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re:Virals 366

Welcome to re:Virals, The Haiku Foundation’s weekly commentary feature on some of the best contemporary haiku and senryu written in English. This week’s poem, proposed by Amoolya Kamalnath, was:

tiger bones steeped in rice wine my sanity

— Corine Timmer
Haiku Society of America 2022 Senryu award (Honourable mention)

Introducing this poem, Amoolya writes:

“Tiger bones steeped in rice wine” piqued my interest. A 2018 study from the University of Rochester Medical Center found that low levels of alcohol consumption, like wine, can lower inflammation in the brain and help it clear away toxins, including those linked to serious diseases of the brain. So what’s the real relationship between us and our sanity? I’m inquisitive to learn from all the different interpretations that I’ll get to read.

Opening comment:

It doesn’t need a visit to Wikipedia to conclude that the first phrase of this monoku, in this Year of the Tiger, concerns a recipe for tiger body parts in a preparation used in Chinese alternative medicine. Readers’ views of alternative medicine, except where rigorous science proves there’s something in it, may vary. But I’ll wager there is universal sympathy for endangered tigers, although tigers would not think twice about eating you. Tigers get more sympathy than, say, crocodiles.

The fragment part, “my sanity,” is, I think, what makes this senryu work and elevates it from the ordinary. Although there’s a serious subject here, there’s a slight element of ironic play in its juxtaposition with “my sanity.”  It could be straightforwardly counterposing the practice of drinking tiger bone wine with the poet’s own sanity, thereby suggesting by contrast that it is an insane practice.   Or it could be a hint that the author thinks the very idea of killing tigers to imbibe their bone extract for supposed properties is enough to drive her (or anyone) mad.   But the way it’s put is fairly open, not didactic; the reader’s left to work it out. And to reflect upon who and what is sane or insane: a question, as so often, of beliefs. My feelings are with the tigers, but Corine’s monoku prompts me to reason out why. It’s good to have one that addresses an issue such as this.

Radhamani Sarma:

A curious mixture of hard (tiger bones) with a liquid (rice wine) and the first person drives home what and why, one wonders. One needs to know the meaning of tiger bones, deeper study reveals quite a lot of factors: a medicinal effect, a perfect cure for many diseases , like arthritis and ulcers, malaria etc.;these tiger bones are believed to have herbs which induce also the sexual urge. The writer in elated mood believes, records, that tiger bones steeped in rice wine passes the day in soothing comfort — alcoholic rice wine gives a kick to the consumer; but tiger bones mixed in produces sanity; it seems that is how her mood and being feels after the drink: perhaps humorizing the situation.

Sushama Kapur:

Imagine this beautiful wild animal, roaming the jungles of this planet (“tiger, tiger, burning bright/ in the forest of the night”), living a life in its own home, being hunted illegally, to be tortured and killed, so that a race of human beings could enjoy the “nutrients” in its body parts and imbibe their “might”! How could this idea, perpetrated through the ages, even be possible? It is reminiscent of that valuable lesson in the children’s folktale, of killing the goose that laid a golden egg once a day, so that its greedy owners could enjoy enormous wealth all at once!

This hard hitting monoku balances the image of this act of atrocity in the first six words, with the image in the last two words of a reaction representing a band of the sensible and the humane! Six words (with the recurring “e”) against two words. The crime against a reaction to this crime. Zooming in from out. Eight words to disturb any sane person’s peace of mind!

How inconceivably arrogant to sweepingly overlook the rights of a species, to live safe and protected in this world, without being deliberately killed for gain? Whether it is an apex predator like the tiger or its prey. Such a mindset is the product of misconstrued power, something that is unfortunately rampant in today’s world.

It completely ignores the strength and logic in the idea of a web of life – the interconnectedness of everything on our planet, from the smallest micro-organisms to its massive life forms. To kill a species indiscriminately is to endanger its existence, and the very balance of life on Earth. But do the wine-makers care? Or, for that matter, the ones that support this mindless act by drinking such liquids to emperor themselves?

Will the world ever learn to coexist in peace?

