Tuesday, 1 September 2015

sept. updates: yuan's lit endeavours

- after almost two months of hard work and extreme frustration, i have just had 10,000 hard copies of the first english-chinese edition of Wisdom for Abundance  《豐盛的智慧》delivered from shenzhen to hangzhou (on aug 31), and another 20,000 copies to be delivered to the author's home in surrey, british columbia (around september 19). on the one hand, the author/representative delayed again and again in signing the contract and making the payments, while the printer keeps failing to honor their signed contract and refusing to deliver, or even to book the delivery of, the books on time. as a result, i have to suffer more losses of both time and money and go through a great deal more of unnecessary frustration. after i leave vancouver on sept 7, Allen has to take care of everything and makes sure all the books are delivered from the harbour to the author's home. fortunately, the printing quality is very satisfactory

from this experience, i feel all the more strongly that it's so much easier and more enjoyable to deal with objects/words than with humans! as the translator, editor, proofreader, typesetter, publisher and printing/import agent of the book, how i love to touch every word, every page of it!

- i wrote more than 20 poems in august, half of them belonging to a serial poem titled 'boyhood buoys' about my early life experiences as poor village boy in china. a few of them have already been accepted by different magazines. in fact, i had 18 acceptances by new outlets in august.

- towards the end of last month, i finished answering all the 6 interview questions raised by the editor of Dukool, a us-based monthly arts and culture magazine (in print) for Bengali-Americans across the globe. this is the 9th time for me to be interviewed by a literary publication, the first time by an english magazine for minority readers.

- the anthology titled The Revolving City, edited by Wayde Compton and Renée Sarojini Saklikar, published by anvil press, is to be released at sfu's public square on sept 23. my poem 'immigration' is included as a result of my participation in sfu's lunch poems program on dec 17, 2014. for more info: http://www.sfu.ca/publicsquare/lunchpoems or  http://www.sfu.ca/publicsquare/upcoming-events/lunch-poems/the-revolving-city.html

- last but not least, i have committed myself today (on sept 1) to a 20-year donation plan to set up 'Yuans Poetry Bursary' in my alma mater the university of saskatchewan to support the study and/or publication of canadian poetry by esl authors. my purpose is to encourage new immigrants in canada to write their unique differences into poetry in english as their second language. i will never forget that it was u of s that offered me five years of scholarship while i pursued my graduate studies in english literature there. without the scholarship, i would not have been able to obtain my visa to leave china, let alone obtaining my ma, and phd in english. (columbia university offered me something to pursue a phd in tesol, but the funds was far from enough for me to get a visa to the states, while ubc offered me much less than u of s. that's why i eventually chose to attend u of s.)  in other words, i want to show my lifelong gratitude for u of s in a committed way rather than sporadically. i will contribute an amount of $500 cdn to begin with, which i may increase gradually depending on my financial situation. also, i will encourage my posterity to continue the program after i die. as for the terms or requirements, i may change them over time.

- during my sojourn in my native place (where i somehow can never write a single stanza, nor do i even know how to speak english), i will take a solid rest, try to keep away from a screen, stay as close as possible to nature, and live in Great Compassion Temple for some time as a Buddhist monk.

----------------------------

NOTICE:

as i am to stay between now and october 22 in my native place in china where i have no internet access, Poetry Pacific Press, as well as Poetry Pacific will take a vacation until then. 

happy reading/writing!

with all best for a great golden autumn, 

-yuan

[archived]: Poems by Changming Yuan © - 1/2014


2014

Seascape  

So heavy has the night grown
The horizon sags deep, deeper
Into the heart of the ocean, where

A new sun is slowly reacting, rising
As if to push up the entire world back
High above the morning


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?


American Free Speech: ‘Kill Everyone in China’

During ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! aired on 29 October 2013, a 6-year-old boy  proposed to ‘kill everyone in China’; in reply to the wide protest against such verbal violence, the White House recently declared: “the principle of protected free speech is an important part of who we are as a nation."

