Impiety (VN Diary No. 21)

Perhaps for the impious nature of the poem I posted the other day, I have been struck with Uncle Ho's revenge. Nothing serious, but the very nice British doctor at the clinic gave me a run of cipro to get my gut back to normal. Any more information than that would be too much information. I'm already feeling better after one dose of antibiotics. But impiety is something to watch out for and this place will make you superstitious. Does wide-spread belief in active forces beneath the surface of nature actually create (or release?) such forces? Hanoi will make you wonder. In any case, I have four days to recover, since we are moving into the April 30 / May 1st holiday. April 30 is the day that northern troops captured Saigon in 1975, thus putting an end to the division of the country -- and May 1st is of course May Day. After Tet, the lunar New Year, this is the big Vietnamese holiday extravanganza. I'll be spending the time reading and writing while my Vietnamese friends party.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.