Wednesday, 1 May 2019

changming: lit endeavours-1 may 2019

1/  got 16 acceptances in march, and 15 in april by print and online journals, including onion river rev, touchstone mag, writing from below, litbreak mag, spillway, (last issue of) zoomoozophone rev, rootstalk;

2/ my chinese poem 'first love' (初恋)was selected as one of the 20 semi-finalist by the judges in new york during 'the 2019 flushing poetry festival,' but eventually failed to win any prize on april 20;

3/ all set to release the 2019 spring issue of Poetry Pacific as scheduled on 5 may. wondering why so much content, including 'disclaimer', 'guidelines', editors' profiles, and names of hundreds of related magazines, is all gone from the right side of the main page. tried to recover it, but technically incapable of this;

4/ after permanently closing my sites 'happy yangsheng' intended for the benefit of potential readers, i am very hesitant these days about whether to change it or not into 'towards happiness' or simply 'fulfilment' just to record how i have been trying to attain happiness despite my strong pessimistic and cynical tendencies i was born with. while i am not sure if i can commit myself to this literary project, it's clear to me that i should be concerned only with my private and internal life, since i have lost touch with the day when crapshit has become unimaginably much more popular than blood-stained words coughed out by writers me;

Friday, 1 March 2019

changming: lit endeavours-1march19

1/  got 12 acceptances last december, 14 in january, and as many as 23 in feburary, including one by Mystic Living Today (https://mysticlivingtoday.com/), which has been publishing my work every first day of every month since sometime in 2017;

2/ stopped operating my chinese blogsite both at http://blog.sina.com.cn/u/2682748050 and at http://yuancm.blogspot.com/2014/03/35.html, simply because the readership has been really too discouraging: it's not worth my eye pain to maintain the sites just for a greatly embarrassing number of readers/visitors. i will focus on my chinese blog at http://blog.creaders.net/u/7464/ only, where i have hundreds of readers at least for almost every posting;

3/ as i was going through my acceptance record yesterday, i found up to 42 'dead', as a result of the fact that despite my repeated polite queries, the editors either remain silent for lack of minimal professionalism or literary decency, or tell me bluntly they have changed their editorship or stopped operation;

4/ given all my quite rich reading (and editing/publishing) experiences in both chinese and english, i have realised more and more clearly that i no longer understand, nor can i thus tell what contemporary readers are really interested in; i find it particularly puzzling: the kind of content most common readers enjoy exposing themselves to nowadays is low, dull, shallow, meaningless and grotesquely cliche to me. in other words, possibly because i am getting old, i may have lost touch completely with the living readership today...

5/ for the past few weeks, i have been editing chinese content for the create abundance group (创造丰盛集团), now known as the midas touch (点石成金), but for nothing: they offered me the opportunity to publish several books (in chinese only) for them, but now they have delayed the project or, more precisely, put it on hiatus until further notice.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Interviews archived - yuan

thus far, i have had 14 interviews, which i am listing below for record. it is true that almost every one of them is 'routine' or 'standardised' rather than personalised, but some of the questions and (hopefully) answers are very intriguing. for some reasons, i like the two most recent ones, published respectively during the past two weeks.



1/ Silver Blade [US; Dec., 2012]http://www.silverblade.net/content/?p=1779

3/ Horrified Press [UK; Apr., 2013]https://www.facebook.com/horrified.press


6/ World Poetry Cafe Radio Show - CFRO 100.5FM [Canada; 21 Jan 2014] htttp://worldpoetry.ca/?p=7447

7/ Driftwood Press [US. Apr., 2014] http://media.wix.com/ugd/d32313_9a31411fcdf
84c1988c6a9fe60ebb94c.pdf (pp. 34-35).