Apparently, it is not the tiny guy
But his big parents
Who would very much like
To kill everyone in China

No, it is not even his parents
But his teachers, the picture
Books he reads, the movies he watches
The computer games he plays, and
The media bombs he hears constantly
That encourages him to do so

On the other hand, it is not the yellow-skinned
Yellow-hearted Chinese really
But anyone that has a hue different from a wasp
That may turn out more civilized, less hypocritical
Or as innocent as the little angel sitting at the ABC’s
Round Table that Uncle Sam and his dogs of war
Aim to kill, destroy, wipe out from the earth

Just to get rid of any debts they owe
To you and me


Evening Walk

Each time I take a stroll after supper
I am haunted by the idea why night falls down
Far thicker and faster
On my neighborhood than elsewhere

In particular, I often see the fanciest house trembling
Like a tortured monster, as darkness shot
Out of its chimney, greenish blood gushing out
From its pipes, giant shapes charging
Towards the windows like bloated moths, smelling
Of fresh human corpses, myriads of muted voices
Screaming so hard as to thrust open the entire roof

Every time I would keep myself farther away from the
Residence, in case it might drag me into the black fire
That backfires from inside. The house belongs to
A new governor, just elected, a passer-by once told me


House Renovating

Our neighbor actually has a much newer house
But they have never stopped renovating it
For the past four years; always so noisy
Even in the depth of dead night.

More strangely, they hire no one
But do everything by themselves
Their materials looking extra-ordinary, for
They are made of human flesh and hair

Their paint smelling of human blood
Their exterior walls dotted with bloated eyes
Of human infants. No one knows
What kind of house they are trying to have


Chip

It all began with this chip
A chip broken off a digitalized bone

See? This brown stuff clustered
Around its rim is not rust
Nor is it thick human blood
Newly dried up; rather
It is red spirits, so condensed
They need a longer time
To shake themselves off
And fly into the air, not unlike
All the evils and devils

Locked inside the Pandora’s Box


Looking forward to Snow

Like the notes of light music
Sending from the other world
More like the spirits dancing
In a universal mime

Most like myriads of fairs trying
To smooth every sharp angle
To fill in every crack or crevice
To paint every surface into soft white

With their tender fluffy fingers, snow
Is expected to arrive, as I am waiting
Through the prolonged piety
Of the church within my mind, through

The solitary silence of my soul
To come and perch on my heart, as it is
Becoming a dying crow
Lost in the season


Within Our Coordinate

You are the x axis
I am the y axis
While everything else
Everyone else, including
Every world of dichotomies, is nothing
Nobody, but a plot
Or a dot
Between us


Metasequonia King

Neither the oldest
Nor the tallest
Not even the thickest
But the only survivor of a whole lost civilization
You have been standing for centuries in my home province
Against all storms and seasons

Among scattered cottages with straw-thatched roofs
Walled with corn-stems, deep in an unknown valley
You were discovered as a living fossil the other day
And ever since then, a park has been expanded
Into a national reserve, where worshippers keep
Coming to pay their homage, where your offspring
Begin their long march into every city
Of the new world, where you are growing
Strong and straight, shading the main streets and
Back lanes, as if to remind all foreigners of
Real dinosaurs and real ice ages

Not unlike me, or my fellow diasporas




A Modest Proposal

Now that we have had plenty of NGOs
To protect Great Bamboo Lemurs, China
White dolphins, Ivory-billed Woodpeckers
Black Rhinos, Wildlife Ginseng, Bois Denelle
Bobob Tree, Venus Fly Trap, the Cycad

How about starting to think about the ways of
Protecting or preserving some gentlemen
And gentlewomen? Shall we at least
Try first to collect their spirits?


Calling

Like the little guy screaming to his own death
On the collapsing bridge in Edmund’s painting
My other self is constantly calling
At the very top of its voice from the deepest

Valley of my sub-consciousness, from
The most remote corner of my inner world
From the darkest spot of my dream
Although its calls are muted, they travel afar

Echoing even beyond a whole continent
Like the calls of a blue whale, whose salty voice
Has such a high pitch that no human ears
Can hear them here and now


Big Rock Mouth

Far from Zhangjiajie, the UNESCO-designated nature park
In China; farther from the Louise Lake in Banff
The tourist hotspot in Canada; yet close to the little town
Where I was born, and even closer to

The paradise on earth, your are actually an unknown corner
Falling off from Eden, rather than a natural reservoir
Hidden in a remote valley, where hills are more
Like green elephants, where the water is sweeter

Than Coke Cola, with each tree more outstanding
More graceful than a fashion model walking around the Eiffel Tower
With each rock more artistic than a masterpiece of
Beethoven or Picasso. Even though no tourist has ever passed by

You feel neither lonely nor upset: is it because you find yourself
Fully fulfilled among the words arrayed in his poetry?


