A Poem for Bruce: 11/27/40 – 7/20/73

Like Water: 
Excerpts from Bruce Lee’s Last Interview
Hong Kong, July, 1973
I guess it all adds up to bad karma, man.
My father used to talk about these demons
that shadowed my life like rain clouds
crawling over an April afternoon.
Always there. But there’s more
to me than demons.
***
I’m serious.
Dismiss what I do. Chop-socky Kung-fu,
you might say. But that’s my art. Not just ass-kicking and
a wa-taa here and there. That jazz isn’t about
self-defense, man, it’s about saving
my self. And baby, every day I leave my soul out there,
bloody and tired. Honestly. Expressing. Myself. That
can’t be taken away,
no matter what.
***
See, I’m not a superstar.
That’s an illusion, man. I mean, a star
just burns up and fades into the seconds that
disappear on the horizon. But I got nowhere
else to be, but here. Tell me, you think Jimi
could tell the difference between the music
bleeding out of those strings and his own damned soul?
***
It’s the seventies now, and baby,
there isn’t any room left for anymore accusing.
I don’t have time to worry about who’s white
and who’s wrong. As far as I am concerned,
in the eyes of Heaven, we are all racing to
the same end. But outside,
the weather isn’t good
for Orientals right now. America is just
waking up from Korea, and
with Vietnam untying our boots, you tell me
who looks like the enemy?
***
It’s like time’s watching me, man, and
I got no reason to believe all the shit
isn’t going to drop on me – as if the scabs
on my soul weren’t warning enough.
But I have to live my life trying
to find a calmness through the chaos, ya know?
***
Take Linda, my wife, the way her hair
spills like sunset down her back.
That’s how I explain this thing
we’re all swimming around in. Those demons?
They can’t catch me. I know the deal.
I know.

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