10/ fēlan [US, 25 May 2017] https://felanzine.wordpress.com/2017/05/25/interview-yuan-changming/


12/ South Florida Poetry Journal [US;  May 2018] https://www.southfloridapoetryjournal.com/interviews.html



Sunday, 6 January 2019

[archived poems 2016-2]

2016, 12, 14 [wed]

Caging

Within the outer cage
Of our connections
With the pasts is
Another cage of those
With the futures, and right
At the heart is the core
Cage of all our relations
With other humans
In today’s world. That’s

Where your soul is kept
Like a grotesque crow


Modern Jewish Theologies

Marx’s historical materialism proves
There was no god in time to begin with
Einstein’s principle of relativity illustrates
There is no supernatural being in space
Whereas Freudian psychology reveals
There is no holy existence in the mind
Except desires of, by or for the people, and

Desires alone, that are the real motive force
In the making of world history, as Mao says


Holy Sound

Every Chinese character has one
Or more homonyms, except fo for
Buddha, which structurally means
Non-human, and sen for Buddhist
Implying he is no longer a human

Both simply to give the philosopher and
His followers a holy significance. Unlike
God or Allah, neither of the two words has
A homonym, but each is unique in sound

(And spelling) as in English. So, to
Be holy is to be unique in sound (or
Perhaps to be original in voice?)

Such being the case, whoever can speak or
Sing in a unique way is a god in Chinese?


The Worshipping of Nouns

No, no, it’s not nominalism of any kind
In the English sense of the word, but
A long-held tradition of worshipping
Nouns ever since Confucius said if the name
Is not proper, the speech will not go right

Yes, humanity, justice, etiquette, wisdom
Faith, then loyalty, filial piety, chastity
Righteousness …like a barbaric atheist
We believe in each and every one of such
Holy nouns, though we seldom practice them
As they uphold democracy, freedom, equality
Independence, fraternity, and human rights

However, this does not mean we all
Worship nouns only for nouns’ sake


Westernization of Chinese Civilization

First, the basic words we used to speak
Or think in our mother tongue have
Now become multi-syllabled rather
Than single-syllabled in the past

Then, we read and write from left to right
Instead of the other way around, and
More important, we depend far more 

On passive voice and conjunctions in syntax
Than ever in history, among other things
In addition, we now wear suits other than gowns

We cut hair rather than keep it in a pigtail
So, what else shall we change to embrace
Modernization or Americanization?


Social Dynamics

It is not the season or environmental condition
But the consciousness that has made flowers
Bloom, trees grow, or birds fly

It is not people, but their desires that have been
Driving civilization forward to heaven or hell


In the Fraser Valley Park

As dusk sags onto the landscape
All dogs and their owners
Return to the comfort and warmth
Of their houses after a happy walk

Except fallen leaves rolling towards
Big corners, where lonely homeless
Humans are left behind, getting ready
To spend just another cold night

They have no human masters, but are
Always leashed with a rope of poverty  


Contrast

Rotting behind vermillion gates are
Wasted wine and meat, Du Fu chanted
Long ago, while human bodies are frozen
To death by the roadside. This gap

Between human beings have always
Existed, widening daily since before the
Poet’s time until today it’s getting even
Wider than between two smallest stars

Rotting now are not the wine and meat only
But also the heart and soul, while frozen
To death are both human bodies and hopes


Contingency

You can certainly put your mind (or soul)
Into a gold Maytag, but first you’d better
Empty the pockets, since coins or keys
Left in them might damage the machine

You can certainly wash it really clean if
You use warm water, the right detergent and
Wash it twice, or even three times. As for the
Stains, there are all kinds of powerful agents

You can certainly dry it in a machine or
Better to hang it outside on a clear day
Let the sunshine do the job, let nature
Take care of it before you put it on again


What Else Can You Do beside Jiujie?

You cut meat with sharp knives
We poke grasses with bamboo sticks

            You punch others with hard fists
We dance around you with taichi gestures

Your men fuck around everywhere outside your households
Our women lay babies right in your living rooms

            You colonize every city with an English syntax
We decorate each street with Chinese signboards

You deploy aircraft carriers near our waters and coasts
We marry girls to your princes and paupers

You enjoy setting fires and blowing winds along our long walls
            We have Chinese stomachs to digest all insults and injuries

You try every way to overthrow our government
We sell every artifact to help your people survive

            You borrow money from us to build more weapons
We work hard to make more money for your banks


For a Life in Virtual Reality

How many times have you wanted to thank God
For all that’s turned out but a bad dream?

