For some time I've been following the edgy Facebook updates posted by my former student 周純 Rhea Chou. Often my Chinese isn't up to the jokes, but no matter: she's posted a truly badass array of visual gags as well.
When Rhea started writing short poems in English, I was glad to note the same grit in my own language. I think she's doing a pretty good job for a Taipei girl who hasn't come out of an English department. I told her I'd edit the poems for her. Here they are, so far, and I've changed hardly a thing.
I'm aching for you to come,
Adhering to you like chewing gum,
You're stuck between faith and fooling around,
I'm angling for your heart and your arms.
Give me a glass of whiskey coke,
Free my body and my soul,
I'm showing the best temper I can hold,
How many jobs you gonna blow!
Good morning to my all friends,
Do you live a life of pain?
Is your soul all cramped intense?
Don't hate the players, just the game.
Tonight is the night,
I can't fight the moonlight.
Reason's beyond my might,
This werewolf's out for delight.
They call us the JokeMen;
We got no shame.
We joke like breathing;
Pleasure's our game.
The joke's on you now;
Drop the pretense.
Pleasure's our weapon;
You've got no defense.
I rhythm to rhythm, I rhyme to rhyme;
My thoughts are too fast I left you behind.
What are you up to I let you decide.
It's natural selection, the fittest survive.
Animals with horns are always herbivores.
We are born to be extraordinarily special.
If you try to chop my horn I'll die an angel.
Don't punish me cuz I'm unusual.
Rhea is 26 and working in design. Here she is with her sister Joanna, another former student who's made me especially proud, as after high school she went to Canada and actually studied English and German. And fell in love with Chaucer. And has come back to Taipei to teach English.