

Wednesday I’d team up

with Cleopatra Wong,

the shotgun-toting secret agent

disguised as a Carmelite nun,

and together we’d wreak such weird justice

that any murderers, rapists, frat boys

or bicycle muggers still standing

would be in therapy for so long

they’d never trouble anyone again.

Thursday I’d use my Chinese Super-brain

to perfect that crushing Wu Shu kick,

then I’d spend the afternoon

zooming around the docks of Shanghai,

cutting Tong bosses in half with my shins.

Friday I’d remedy the drug problem,

cleverly ingesting all the narcotics in China.


Saturday I’d probably sleep in.

Sunday I’d liberate the money

from the coffers of crime bosses,

corrupt officials and devious religious types,

and I’d give every penny of it to — well, actually,

I’d probably spend a lot of it.

I’d buy you some great stuff, though,

Lambourghinis for all my friends, and,

as befits a super-hero,

I’d get myself

the biggest pile of comics you ever saw.

But after that, definitely,

I’d build an orphanage

out of, like, diamonds and Waterford crystal,

and I suppose if they were careful orphans

they could read my comic books

when I was done with them.

Aw, crap.

Even in a poem

I can’t be very good

for very long.

But I’d try,

oh, baby, how I’d try.

And one night

when all of China’s feeling blue,

one night when I’m not saving the world

or sleeping off a Chinese super-bender,

that night

I’ll fly thirty thousand feet

into the evening sky,

translate the Mighty Blue Kings

into Mandarin,

and I’ll sing,

I’ll sing until the whole world

moves in rhythm

with a billion pairs of Chinese feet

all dancing to the same sweet tune.

And up in the night

where no one can see me,

I’ll practice my swings and clumsy dips

alone through the clouds,

and I’ll be Chinese, and super,

and thinking of you.


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