How many times have you wished it all to be
Nothing more or less than a nightmare? And

How many times have you counted the times
When you feel lost between dream and reality?




2016, 11, 05 [sat]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sidewalk Tree   

Standing by the side of the road
You never budge, but
Keep waving your hands
Your thoughts and feelings
As if greeting
Someone, something

Like the human in Beckett’s play
You devote a whole lifetime
Waiting for Godot
Who will never show up
On your stage


Pumpkin

Right at the foreground of the season  

In an abbot’s kasaya
You sit there
As if praying for the whole land

In an unheard voice


Water

From the lowest spots
On earth, you rise
Rising with the sun
Above the ground
Above the houses and trees
Above the horizon
Above the human vision
Until you reach high in the morning sky
Where you fly invisibly
With all the freedom
You can find
In the universe


First Smoking

Well before my voice broke
I smoked my first cigarette
(Made of bits collected in an open
Movie house), not on the ground
But in a tree so nobody, especially
My tyrannical father, could see me
“Learning bad.” The taste was really awful
But blowing out clouds from my narrow
Throat above moving human heads
Made me feel like the Monkey King
Travelling on his journey to the west

Instead of making a hundred thousand kilometer somersault
I looked afar, farther beyond the sky

Until I gave up smoking for poetry writing
That’s when I began to miss the misty connection
Between my little clouds and my late father


Noises vs Music

All manmade sounds are noises
Except the few notes gushing out
From an unpolluted heart, as pleasant
As the melodious songs of
Birds, winds, rain and thunder

The difference between music and noise
Lies thus in the way a human soul
Or heart dances on an instrument

But what about the human voice
Which produces both songs and noises?


The Child as the Father of Man: for My Grandson

First time I played
Beethoven’s no 5 to my
Grand baby son, it was
Greatly disturbed, but i
Had no idea if it was by
The music or by its own fate

Fearing it might not like
The sound of door knocking
I have since tried
To imitate the effect
In a softer way:

To several lines of poetry
Or as many bird chirrups
I exposed its little
Heart and soul
Just as I did its father


Swinging

Push.   Up there you saw
The horizon above your childhood
As wide as your vision

Pull.     You faced backwards
Close to the playground with
Footprints messy on the sand

Push again.      Higher up you hope
To fly like a kite with a
String held in a human hand

Pull again.       Your mind became
Confused as if everything could
Be withdrawn beneath your body


The Painting

What a reservoir of lost beauty
Framed within the dikes of time
Ready to overflow
When there is another storm


Asgardia: Second Choice

Last time I was not chosen
               
This time I have selected myself
To join the mass long march
Towards Asgardia, though
Without a Morse as our leader

I know I cannot go to heaven
But I can flee from hell


Epitaph

Just as long epitaphs may contain short lives
So short ones may contain long lifetimes

Some contain a high-sounding biography
Some only hardened dates
Besides a name or
Even no name like Wu Zetian’s

You have none, except
A y-shaped ventifact


Helen’s Heart

Such a wild dog you have adopted
Taking as much care as any other human
Can do the job under a house roof

But each time you open the door
And walk it in fraser river valley park
It would run far away from you

Sometimes in your front (or back)
For a rolling leaf, other times away
In your left (or right) for a ball’s shadow

So often does it refuse to return to you
Despite your persistent call as it
Enjoys playing with another pet

Last month, it was lost, maybe forever
Like the real economy never going
Together with the stock market