Harrison Lightwater:

“Tiger bones steeped in rice wine” or “soaked in rice wine” is a line from recipes that can be read on the web. “Steeped” is more accurate and more pleasing to sound than “soaked.” With a clear cut the poet has juxtaposed this with “my sanity”. The reader is led to think of these as contrasting opposites. It does not seem poetic but the matter is not poetic either, so the words match the subject. I guess most readers will be carried along by the emotion. Killing tigers to make a magic potion seems crazy. The illegality, rarity, and years taken mean that the price of this concoction is high. The high prices probably convince drinkers that it is effective. That’s how the human mind often works.

Alan Summers — a single line delivers its own pace and tension…:

Tiger bone wine ages from 3-10 years, and bottled with herbs and snake extract. Often used as an aphrodisiac, it’s said to also treat ulcers, typhoid, malaria, dysentery, burns and rheumatism. The tiger’s whiskers are ornaments as talismans or charms against toothache, and the rice wine itself might be 38% proof liquor and taste like cough medicine and brandy combined.

A single line delivery has its own pace and tension, but would it work well over three lines?

tiger bones
steeped in rice wine
my sanity

Yes, it would, but I’d argue not as effectively as a single line of haiku, and I felt that the enjambment was cunningly absorbed/integrated with variations depending on how you like to read your one line haiku; e.g. simply:

tiger bones steeped in rice wine // my sanity

and also following the enjambment of a three-line haiku:

tiger bones [pause] steeped in rice wine [pause] my sanity

And perhaps as a performance piece rather than in a reading mode:

tiger bones [pause] steeped [pause] in rice wine [pause] my sanity

Of course many of us would metaphorically want tiger bones to be stronger than we are, in this volatile and much more edgier world.

Lastly, there were various considerations when I chose to write about this haiku. I write a lot about one-line haiku, so I was tempted by that alone. There is an ongoing fascination with using tiger parts for belief systems and self-medicating. There is the dynamic between literal and metaphorical meaning. Sometimes literal and metaphorical meaning can ride side by side, and you can take your chances and choices on how to read this poem, that may have both, or just take the literal route that this product was ingested at a time of need.

Author Corine Timmer:

I am the editor of the Chinese zodiac series, a yearly anthology themed around the zodiac animals. This year is the Year of the Tiger. Being acutely aware of and saddened by the illegal trade in wildlife, the senryu just popped to mind. Tiger bone wine is an alcoholic beverage produced mainly in China using the bones of tigers as a necessary ingredient. Some of you may picture the subject in my poem drinking tiger bone wine but I didn’t write it with that image in mind. My idea was more that the subject intoxicates him/her/their self with normal rice wine as a result of grief-induced anxiety. The thought of tiger bones and carcasses being dumped in vats of rice wine for up the nine years to produce a drink believed to contain special powers is reason enough to get drunk to escape, right.


Thanks to those who sent commentaries. As the contributor of the commentary reckoned best this week, Alan has chosen next week’s poem, which you’ll find below. We invite you to write a commentary to it. It may be as long or short, academic or spontaneous, serious or silly, public or personal as you like. All with respect for the poet. Out-takes from the best of these take their place in the THF Archives. Best of all, the chosen commentary’s author gets to pick the next poem.

Anyone can participate. Simply use the re:Virals commentary form below to enter your commentary on the new week’s poem (“Your text”) by the following Tuesday midnight, Eastern US Time Zone, and then press Submit to send your entry. The Submit button will not be available until Name, Email, and Place of Residence fields are filled in. We look forward to seeing your commentary and finding out about your favourite poems!

butterfly knot
each of us
a wing

— Ella Aboutboul
Haiku Dialogue‘s Family Portraits series, editor John S Green, The Haiku Foundation September 2022


The Haiku Foundation reminds you that participation in our offerings assumes respectful and appropriate behavior from all parties. Please see our Code of Conduct policy.


Corine Timmer’s short bio may be read on her website, and some of her verses at the Living Haiku Anthology.

A search for “tiger bone wine” on the internet will pull up a variety of articles from which you will learn that despite illegality, trade goes on; that tigers have been farmed for the purpose in China; and that a fully herbal substitute is also marketed.