At the Estuary

As if the whole continent is having a diarrhea
Trying to excrete all the filth from within its body
This flattened asshole throws out huge volumes of
Animal tears and sweat, riding on swift currents

Of human blood, run off from both banks; surging
On the surface are endless waves of monstrous concepts
And constructs, followed by rafts of skulls and skeletons
Every grain of sand containing a stained soul; there are

No fishes swimming by, except rotten human corpses
Eyes swollen like dead octopuses, ebbs turning and
Swirling around to suck in every cry from above the dark sky
As the most newly-invented gods try to jump out of the flow

From time to time, as if to call for help before entering the ocean


Family Secrets (1): Best Poetry

Boil these few poems of mine, Son
And you will be able to see
And even smell my spirit as it
Evaporates above our family name

Take a sip once in a while, and you
You will never run short of inspirations
Whenever you take up your pen 


Spontaneous Meditation

On a rainy night, you will find
Yourself much sleepier
Than you seemingly remain awake

That’s when you are safer from
Wild beasts that may come out
To disturb you; when less light
And less oxygen make you feel
More relaxed; when the white noise
Fills in every blank of your consciousness
More important, when you become truer
Or closer to your entire inner being


Stars and Humans

Each moving along its own orbit
Stars never collide, no matter
How crowded they are
In a corner of the universe, but here
On earth we humans
Constantly run into each other
Not only because we are attracted
And live close, but also because
We travel along the same few paths
To gold, to fame, to sex, or to office


The Gardener

Like a bee, he is always busy
Attending the parties of flowers
But he never really stops to
Collect a single rose
Or dwell upon a tiny petal
Even when the whole season
Is in full blossom


The Hostess

She is not the hostess, but she never
Fails to warmly greet anyone that has just passed
Away: you are on the air


Grammatical Rules (1)

All proper nouns, like the first
Person pronoun singular, like
Your name, must be capitalized
And can never be used in the plural
Unless you turn out nothing but
A common countable nominal being

Grammatical Rules (2)

A pronoun must have a
Antecedent, with which it
Should agree in person, in sex
In number, just like a
Married couple, a father
And son, a human and his soul


Another Rainy Day, Granville Street

Water splashing against walls
And windows with each car
Passing by, colored umbrellas moving
Above unidentifiable human legs
Red light blinking towards the storm and
White noise, every cherry tree skeleton
Trying hard to find a shelter, a long-necked man
Hopping around with yesterday’s
Vancouver Sun on top off his bald head
An oversized truck full of
Thick cement pipes making a large turn
As a bus is waiting for strangers
To get off or on, all in wet cartharsis 


Which Is the Mirror for Which

The word ‘mirror’ is a mirror for the mirror
Just as a cave is a mirror for bats, the painting
A mirror for colors, shapes and lines, the cloud
A mirror for the sky or heaven, the bark
A mirror for the wind, the lake a mirror
For the mountain, the call a mirror
For the cuckoo, and the screen
A mirror for the human mind

When the thought is smashed into cutting pieces
There will be more mirrors for facts, for history


Have a Nice Dream

Sleep well and have a nice dream, Son!
Take your time, Clock, and have a nice dream!
Water the world well, Rain, and have a nice dream!
Try not to snore, Oak, and have a nice dream!
Stop your white calls, Crow, and have a nice dream!

Have a nice dream, Osler Street!
Have a nice dream, Night!
Have a nice dream, Jesus!

Call it a day, my Otherself, and have a nice dream!


