matt martin

you enter the graveyard of saint anne’s limehouse      beneath the shadow of the church’s obelisk spire play kids from the 1920s      each the child of a chinese sailor and of a local mother      as the children clamber on a six foot tall pyramid in the churchyard corner they act out roles from sax rohmer’s pulp novels about the nefarious doctor fu manchu      crime lord and mad scientist embodying early twentieth century paranoia about the so-called yellow peril      fu manchu hid out in the limehouse chinatown      you feel disturbed that the kids don’t notice rohmer’s racism      they are simply excited to have these tales of adventure set in their neighbourhood      you notice that the pyramid constantly exhales warmth that turns into mist as it meets the churchyard’s cold air      just like the pyramid atop canary wharf’s main tower to the east      whose air conditioning system puffs steam through the roof     what buried skyscraper of stone has this older pyramid as its peak      the children open a secret door in the monument’s side      spiral stairs lead down into the lair of fu manchu      you descend      which adventure are you in

     •    fu manchu versus hong kong kung fu
     •    fu manchu and the tao of feng shui