Brief Bio of a Leaf

Whitening to recall a snowy day

Greening to promote spring

Yellowing to store summer sunlight

Oranging to reflect a morning glow

Reddening to catch the smile of a setting sun

Purpling to flirt with evening winds

Blackening to return to the root at night

A full spectrum of the sunlight
A full spectrum of the season


Celebrating Shortness

Life is so short
Nabokov explains
Our existence is
But a brief crack of
Light between two
Eternities of darkness
Or in Su Dongpo’s words
Is a white foal fleeting
Across a narrow gap
Indeed, brevity is the
Soul of English, and
Everything else, so
Let’s cut it short
And even shorter
To make life long
Longer than art 


The Unidentified Crow

In its beak it carries a long lost prophecy
So ominously heavy it cannot fly high

Or afar, but keep flapping its broken
Wings against the fog, where the bird

Fears to drop the message on a snag
A car roof rather than a human head

If it falls on a wild field, it can never
Grow into a copse; if on a tower

It will not be seen by any open eyes
Becoming too tired to fly, how much

Longer can the spirit of darkness keep
The secret in its short beak?


The Evolution of Inner Being

Before learning to think in language
We had emotions and imaginings
Running wild within the skinny boundaries
Of our inner space, where they lived
And became extinct like dinosaurs

While some of them have gone into
The land of history as fossils, others
Have evolved into birds flying
High and afar until they are caught
In the net of a mother tongue


Top Ten Happiest Moments

The birth of a first child
The making of a child

The birth of a first grand child
The conceiving of a first grand child

The first kiss of two lovers
The first wedding, and

The loudest fart
The largest pool





2016,10,13 [Thursday]

Hook

Just how, you were thrown into the water
Under the current and close to a snag

You can’t feel the sun light
Without being reflected

When a fish swims by here
You run into a nasty urchin, tantalizing

As we are all being tantalized
For a tiny catch



South Vancouver

Each evening you walk backwards around
The block on Cornish street, supposedly
As an exercise for your back; in so doing
You sometimes recall Du Dongpo, and how
He would oppose the trend, ignoring it
By resorting to brush painting, calligraphy
Besides writing poetry at an outpost on Lingnan
When he was exiled by the imperial court
(Or the other way around), inventing ways
To cook pork, joking about a Buddhist Master’s
Donkey face as long as the sidewalk behind you

Other times you look up into the deep blue
What you are withdrawing from is a close up
A panorama of your future as the past while
You constantly have to turn back, just to avoid
Posing a hazard to other normal pedestrians



Tender Was Once the Night

How fondly you often miss, recollecting
The shredded darkness of a primitive night
Like your native village (or first love)
So pure-hearted, full of natural charm
Without being disturbed by wood fire
Candle light, let alone electric shine
When fireflies had fan above
The thick bushes, where primroses
Bloomed towards a meditating owl

O for an unpolluted night! And let trees
And flowers have a sound sleep


La Lutte Finale Or Last Trial

All rise [les damnés de la terre?]
Oyez, Oyez, Oyez

With neither jury nor audience
Who is to win man’s case

Nature or God? [ L'Internationale
Sera le genre humain
!]



Falling

Further and further
Down, my body keeps
Falling, except for a single line
From my consciousness that has caught
A snag against the cliff, ready to break
Like a spider’s wire
Over stretched along my fear

In the warmth and comfort of
My hard-floored bed, I am
Falling down, further and further
To a bottomless inner being



Art of Autumn

Rather than the foil
Of spring flowers
All leaves of the passing season
Are now blooming aloud
Towards the autumn sky

Less tender textured, perhaps
But more brittle, more deadly brilliant
Shaken off for a last ritual dance 
With the wind before they kiss
The land once and forever



Resurrecting

The rebirth of a phoenix
Is a legend, popular but misleading 

Whereas the rebirth of
An ageing eagle is a reality
Hidden somewhere as he retreats
Into a cliff corner, there plucking his
Own feathers one by one, then
Sharpening his beak
Until he is ready, again

To fly high in the same sky
For another lifetime



The Happiness

Of life
Lies in the cocktail of
One per cent of pleasure
Mixed with
99% of suffering
Melancholy and boredom