This senryu might be considered and compared alongside Japanese sarasen, which “playfully expose inconsistencies in common sense or the façade of sociopolitical reality, if not excavate hidden truths about existence itself, sometimes transcending the particulars of time and place, thereby achieving a kind of universality. …myriad topical issues have come and gone. Some of them, regrettably, deep traumas.” This definition is taken from an excellent and informative essay on the subject in Juxta Seven by Adam L. Kern: “A Certain Tightness in the Chest: Sarasen (salaryman Senryū) on 3-11, Covid-19, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, And Other Such Catastrophes”

This Post Has 29 Comments

  1. Keith,

    is any part of my post interesting to you and worthy of exploration– perhaps of value to readers of re:Virals?
    Is it as simple as “More nuanced than the either/or, two-kinds-of approach, methinks.”


    1. It is interesting, Peter. And ‘more nuanced’ indicates that I think it isn’t that simple.

      I think that art is about communication on levels other than the explicit, on subtle levels; and thus a conscious, aware artist may be concerned about the success or not of the communication they intended. But that may also depend on who they are writing/painting/composing for – themselves, an audience of some elite, an audience of their own culture, a general audience…. Did Van Gogh think at all about “a message” when he painted Starry Night? Did he need or even care to know how viewers would interpret it?

      You wonder whether a poet has “responsibility” to make sure that an unwanted interpretation is eliminated. That begs the questions not only of what the poet wants, but what they think is unwanted (maybe they hadn’t considered all the interpretations?) and actively wish to exclude or restrict.

      Are all interpretations “of equal value”? As feedback, perhaps. As critical or analytic pieces, they are likely to vary in depth, quality, insight, and cogence.. Who is to decide on “value”? If I interpret a poem in a particular way, does it add value to me if another reader reaches an identical interpretation? Or is value added when a reader coherently presents a different interpretation? Does a valid interpretation that the poet hadn’t considered detract from a poem or add to it?

      Does a work escape from the author to the audience once it is published? Well, apropos The Lark Ascending, Ralph Vaughan Williams felt that it does. To a considerable extent I feel that is the case. Rather as children escape parental control, do things one never considered they would do, and that’s rather stimulating. Why should a poet wish or expect to exert ‘control’ over a poem and its readers? Is that reasonable?

      Back from the general to the particular: in Corine’s monoku I suggest that it relies on a contrasting juxtaposition, and here we have two elements: the concoction, and her sanity. If we assume she is sane, then the concoction is not – which, plus fellow-feeling for tigers, taken as a given, is pretty much what she intended. Yet the conclusion was left open to interpretation by the reader, rather than imposed. And it has stimulated many thoughts, some (including perhaps the judgement of the Hon Mention) not what the author had in mind. Is that a dilemma, or a plus? I think it’s a plus.

  2. I have questions, which I will set up as I go along. It is generally assumed that haiku are texts which are open to multiple readings and multiple interpretations, allowing the reader to be a “co-creator”. Sounds good, and mostly is good.

    However, are all interpretions of equal value? Is it a question of deciding, of “choosing”, as Alan suggests, how to read a poem?

    So with this haiku, one possible reading is, again as Alan says, “this product was ingested at a time of need,” referring to the tiger bone tea. Which I assume means something like, all moral considerations aside, the speaker of the poem drank the tea in order to restore or maintain sanity.

    And yet Corine says: “Some of you may picture the subject in my poem drinking tiger bone wine but I didn’t write it with that image in mind.”

    We understand that poems are different to different people, some of whom may see things in it that even the writer did not. But does that make a reading which veers widely away from the writer’s intent as valid as one which does not? Does the reader implicitly say: “Well it’s my poem now and this is the way I see it?” Or is the poem a kind of dialog both engage in, existing somewhere between?

    It seems to me that haiku, which happen so quickly and don’t allow any room for further indications of the author’s intent, are particularly susceptible to this dilemma. If in fact one considers it a dilemma.

    So, looking at this haiku, does it add something– nuance, space, depth, or dimension– when one possible take on it is the one that Alan says may come from a literal perspective: “this product was ingested at a time of need.” Or does this (and maybe other interpretations) contribute to a sense of collapse and flattening out?

    Is it the writer’s responsibility to make sure, without being explicit, that an unwanted interpretation is eliminated, or is it the reader’s responsibility to sift through all possible meanings and decide on the one he/she/they think works best?

    My approach is this: does a clear sense, a clear “feeling”for a given poem come through prior to interpretation? I think if it does, though there may be ambiguities, there will not be confusion.

    If it doesn’t, there are two possibilities: the reader is not in the right “place” (receptively) to appreciate the poem when it is read, or, the poem is not yet fully realized.