Four Frogs

For the past half century, I have never seen
A single frog in this city, not even in the whole country
But there are four big-mouthed frogs leaping around
Afar in a ricefield of my native village, four frogs
Squatting under the rotten bridge on the way leading
To an unknown town, four frogs playing on a big
Lotus leaf in my heart, four frogs calling constantly
From the dark pages of history invisible at midnight
Four frogs meditating under a puti tree transplanted
In a nature park, four frogs swimming into a fish net
Like bloated tadpoles, the same four frogs whose
Monotoned songs resonating aloud in different tongues
With different pitches, yes, the four frogs still there


Another Afterlife

Like a goat fleeing from the zoo
My trueself wandered afar
Into the heart of darkness, where
I saw Milton’s Satan struggling
With agonies, while swarms of spirits
Trembling amid a black fire
Following Dante’s steps, I tried to
Find Yuan Wang, the supreme ruler
Of the underworld, hoping to
Exchange my soul
For his little brushpen
(he uses to keep his registry book
Much like Dr. Faust selling his
For worldly knowledge

My majesty, I began to negotiate
But there is no registry here
The king said, just suffering subjects.
Meanwhile, others are also trying to
Greet him in an endless queue
Here I find no classes
No sexes, no age or racial differences
Except human souls drifting into
A huge alchemic furnace, where
They are boiled with conceptions
Until we all evaporate above the ground
Like mists, on a sunny summer morning

This is neither escape nor astray


Word Journey

While hiking in the wild
I found a foreign word
Lying on the yin side
Of a slope as night began
To fall, I picked it up
Trying to use it to light
My way ahead, but the word
Did not burn, nor did it give
Any smell. Then I chewed it
Like a condensed energy candy
But it was tasteless and too hard
So I put it against my chest
And let it resonate with my heartbeat

When a fresh sun hops aloud
High above my darkened dream
I finally coughed it out with blood
Never knowing it
To be a noun or verb



The Worst Fear

There is a kind of fear, much
More worse than feeling itself

Also, it is so subtle that you
Can hardly distinguish it from
What you must have felt each
Time you are hard pressed with
Loss, ageing, danger, death
Becoming overwhelmed with
Worry or anxiety

This fear has a nickname
Called love


Or

Philosophy, among myriads of
Constructs in metaphysics
Objects in nature, or
Phenomena in history
Is, according to old Hegel

Like the god in the temple
Like the killing field
Like flowers and fruit
Like Minerva’s owl
Like digestion
Like physiography, the same one motto, or
Like the animals listening to music, which may
Become real when expressing itself
Or expressed through the rational alone
More exactly, like a drop of summer rain
The yin seeking balance with the yang
Within a pumpkin, the words squeezed
Out of your ball pen, the emptiness in
A meditating mind, and that is all
There is, or there is not to it


Helleh

While all my fellow humans hope to 
Enter heaven after they die, I am alone
Living in paradise already:

An earthly realm I have built myself
With the light from Lapland, where the setting sun
Shines with the morning glows above golden snow

The air from Shangri-la, where the yin
And yang are in pure and perfect balance with
Each other in every grass, every cloud

The water from Waterton Lakes, which
Reflect the mountain of trees as clearly
As the mountain reflects upon the clear water

That’s all my spirit needs, not the fragments
Of the meaning about Eden long lost
But the whole backyard within my solitary heart


Greatest Gift

The most generous gift life has offered each
Of us is our own mind, something that is

Not a hidden mine, but an open field
Where you can grow rice, tea, corn, or bananas

Where they can cultivate hope and even magic
Itself, most important, we can enjoy absolute

Freedom, with which to destroy or build anything
Anyone, anytime to our hearts’ content


Examples of Euphemism

Shoot!
Americanization!
Gosh!
Donkey!
My Goodness!
Uncle Sam!
OMG!
USA!
Jeez!
The Elephants!
Darnit!
Foot!
The ‘F’ word!
The ‘A’ Letter!
GD!


What These Words Have in Common?

Among all the nouns in all languages, this word has the most synonyms,  which include agent, auctioneer, banker, bargainer, bootlegger, broker, bursar, businessperson, canvasser, chandler, changer, chapjack, clerk, concessionaire, consigner, costermonger, dealer, discounter, dispernser, distributor, entrepreneur, e-tailer, exporter, fencer, gyp, haberdasher, haggler, handler, hawker, higler,  huckster, hustler, jobber, merchandiser, merchant, marketer,  monger, outcrier, palterer, peddler, pitcher, pusher, rep, reseller, retailer, salesclerk, salesperson, , scalper, seller, shopgirl, shopkeeper, smuggler, solicitor, tinker, trader, trafficker, tycoon, vendor, wholesaler…

What else to spell or sell?


