Monday 5 May 2014

5 Poems by Changming Yuan


As the morning fog
Stalks away on ethereal feet
All boughs
Unanimously agree
To take action
By bursting themselves
With dripping green buds
Little dimples
In myriads
Across the widely smiling face
Of spring

Marpole, Vancouver West

1/ 8033 Osler Street

somewhere down my neighborhood
as if the sun and moon were melting
all the cherry twigs tinged with spring
like morning glows fallen in the wood

beside the freshly mown lawns I jog
both my steps and breaths in keeping
with every little bare cluster humming
such a sweet tune in the silvery fog

is my residence here but a day dream
or is the day dream my residence here?

2/ Open Opera


this solo performance
of sweet cherry trees

white clusters of vowels
pink chorus of assonance

there is no accompany
of leafy consonance

except bold internal rhymes
between heartbeats and footsteps

Quit It Tonight, Jesus

Come on, jesus
I know you are always busy
Writing your program for
All the lives in the universe

Admit it that you
Simply hate
This code monkey
Business of yours; why

Not quit it tonight, but
Let each fate write its own
Why not come out of your little castle
Walled with biblical pages?

Bored as you are, jesus
Why not just quit it tonight?

What If…

God is nobody but a little lucky survivor of
The last generation of earthlings, or a lost
Envoy dispatched by another civilization; man
Is actually a chimpanzee in frame, a hog
In tissue, and a frog in heart; the whole
Universe is no larger than a concept being
Formed in the brain of a mouse, whereas money
Is no other than a null number, fame a fading
Name, power a petty tower, and love a lust
In glove; indeed, what if there is a parallel
World where your other self is stalking you like
Your shadow, where you can become a god
In your own right; most important of all
What if you are it; what if now is then?

Shakespeare’s Definition of Man Recalled 

Thou subtle, perjur’d, false, disloyal man!
Thou art like a toad; ugly and venemous.
Thou art a flesh-monger, a fool and a coward.
Thy tongue outvenoms all the worms of Nile.

You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian!
Go, prick thy face, and over-red thy fear, Thou lily-liver’d boy.
Thou clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch!
You starvelling, you eel-skin, you dried neat’s-tongue, you bull’s-pizzle, you stock-fish–O for breath to utter what is like thee!-you tailor’s-yard, you sheath, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck!

There’s no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune.
Thou poisonous bunch-back’d toad!
Thou art unfit for any place but hell.
Thou are pigeon-liver’d and lack gall.
Your virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese.
Thine face is not worth sunburning.
Your brain is as dry as the remainder biscuit after voyage.
You are as a candle, the better burnt out.
Thy sin’s not accidental, but a trade.

A most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly
                                                   promise breaker, the owner of no one good quality.


Changming Yuan, 8-time Pushcart nominee and author of Chansons of a Chinaman (2009) and Landscaping (2013), grew up in rural China, holds a PhD in English, and currently tutors in Vancouver, where he co-edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan and operates PP Press. Most recently interviewed by World Poetry (cfro100.5fm), Yuan's poetry has appeared in 839 literary publications across 28 countries, including Asia Literary Review, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, London Magazine and Threepenny Review.

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