    1. Thank you, Peter, for the thoughtful comment.

      More nuanced than the either/or, two-kinds-of approach, methinks.

      One of the aspects of re:Virals that I value is that the poet gets feedback on whether the poem works as intended, and we all have an opportunity to think about what was achieved and how (as well as what went wrong and why, which we generally keep to ourselves in this positive community). The cultural differences among an international readership are another enriching, and complicating, element. Lately, we’ve had an example where a well-known phrase sent some Bible readers too much in one direction; and another where the opening word unfortunately – and perhaps unbeknownst to the poet – had strong sexual connotations that skewed the interpretations of those who looked it up. And one or more where a poet in their comment has stated that ambiguity was deliberately sought and their interest was in seeing what readers made of it.

  3. Honorable Mention
    Haiku Society of America Senryu Award
    in Memorial of Gerald Brady

    Judged by Joshua Gage and Lithica Lithica Ann

    tiger bones steeped in rice wine my sanity

    Corine Timmer, Faro, Portugal

    The judges’ comment:

    “Any poem that teaches us something or sends us scurrying to Google will catch our attention. “Tiger Bone Wine” is an alcoholic beverage that takes eight years to ferment; it’s part of Chinese traditional medicine and a cure for inflammation and chronic pain. There is an immediate need in this poem from a speaker who has been steeping in pain for so long that they’re desperate for anything to feel better, even if it’s experimental or illegal. Even if this level of chronic pain is not a universal experience for everyone, this poem certainly opens doors for utilizing senryu in a way that expresses pain and teaches empathy.”

    I want to thank the judges for choosing my poem thereby making it accessible to more people.

  4. A good discussion makes the toil worthwhile…. I think it’s great if a verse in re:Virals makes people think — including me and here, the poet herself. Although as a longer-form scribbler (before I came to haiku) I love lyricism and poetic device as much as the next person, for me a key part of haiku/senryu is that it is poetry of the mind; and often in its purest form.

  5. Yes, I did need to search the net. (I was only aware of Tiger Balm, which doesn’t involve tigers.) Most of all, the practice of starving captive tigers to death (to avoid breaking the law, where there is a law against killing them outright, for goodness sake, as if starving a captive creature to death wasn’t killing!) disgusts me. I won’t say anymore about that.

    Alan Summers is correct in his observation that this ku has a ‘pivot line’ (“steeped in rice wine”) which may apply to both “tiger bones” and “my sanity’. Although, from her comments, it seems that the author didn’t intend “steeped in rice wine” to apply to “my sanity”, the possibility is still there and it works. What happens to ‘sanity’ when it is “steeped” in any strong alcoholic beverage?

    tiger bones steeped in rice wine my sanity

    “The thought of tiger bones and carcasses being dumped in vats of rice wine for up the nine years to produce a drink believed to contain special powers is reason enough to get drunk to escape, right.” -— Corine Timmer

    “Reason enough. . . “? Nope, not in my view, anyway. And for me, the suggested alternative to “my sanity” (“my arse”) doesn’t work at all.
    I appreciate this ku because it brings my attention to a cruel and barbaric practice more than anything else.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Lorin. I appreciate your thoughts. I am glad that we are discussing a topic close to my heart. We all react in different ways. Perhaps my comment was not clear enough. If you read my comment to Radhamani you’ll learn that “steeped in rice wine” was intended to act as a pivot but many more possibilities for interpretation are being discussed in this thread. “My arse” is just a joke.

      1. “If you read my comment to Radhamani you’ll learn that “steeped in rice wine” was intended to act as a pivot…”
        Corine Timmer. ”
        Well, Corine, I suggest that you check the dates & times of the two comments.. I hadn’t read your comment that you refer to because it didn’t exist at the time I read Alan’s.

        Alan Summers
        September 30, 2022 at 10:04 am
        “And also for the one line haiku that has two parts, maybe even more! 🙂

        tiger bones steeped in rice wine my sanity

        tiger bones steeped in rice wine
        my sanity ”

        Corine Timmer
        September 30, 2022 at 1:32 pm

        “Radhamani. I’m glad my senryu can be interpreted in a variety of ways. When it popped to my mind I saw “steeped in rice wine” as pivotal. Both “tiger bones” and “my sanity” are connected to it.”
        I read Alan’s comments but I didn’t see yours to Radhamani because you hadn’t posted it at the time.
        In my own reading, too, I’d inferred the ‘pivot’ phrase (“steeped in rice wine”) and I’d assumed it was intentional on your part. So I think it’s fair to say that I learned something from your haiku, but not from your response to Radhamani, as you suggest I might need to.