Village Fair

In this open market
There are as many
Tangible or intangible
As human or inhuman
Goods for sale for all of us
To bargain round the clock:
Hopes, dignity, countries
Identities, square pumpkins
Soft rocks, virginity
Names, blood, perms, wounds
3-legged goats, siamese frogs
Burned blood, isolated ideas
Sex, feeling, manhood
Among other words, other imaginings 

How much is this
How much are you?


Convergence

His presence is falling upon me
More forcefully than a summer shower
Downpouring right from heaven. Everywhere
My mind wanders around will hung
A rainbow high above my absence

It is this wet metaphor that has balanced
All the yang elements in my heart with the yin
Ones outside my bloated selfhood
Music

Ancient Indian legend has it
That the origin of music
Was an om, supposedly the very
First and the most primitive note
(Whose frequency can cause resonance
If you adapt yours to it)
Although most educated people would say today
It is the big bang
That has been pushing its sound waves
Farther and farther
Beyond the boundaries of the universe

A fundamental feature
That can offer penetrating pleasure to any human
Ears anywhere anytime
Is the silence, a blank absence
Where the yin and yang reach
A higher balance within
A meditating mind

A sound of silence
A note whose frequency resonates with your inner being


Hawking

Some sell themselves for power
Some for sex
While others for fame, for money

Yes, we are all hawkers trying to sell
Whatever we have, or have not
Before the sun sets
In a village fair, where vendors
Far more outnumber buyers


Motifs: the Proto Bagua Poem

qian
Far from the southern sky comes along my later
Father, whose head turns towards the Northwest
And on a robust horse, his brain shines like gold

dui
Beyond the West      Lake a young girl
Tries to drive a herb of sheep into a metal
Mouth sucking in all the painful pleasures

li
an oriental woman of beauty rises
slowly above   the southern fire
her eyes burning with wild sparks

zhen
high above the eastern             wood the yellowish dragon
kicks all the thunders               around with its sharp craws
while his son moves back and forth following his own heart

xun
as the wind keeps blowing through the southeastern wood
your daughter feels lost at the entrance like a hen eager to
leave for something beyond    the fence and front yard

kan
both above and below             the house overflows the water
while a man in the middle finds himself trapped like a wild hog
whose ears would hear            nothing from the west or north

gen
a young boy uses his strong hands to move the dark earth
from the nearest ground                 to the northeastern corner
where to build a big hill                 to block his beloved dog

kun
everything will go smooth                   as long as our mother is
still busy cooking at home                   and cows feeding them
selves happily on the grass                  land stretching to south


Exit

Not to overstate this
But for hundreds of times
I have imagined myself
Leaving for an African
Forest like a dying elephant
So that I can bury myself there
In total obscurity and oblivion
As if I had never come to this
World. Yes, I am really haunted
By this suicidal whim
Not because I am tired of
Suffering from this unbearable
Loneliness, anxiety
That makes me a living dead
But because I long
For that ultimate dignity

Godly Joy

Sometimes I just wanna retreat
From my position in life, like a soldier
From his in a battlefield. No, not exactly
That would sound like a deserter; rather
I wanna hide myself within the boundary
Of my yellowish skin; better to withdraw
Into the deepest corner in my heart, where I
Don’t have to care whether to sit or stand
Where to look at or put my hands
What to smell, say or hear, a womb-like place
Where I can focus all my attention on my
Inner being, and let my outer self deal with
All the troubles of life, like bills, food, tea
Telephone rings, junk emails, mortgages, etc.
In a word, I wanna find a war-free zone
Where my innerself is absolutely free
Without having to return to the cage
Like the pigeon I really wanna keep


Hypergrammatical Rules: Adjective

Either as a complement
After a linking verb
Or as a modifier right
Before a nominal property
You are a part of speech
That can never be a subject
Even an object on your own
Like most humans who live
Only to describe others


