Han Bing and friends, Art Basel, Miami, 2006/photographer unknown

I wrote my first poem after participating in poetry as a “good audience member” by attending the performances of  friends who were poets.  I was sharpening my ear for a style of poetry writing I prefer–work written to be performed rather than for the page. In celebration of National Poetry Month for this month’s Artcards Review,  I returned to earlier work which was inspired by interdisciplinary approaches to life, living, and learning–Expatriate Recommends Diaspora and the accompanying photograph is the result of those forces–transcribing an interview about its subject, Anthony Xavier Edwards, for artist Nathalie Latham, whom I met at Paris Photo in 2006 formed the content for the poem.  Later that year, I arrived at Art Basel, Miami, met artist Han Bing and his wife Maya Kovskaya (right of Han) pictured above, learned about his performance piece which become part of the movement “walking the cabbage”, and also learned of their friendship with Nathalie.  Poetry creates community and rewards minds with the imagination to see that everything signifies and that everything connects.

Expatriate Recommends Diaspora

Now Tony, dear, what do you call yourself?

Enthused, confused, stunned, besotted…and a designer

Anthony Xavier Edwards, unlikely fashion star, moves to Shanghai from down under

Ensconced to the Bund by postage stamp, envelope sealed by Yves Saint Laurent

Tony loved his Australia, then left it


Do it, but, where? Do it, but, where?

Pack the tuxedo, treat the crème one with care

Ooze north with glamour, oh aren’t you fab

Design a restaurant? Sure, take a stab

Line China with cashmere

Your office with mirrors

Find the modern in the erhu

Minus the tears

Press the chairman for his email

You want to scatter your seeds

Feng shui for the Wall

Will it include beads?

First, headline failures

Think turbine engine tour

You wanted appreciation

Damn Australia, it’s a bore

Next, wool deal goes awry

Valise emptied of money

Stripped to your tee

Terribly unfunny

Soon there were scarves for Hillary

the dressing of Chinese King Tuts

Costumes for the orchestra

lace and tailoring and fine hautes


It ended all “prêt-a-porter”

“Nothing’s better than you” he’d say

and “That’s not ego

but confidence

I pray”