        (It shouldn’t surprise you that “my arse!” is also an exclamation in Australian English, or was, long ago when I was a girl and lived in a country region, and in the only pub in town. )

  6. Posted with corrections:

    hi Corine,
    i responded to your monoku early on….however, there was a “virus imp-like, repetition” difficulty in posting it and caused it to get submitted late….this, (with some added now typo corrections) is what i sent in:
    tiger bones steeped in rice wine my sanity

    — Corine Timmer

    this is a one-liner senryu.

    my Online search:

    Tiger bone wine is an alcoholic beverage originally produced in China using the bones of tigers as a necessary ingredient. The production process takes approximately eight years and results in a high alcohol concentration. Wikipedia
    Alcohol by volume: 58%
    Ingredients: Rice wine or white wine, tiger bones, ginger, sage

    Traditionally… Tiger bones are steeped in rice wine for up to eight years and then bottled with a mixture of Chinese herbs and snake extract to produce a sickly-sweet 38 per cent proof brown liquor that some say… tastes like a mixture of cough medicine and cheap brandy.Mar 18, 2016

    Tigers BOILED UP to make wine …
    “touting” that it ‘boosts sex drive

    Though this stimulating beverage is steeped in ancient tradition…it is now illegal to collect these animals for the purpose of using such animal parts. Tigers are a highly threatened animal and are protected by laws.
    Despite regulations, there exists big businesses (and buyers) that turn their backs on restrictions, in order to sell products online while lining their pockets.

    Today, in the legitimate product “tiger bones” in rice wine can be substituted with herbs, though the name will stay the same.

    perhaps Corine’s “sanity” is becoming endangered….when she hears of the horror stories of abused tigers, their emaciated bodies starving in rusted cages…as is mine!

    the biggest bond i share with Corine is perhaps the love of and compassion for animals, even more than our shared love of the creative arts.
    i am hoping the strength and appeal of this piece, combines the best of all these worlds. and that there is a very personal, moral message embedded in her monoku. Perhaps, through the production and sales of Corine’s newest chapbook…”rip-roaring haiku”, she is doing her loyalty to their endangered life, by having the proceeds go to charities on their behalf.

    Corine….just wanted you to know…..that i am indeed engaged (and supporting) in your literary efforts and to thank you personally for bringing out some needed social attention to these inconsistencies in humanities’ interests!

  7. I deliberately avoided a rant in my commentary about using and/or killing animals for various potions or fashion etc…

    Corine Timmer puts it so eloquently, though I’d use Jim Royle’s iconic phrase instead although it’s probably too British and not translate further afield:

    ”My Arse” – The Definitive Compilation (20 Years of The Royle Family)

    kindest regards,

    1. I admired your detachment, Alan!

      The monoku made me think beyond its immediate literal context. There will be those who extol “alternative medicine” and those who conclude that if it is not validated scientifically by isolation of the mechanism, it is hocus-pocus. Some will believe in alternative medicine as a matter of course but find the use of tigers for the purpose abhorrent. There will be those who accept that cows may be farmed for beef, sheep for lamb, and salmon for fish, but not that tigers may be bred and farmed for bones and other parts. And there will be those who deplore all use of animals for food or other requirements of humankind but who nevertheless are grateful for woolly rather than plastic (acrylic) jumpers, and for vaccines and other medical treatments, scientifically proven effective, that would not exist without animal trials. We’re all full of contradictions, and I came to think that this is a good ku because it made me spend a while reasoning out my own. The conclusion is made easier if one believes that the idea that drinking tiger bone extract makes you strong like a tiger is bunkum.

      1. One of my jobs was as a general builder. But before that I was a KP (kitchen porter) in a Glasgow hotel, and we all developed what we thought was a ‘cold’.

        When I moved back to England, it had progressed to what I thought was flu, then my throat was like razor blades all day being stuck and cutting into my throat. I naively bought medication from high street shops and pharmacists like the Boots store chain. My condition, now 6 months long, worsened. I was entering what I felt was pneumonia which was making close to being unable to work, and also carry on charity work.