Fuck the Guard Dog

But beware of the frog
Fuck the Shakespearean sonnet
But beware of the poetry scribbler
Fuck the inner party
But beware of the politician
Fuck the mid-summer sky
But beware of the west wind
Fuck the red red rose
But beware of the thorny stem
Fuck the trendy concept
But beware of the coinage

What I wanna say is
Feel free to fuck, pal
But beware of the hug
Wealth Accumulating

Ending her 3-session lecture
On how to plan your fiancé
And finance your plan, the advisor
Says, ‘Attitude’ is all
That determines success:
Because in this magic word
‘a’ is letter 1 in the alphabet
‘t’ 20,’i’ 9, ‘u’ 21, ‘d’4 and ‘e’ 5
In other words, ‘atti’ accounts for half
And ‘tude’ for the other
Together they add up to 100 per cent

Now begin to count, you poor idiot!








Balancing Up

Beyond the bay 
You are the presence
Of water 
Though that is never the geography 
Once you move
You become what is flowing  

Wherever you stay
You join the current
(Without overflowing with it)
To dissolve into a transparent moment
At which your spirit is to reflect 
While none of us has the cause
For staying here
You stay
To balance things up


Rain, in Vancouver

Out of days of days
And weeks of weeks of
Rain,rain that hit every roof
That cleansed the air
That wetted all masks and clothes
That flooded the widest gaps
That ran off from the narrowest sidewalk
Have you deconstructed your dried inner being
Until another, just another rainy season


Loneliness

All feelings are sharable, somehow
Except loneliness
Loneliness that drives you into the very depth
Knowingly
Like a caterpillar retreating, hiding itself
In its own cocoon
Where it keeps gnawing at the wall
      Until it flies out, like a butterfly


Seeing Shapes
Something was flapping, afar
(Was it a butterfly from the Amazon?)
Beyond the mountain shadow
While many futuristic figures
Perhaps the aliens
Are migrating secretly
Perhaps we shall have to too?


Nullius in Verba: the Progress of Science

To see
            Each phenomenon
      In shape
                        Line and
Color
Is
To believe
            Its very essence
      In number
                        Quantity and
Relationship


Zheng He vs Columbus

When the Ming eunuch set out to sea
With his 30 thousand men in huge boats
He was going to look for nothing, not even
For his emperor, be it fur, spices or even gold
On the contrary, he was ready to give fine china
Tea, silk to any barbarians they could see
In Southeast Asia, Middle East, or North Africa

More than a century later, Columbus began his venture
With a couple of hundred sailors, aiming to discover
Every kind of treasure, who might very well
Have all died without the help of local Indians

PS: soon after their voyages, the Chinese were conquered
By barbarians, while the Europeans founded their global empire


Autumn Dew Purple
One of the famous six combat horses favoured by Tang China’s great founding emperor Taizong, Autumn Dew Purple is the only surviving stone relief of the six set.

While still alive, you were determined to die a heroic death
On the battlefield, like one of Taizong’s most valiant
And capable generals; more than a thousand years later
Long since your demise, your beauty and spirit have helped
Your stone relief survive all human wars and natural disasters

Now standing still in Penn Museum, you are never to 
Evaporate in the light of a manmade sun, but your noble
Blood has dried up into a solid purple, far away from your
Home, where you were born to guard your rider, amid autumn dews


UN

At the security council in Heaven
Christ is 99% of a mummy
Newton has long since dozed off
Laozu is to abstain from voting
While Satan and Allah are fighting fiercely
To chair the meeting


Newton’s Third Law
           
Just as there is an equal
And opposite reaction
For every action, you are to
Receive whatever you give

Be it a curse or verse


How much does it contribute to happiness/success?

Knowledge: 11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5=96%
Work hard: 98%
Luck: 47%
Love: 54%
Money: 72%
Leadership: 89%
Wealth: 69%
House: 49%
Power: 98%
Attitude: 100%
That is, if letter ‘a’ accounts for 1, ‘b’ for 2…
---------------


Time

Is definitely not
An indefinitely big orange
But we have cut it
Into regular slices of carpels
So thin and so tiny
We can no longer get the taste of
Its shiny flesh, nor can we
See its juicy color while
Eating it

Now we have even forgotten it both looks
And tastes like sunlight


At the Numidic Quarry

An open museum
Embedded here once upon a long time ago

How was the all powerful Roman Empire
Chiseled out of this side of the mountain
Chip by chip
Piece by piece
Until it became so re-crystalized
As a whole civilization?