All in a single cup to sip


Rebirth

The finer, or the smaller pieces
You break your inner being into

The better chances you have
To reform it into a new selfhood


Drafting the Declaration of Dependence

    No
Men
    Are
Created
    Equal
But
    Everyone
Tries
    To
Live
As such



Baby Shower: For Kate and Emma*

Bamboo nature premium baby diapers [from an aunt
The daughter is the art of freedom 

Love to dream swaddle UP lite [from an uncle
Every princess is a girl, but not every queen 

My Best frind pillow from [Uncle Sam
To be or not to be a single flower 

Grey dahlia nursing cover [from Grandparents
If you want a woman, have something done

Dr. Brown’s bottle warmer [from Aunt Angel
Women, thy name is frailty 

Tammee tippee electric steam sterilizer [from Uncle Chase
Only women are easy to get along with, Confucius hoped 

Stork craft custom hoop glider and ottoman [from Grandpa Michael
One of the two running rabbits must be female, according to Mulan

Infant optics dxr-8 video baby monitor [from Grandma Helen
Flowers, why not bloom all together right now? asked Empress Wu 

Ju-ju-be b.f.f.convertible diaper bag [from uncle Allen, etc., etc.
Never to be a basic bitch, but blahblahblah, blahblahblah 

* Our first grandchild Kate is expected to come to this world on november 11, 2016.


Drowning

It’s like a snag
Being pushed towards me
By an indifferent wave

While struggling in the water
I flapped my arms high
Only to see it drifting around
About a yard away

Sitting on the snag is a wounded crow
With eyes widely open
As if to appreciate my last dance

Like a thought, sinking slowly
To the bottom of my being


Some Kites Never Fly

There was a wind blowing the other day
Neither too hard nor too swiftly
And the kite had no better wings
In addition to a gracious shape

But the couple just couldn’t fly it up
No matter how they tried
Running against the wind, or pulling
The string with sweeping hope

Obviously, they did not know
Some kites never fly to the blue sky
Even with or against the right season
Even in this Fraser River Valley Park


In the Parallel Universe

In the parallel universe there are no
Black holes within black holes
But another you do live like your soul

It has no need for a mate
Nor does it depend on food or clothing
For survival, even has no idea about

God or ghost, fame or power, health
Or wealth. Like a thought itself, it is
A spot of consciousness full of spirits

Ready to shine with stars, to shoot
Against space, to spread with time
Like your inner being, in another world


No Medusa

Ignoring a name call during the return is like
Ignoring a flirtation from Fox Spirit in Pu Songling’s tales is like
Ignoring the chase of a Frankenstein is like
Ignoring the whim of a Faust is like
Ignoring the challenge of a Pushkin for a duel is like
Ignoring the declaration from a George Bush is like
Ignoring the request from a Revenue Canada is like
Ignoring the invitation from a University of Saskatchewan is like
Ignoring the rejection from a New Yorker is like
Ignoring the ignorance by a Helen is like
Ignoring the notice from a Vancouver Library is like
Ignoring the judgment from a being above


Dao Philosophizing

                                                                                    To/To
                                                                          Seek/Balance
                                                              Yang/Yin
                                                From/With
                                    Yin/Yang
                        Is/Isn’t
            The same/The same
As/As
            To/To
                        Seek/Balance
                                    Yin/Yang
                                                From/With
                                                            Yang/Yin
                                                                        Before/Unless
                                                                                    We/You
                                                                        Zigzag/Zagzig
                                                            Our path/Your Way
                                                With/Without
                                    A thought/Any feeling
                        About/Towards
            Nature/God
Here/There


Daoist Pursuit  

                                                            To/To
                                                Seek/Balance
                                    Yang/Yin
                        From/With
            Yin/Yang
Is/Isn’t
The same/The same
As/As
                                    To/To
                                                Seek/Balance
                                                            Yin/Yang
                                                From/With
                                    Yang/Yin
                        Before/Unless
            We/You
Zigzag/Zagzig
            Our Path/Your Way
                        With/Without
                                    A thought/Any feeling
                                                About/Towards
                                                            Nature/God

Changing

Can’t you de-louse a rat?
Doesn’t matter. Neither can I
But we can untie our own hairstyle
Putting a little makeup if we want to
Or going for some plastic surgery
                 
Better to cut off our whiskers
Or tails, biting pebbles
Instead of cloth or wood
Even to replace our hearts
With a cat’s


Listening to the Mountain Murmuring

Twenty minimeters of pink petals.