        I thought “why not give it a go” as so-called normal traditional medicine was making me dangerously perhaps fatally ill. That was frustrating, as I felt I had obligations to stay alive.

        So I walked into the well-known Bristol shop that offered other medication. I stacked up my shopping basket, went to the purchase point. I was told that I could put most of it back, just buy two things instead!

        From paying out maybe a £100 a day, I had two products costing me under £20 that would last months, and six months for the Astragulus droplets. The tissue salts soothed and cured my razor blade throat in hours, and the astragulus in under two days! I was able to work, and also leave the country to continue the charity work. No animals were harmed in the treatment.

        It was alternative but complementary. It was just that in this case the allopathic treatments had roundly failed.

        If it doesn’t involve killing/murdering a fellow animal (and we do belong to the animal species) and it works, I’ll use it. I see that as productive and pragmatic.

        The little astragulus droplet bottle lasted almost a year. I could even hang out with people with the common cold (it’s also a coronavirus strain) and even flu. Not now, as I’m older, and Karen has a chronic health condition that even common colds can compromise.

        Medicine is medicine except when we murder other animals or destroy vast tracts of country of course.

        It might be too late for humans to continue habitation on this planet because we do not think out the consequences of any of our personal or group/herd use of materials. We now have no excuse.

        Closed minds are dangerous, and in the new European World War arena, possibly lethal and fatal.

        Now we don’t need to continue the discussion further, as many people support the big pharma companies and societies continue to use the death of a fellow species to feel better about themselves.

        Back to the haiku:

        tiger bones steeped in rice wine my sanity

        — Corine Timmer

        As has been said, there is the plain matter of fact phrase:
        “tiger bones steeped in rice wine”

        One human culture might see no wrong in that, while others may disagree. Though it is a highly effective phrase for some people.

        I wonder what the personal and also poetic treatment would be if the verse was written thusly:


        human bones steeped in rice wine

        What percentage of the world, pre nuclear winter, would see that as questionable, or objectionable, either as part of a poem, or part of a medicating practice?

        Who knows what the future holds for us. Haiku is a particularly robust and adaptable short length/content poetic force.

        kind regards,

      2. Thanks again for your comment, as well as taking my commentary.

        And also for the one line haiku that has two parts, maybe even more! 🙂

        tiger bones steeped in rice wine my sanity

        tiger bones steeped in rice wine
        my sanity

          1. Thank you Corine!

            It can be unnerving to write about another person’s haikai verse, though I feel we can learn so much by commenting, or at least attempting to talk about the poem.

            warmest regards,

      3. Thanks for your thoughts and comment, Keith. It’s a BIG subject. I’m glad my single-line senryu made you think. I believe drinking tiger-bone wine is bunkum. But for the believers, it may work? The power of the belief is another BIG subject.

        1. Indeed belief is a big subject. I’ve scratched the surface of it in a few ku, and a sequence in Failed Haiku vol 6 issue 69 September 2021 (“Believe”).

          Basically, as a scientist (biologist) by formation, I take a scientific view. And if we jump to rule out the consumption of one species by another, where does that lead in logic? Unless one believes that humans are in some way entirely separate from the animal and plant kingdoms….

          It’s a sign of a good haiku/senryu that it opens the way to a good deal of reflection.

  8. TO
    the esteemed poet,
    Congratulations .
    Delight and insightful remarks ,going through the following observations”

    “A single line delivery has its own pace and tension, but would it work well over three lines?

    tiger bones
    steeped in rice wine
    my sanity

    Yes, it would, but I’d argue not as effectively as a single line of haiku, and I felt that the enjambment was cunningly absorbed/integrated with variations depending on how you like to read your one line haiku; e.g. simply:

    tiger bones steeped in rice wine // my sanity” etc.'”

    1. Many thanks!

      I did post a comment, though it seems not to have gone through, which shows my disdain over any society that murders animals or disempowers them by other means just to sell potions, fashion without any recompense.

      kindest wishes,

    2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your comment, Radhamani. I’m glad my senryu can be interpreted in a variety of ways. When it popped to my mind I saw “steeped in rice wine” as pivotal. Both “tiger bones” and “my sanity” are connected to it. So it would work as a three-line poem but I felt that the added pace of a one-liner would increase its effect (and insanity), in this case.

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