Pursuing Happiness: Episode 1

Happiness
Is a sunbird
Incubated at the tallest twig
Of your heart, where only the creature itself
Can peck open the eggshell to fly out; if you
Crack it open from the outside
It will die before it is born


Knot Theory

Your attachment to your past is
A big fast knot, while your connections
With all in your network
Nothing but a string
Of loose hitches

Cut the knot, and you will
Get broken bits, but untie the hitches
You will have a whole line
As simple as straight
As you like


Homemade Specialty

This bottle of wine is brew
out of sunshine
That dish of vegetable comes
    from the garden in my heart

How do you like it?


The Art of Origami

Each time I run short of inspirations
I would try to fold the dull season
Not into a decoration
But into a bird

I always hang it high
Above my head
Like my own spirit, where I
Can hear the droning complaints of
Each creature over its pain

The pity is, my senses are often too soft
To hold the shape firm


Self-Portraying:  A Word Is
Actually Worth Much More
Than Ten Thousand Pictures
Although Many People Would
Allege the Opposite Is True 

In-lightened


Intimacy: in the Name of Art

Once upon a long long time ago
At a drab karaoke corner in the far far east

Half-heartedly, without knowing this was
Actually a prearrangement made by
His old mischievous schoolmates
He climbed upon a colt-like girl
From his small native town
Squeezing several drops of yellow syrup
Into a tiny plastic bag embedded
Between her thick legs, like a primitive robot
Fulfilling a domestic task; there was
Neither foreplay, nor after-joy,
No orgasm, no dirty talk, no eye contact
No exchange of names, feelings, experiences
Except a big-solidarity, as red-faced
As the muted memory of his red pasts
When they departed in a dull evening

Did he eventually write a poem about this experience
As he had hoped?


Modern Civilization

1
0


Time Changing

I have neither cash
nor even a bank account
Let alone a safebox,
But I do have
This password
For all my websites


Psycho-Astrology: Mind-Looks

At the center of my inner space
There is a big black hole

It keeps sucking in all
The dark matter
Besides light

Like a transparent magnet
Attracting not only luck
And smiles, but also
Every kind of misfortune
Every kind of evil spirit

That’s how I look
What my heart is


Would Or Wouldn’t: the Variations of the Wing

If every human had a pair of wings
(Made of strong mussels and broad feathers
Rather than wax like Icarus’)
Who wouldn’t jump high or become eager to fly
Either towards the setting sun
Or against the rising wind?

Who wouldn’t migrate afar with sunshine
And glide most straight to a warmer spot
In the open space? Indeed

Who would continue to confine himself
Within the thick walls of a small rented room?

Who would willingly take a detour
Bump into a stranger, or stumble down
Along the way? More important

Who would remain fixed here
At the same corner all her life
Like a rotten stump, hopeless
Of a new green growth?

Limbo Residence

The whole street stretches
towards the sunlight
While my windows, only my windows
Are all heavily curtained
behind darkness
------------


2014,6,4

Ceteris Parisbus

Allah
Buddha and
Christ will join each other to stand for a new
Alphabet
Beginning with
Change


Inner Dersertization

Along the border of my yellowish skin
I have planted rows of rows of huyang trees
To guard against the Goby engulfing
My entire inner territory, where

The last oasis is threatened not only
By the deforestsration in the outer world
But also by the drought that has been
Blowing away almost all of the topsoil

Covering my living spirit 


Truth

Is as cold as hard
As a big chunk of floating ice
That each human eye can see
Only one surface
At a time from
Either the boat or the bank

While it flows towards the sea, where
It will evaporate up to the tropical sky

Kharma: A Mega Romance

It has taken the entire human history
For her and him
To meet
To be together, and

Sure, they will spend
All their futures alone
On an earth
Newly broken off
From this planet