Twenty minimetres of stretch and reach
                        Floral foil, twenty minimeters
                                    Of soil, grass, dew, bush

Sitting in green meditation about

                        The balance between yin and yang

Myriad of leaves,
                        Falling down with mists

            Of last night approaching – twenty minimeters

Of ethereal presence, kissing
                        The thick ridges – is the soul

            The melody of equanimity?
Insects sloughing off

In chameleon-rhythms.
            You stopped as you heard them

Twenty minimeters of dandelions rolling against
                        The vastness of sky and mountain


Getting Ready: for Liu Yu

Lastly, remember to burn this box with me, Son
It contains all my most precious pictures, letters
Certificates, awards, notebooks, manuscripts
Which do not sell anyway. As for my clothing
And furniture, I have donated them all shortly after
Your dad was gone. Help me to mop the floor and
The dusty versions of my pasts, sunbathe my quilts
As well as the one extra set of clothes which have
Covered my inner and outer being for the last ten
Years. Now I finally have everyone to think of
In light of light that illuminates the darkest composite of
My consciousness. The departure is due soon, and I am
Fully prepared to set off on this final trip. As you know
I really hated it when we threw all your father’s
Belongings, soft or hard, away as garbage the other day


The Way to Epiphany

With a storm
With a gull
With your breath

Goes the thought
With a vague vision
Beyond the bogland

With your heart
Hawking aloud in the wild
With dripping blood

An unformed concept
A shoal of consciousness
Bubbling with feeling

With a photon
With a quantum
With your mind concentrated
On a twisted other


Once Picking up a Powerful Country
This Little Poem of Mine Goes Right

Only recently did I become alert to how
I resemble uncle Sam. They – it? – don’t
Like China. I don’t like China either
(Though not for the same reasons.) They try
To reap cash in all prospering economies; I
Try to gather every penny from the corner
Wherever I can see and lay my humble hands
They hold high their banners of democracy
And human rights; I like my rights and detest  
Dictatorship (though perhaps for different
Purposes.) In particular, they enjoy bullying
The weak, dodging the strong, disturbing
Waters to fish and using dirty tricks to keep
All others down; I am ready to say foul words
To do whatever possible to rise above myself
In this harshest human condition, although I
Was not born to be a villain. The only difference
Lies in the degree to which I am selfish, villainous
Hypercritic, and they--it? -- are way more so


As Plants Grow around Us

As more plants grow around us, they will
Show what we cannot show ourselves

A blade of grass that has been trodden many
Times still continues to hold a dew at dawn

A Huyang tree manages to stand long after it dies
And never gets rotten even longer after its fall

A Beijing willow is always ready to bend in grace
To hold winds with its arms, despite its naked scars

A rotten snag with a new twig
Growing against all the broken rings


Line Pieces in a Class Room

  1. Mathematics
The shortest distance from
Or to any point, whether it is
Measurable or not
  1. Physics
How afar from one another
The other quantum will be dancing
In the same way as the untwisted one
  1. Semiotics
If a solid line stands for yang [penis]
And a broken one for yin [vagina], can we
Have a dotted line for a hermaphrodite in bagua?
  1. Sociology
Related or not
Like father like son, or
Unlike daughter, unlike mother
  1. Genetics
Only the female can carry on the genes
Of a female ancestor; that’s why only God
Became the father of man
  1. Poetry
If ever I had a single line
Left unwritten, it will be
Composes in my entire next life