Mix-Tapes (Poem)

Begin at the beginning, like Carroll’s King:

The best of both worlds is no small thing.

East is east, and west is west,

In me the twain meet, and that is best.

Yet the hybris of hybridity
In my veins the world partakes with glee –

We’re “crossmess parzels”, each of us

Half man, half brute, hoc est corpus

Part spirit, part flesh – Laus Deo!

For dappled things: Ecce Homo.

From Adam the creation of man;

From Africa the descent of man.



From Nietzsche: we’re beyond evil and good;

From Arcimboldo: we’re made of food.

Capitalist fries with communist bread,

Yoga with Marley in my head.

Confucius in the cantosof Pound,

Blackwell’s riffs in Elvis’ sound.

African masks on Picasso’s lips,

Native American sand in Pollock’s drips.

Arabic numerals and Indian noughts,

Bruce Lee and Platonic thoughts.

There is no quick fix
Since life is a mix;

Always a borrower and a lender be,

Nothing from a vacuum, as Galileo taught me.

We are mix-tapes, and God is a DJ,

Or – “I’m a true hybrid,” as Mel would say.




By Melvin Chen

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