The Murder of Charles Sing, 1913
“Unsuspecting white girls like Alice quite often were lured into Chinese men’s parlors, stores, and chop suey
Alice Davis Sing, of 3460 Archer Avenue,
grew up a Christian missionary. Her husband,
Charles Sing, had wooed her in Kansas City’s Chinatown
over plates of Foo Young Dove and rice. He’s the one,
she told her father, she liked the best. Really, loved:
“From the first time I saw him, I loved him.
There was something about him that fascinated me.
He was quiet, lithe, and graceful. He was mysterious,
and I guess that is what attracted me. He never laughed out
loud no matter how happy he was. He chuckled.”
by their pleadings and outward gentleness, then, captivated by the apparent luxury of their lives and apartments
And they married. She converted to Buddhism,
little statues. Fingers that ruffled the edges of pork
and leek dumplings. Spoke Pidgin English fluently.
Charles would pitch forth money for style: red
lace-trimmed cheongsam dresses, blue silk nightgown.
they visit them again and again
It didn’t last long, not after he wasn’t
going to take her to China. When she found that out,
she slipped the knife into him. The blood ran out from
his chest and dried: red and sticky. Barbecued duck,
hung whole in the grocery store front window.
until their ruin is accomplished.”
Grief, when the Chicago police came, sobbing
and dark mussed hair. Wisps that stuck to her
bloated cheeks. They determined murder, though without
sufficient evidence: Regular quarrels, a nation-wide
smuggling ring, a love quadrangle with Alice
and Charles, her sister Emma and Charles Norn.
Friday, February 17, 2006
A little History
A component of my Poetics class is learning how to write historical poems. This poem is a result of one of our exercises, which was to write about a place in Chicago, from the perspective of the past. Here's my result, a little rough since its only a 2nd Draft. Please not that the formatting is off because Blogger isn't Microsoft Word. The italicized quote is left justified, while the stanzas are supposed to be right justified, though formatted to look like a newspaper column.