Friday 5 May 2023

5 Poems by Yuan Changming

Body Politics: Left vs Right

1/ Brain
My left brain has everything right
While my right one has nothing left

2/ Heart
My left chamber’s been reserved for someone
Right, yet my right one’s for nobody on the left

3/ Foot
My left foot takes the position for the right
But my right one stands firm against the left

Ode to Dark

As the background color of light rather
Than the spotlight of night, dark is
The infinite container of all matter in
The cosmos, where its invisibility offers
Warmth, tranquility and ultimate home
To every wondering soul, thicker than
Either, inclusive as the universe itself
Or the human mind, where no one
Has to worry about being disturbed
Denounced, or deprived of, where
Each body can rest in comfort, dream
About light, hope for the better, where
The seed is biding its time until it can
Bloom in the right season, where
Solitude accumulates power in silences

Universal Law of Equilibrium

There’s neither god in Heaven, nor
Heaven above earth to begin with, except
This hidden universal law of equilibrium:
If you lose here, you are bound to gain
There; if you suffer now, you will be happy
Then; if you fail in many small matters
You are going to win in a big way, or
The other way around, or vice versa. Or
In terms of Dao: just as your whole
Mindset is a matter of thought, all your
World can be boiled down to a few words
Bubbling in the cauldron of your mind

Double Nesting

1/ I Think; Therefore, I Am
I am thinking of you being awake all the time
I am thinking of you being awake, all the time
I am thinking of you, being awake all the time
I am, thinking of you being awake all the time

2/ Bird & Nest
You are a bird, always in search of a nest
(An open cage?), where your body & soul
Can both come down to perch for the cold
And long night, no matter how far or high
You’ve been flying during the daytime

Yes, soulmating means double nesting:
Just as her vagina is the nest of your
Penis, her heart is that of your soul

Simplification of Chinese Characters Reviewed

Is it a linguistic coincidence or undeclared prophesy?
But 60 years after Mao Zedong approved
The scheme for simplifying Chinese characters
We are now living in an open & reformed age, where

愛/ai/ [love] has become a feeling without a heart: 爱
親/qin/ [kinship] someone who is not to be seen: 亲
兒/er/[son] a person without his own brain: 儿
郷/xiang/ [village] a place where there’s no male: 乡
厰/chang/ [factory] a building with nothing inside: 厂
産/chan/ [manufacture] a process without production: 产
雲/yun/ [cloud] a nimbus offering no rainfall:云
開/kai/ [open] an action to break something doorless: 开
導/dao/ [lead] a guidance without the Way: 导

More than half a century long after
The simplification of classic Chinese characters
& almost half a century well after
China opened its doors & began its reforms
To shake off its deformities or backwardnesses:

魔 /mo/ remains the same as魔 [evil], so does
鬼 /gui/ as鬼[ghost], so does
偷 /tou/ as偷[steal], so does
黑 /hei/ as [darkness], so does
贪 /tan/ as贪[greed], so does
赌 /du/ as赌[gamble], so does
毒 /du/ as毒[poison], so does
贼 /zhei/ as贼[thief], so does
骗 /pian/ exactly as骗[cheat,], which remains
As unchangeable as Chinese per se, or does it not?


Yuan Changming, 12-time Pushcart nominee and multiple prize winner, is probably the world's most widely published contemporary poetry author who speaks Mandarin but writes in English. Growing up in a remote Chinese village, Yuan started to learn the English alphabet in Shanghai at age nineteen and published several monographs on translation before moving to Canada as an international student. With a PhD in English from the University of Saskatchewan, Yuan currently lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. Since mid-2005, Yuan has had poetry appearing in more than 2,000 literary journals/anthologies, across 49 countries, which include Best Canadian Poetry (2009, 2012, 2014), the Best of the Best Canadian Poetry: Tenth Anniversary Edition, BestNewPoemsOnline and Poetry Daily. In 2021 he was nominated, and served on the jury, for Canada’s National Magazine Awards (poetry category). In 2022, Yuan began to write and publish fiction.

Poetry Books by Yuan Changming:
1. Chansons of a Chinaman [Paperback]. Murfreesboro, TN: Leaf Garden, 2009.
2. Landscaping [Paperback]. San Jacinto, CA: Flutter Press, 2013.
3. Mindscaping [e.chapbook]. Halifax: Fowlpox Press, 2014.
4. Origin of Letters [e.chapbook]. Chicago: Beard of Bees Press, 2015.
5. Kinship [Paperback] Seattle: Goldfish Press, 2015.
6. Wordscaping [e. Chapbook]. Halifax: Fowlpox Press, 2016.
7. Dark Phantasms [Paperback]. San Jacinto, CA: Flutter Press, 2017.
8. East Idioms [e.chapbook]., 2019.
9. (R)e.volution [Paperback]. LA: the Wapshott Press, 2021.
10. 《袁昌明詩選》(Selected Poems []. Vancouver: Poetry Pacific, 2021.
11. Limerence [Paperback]. Vancouver, Poetry Pacific Press, 2021.
12. All My Crows [Paperback]. Grass Valley, CA: Cold River Press, 2022.
13. E.dening [Paperback]. Seattle: Goldfish Press, 2022.
14. Homelanding [Paperback]. Yakima, WA: Cave Moon Press, 2022.
15. Sinosaur [Paperback]. Hickory, NC: Redhawk Publications, 2022.
16. Yellow Comedy [e.Chapbook]. LA: Four Feathers Press, July 2023.
17. Free Sonnets [Paperback]. Philadelphia: Dark Onus Press, September 2023.
18. Decaging [Paperback]., August 2023

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