Two Worlds

With only one sun
Moving around your world
You have to dream
In total darkness
Half of the time
And deal with
All kinds of shadows
During the day

Given as many as nine suns
That keep turning
Around my inner universe
My soul dwells in a realm
Full of light


Self-Insight

First, take off all your clothing
Then, skin off your masks
As well as your tattoos
Bit by bit, or
Layer by layer
Until you can tear your whole selfhood off
From your consciousness, and you will
See your true spirit
As fresh as tender
As a spring sprout
Ready to grow
Into a new onion


Tenancy Paradox

In this rented life of yours
Why to own a house by mortgaging it
Against your free will?


Carnivores: the Progress of the Humankind

While all the beasts in the wild
Enjoy both rotten and fresh corpses
We the rest in walled rooms eat
The fresh or frozen body parts only  

Short vs Long: a Dichotomic Poem

Short is my attention span, even
Shorter is breath, and the very
Shortest is my inspiration, but long

Long will be my life
In this short line

Thin vs Thick: Another Dichotomic Poem

This cup of tea
Made out of my life
Looks as thick as my blood
Or your hair
His hope
Even that forest
But it tastes
As thin as the human fate


Light vs Heavy: Another Dichotomic Poem

They all say light is the lightest of all
But I find it tremendously heavy

Heavy with each proton full of
Weighted souls 


Paper Plane: for Yuan Hongqi

I can never afford a spaceship
Nor do I even have a toy rocket
But I have many a sheet of paper
I have folded it, kept folding each

Into a plane, and launching it
From my humble homesite
One after another
High into the night sky

To fly close, closer, and the closest
To where his Buddhahood is sitting
Above a lotus flower, where his smile
Shines like the sunlight upon his sons

And grandsons down here, where he will catch
A plane gliding to him like a blue bird
Can you see its wings drafted with the poems
I have written for you, Dad


Saying Yes

Yeah! Ya! Yup! Yebo!
Okay! Sure! Excellent!
No problem! That’s it!
Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!

Yes! Aye! Uh-huh!
Certainly! Of cuz!
That’s more like it!
Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!

All right! Great!
Absolutely! You can say that again!
Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!

All’s right with the world!



2014, 6, 24

Cock-A-Doodle-Doo

Born in a year of the rooster
You were fated to crow

But not so high in the sky
Like any other bird flying fast by
Rather, you perch low
Low on a broken fence
(Still reserved for ghosts and spirits)
Crowing as aloud as you can
To welcome every sun
Looming above the dawn

Yes, you are vociferous, both because of
Your breed, and your personality


Soundscaping

Buzz! Baa! Bark! Bray! Bow-wow!
Chirp! Cluck! Coo! Croak!
Growl!
Hiss!  Howl!
Moo! Meow!
Oink!
Purr!
Quack!
Rattle! Roar!
Slurp! Sniff! Squeal!
Tweet!
Woof!
Yap!

Shh ! Who’s winning the vote 
On the animal farm?


Every Book Is a Horse

Long since have I been riding
This little book from the start
Under our village poplars
Each holding many a cicada
Whose song can lead me
To a puti tree far beyond the lotus pond, where
Everyone has a book to write and, if not
Everyone is a book
To read or ride


Song of a Tone-deaf: for Allen and George Yuan

There is often such a time when you, a no-songster 
Would want to sing aloud to yourself, a song
That everyone else might also love to sing; the song
Whose lines you never remember, nor can you
Control your pitch as it rises and falls randomly
On its own, nor will you keep the tune on the
Right track; the song whose rhythm you do not
Care to follow, while lost in your little privacy
The song that has an evasive melody
Deeply encoded in your heart

Although you sound like a duck or donkey
Your voice is full of euphonies


Trance

While meditating at dusk
I see an enlightened butterfly
Breaking newly from the chrysalis
Of my mind, like a
Message emitted into
The night sky, waiting to be
Picked up by an unknown radio

Flapping against the autumn air
Is my inner being, from bough to bough




Marpole, Vancouver: for Liu Yu

It rains a lot in Vancouver
Often does this rain remind me of
The days when you sojourned here
With my family, after Father left all of us

While walking in the rain, you would
Recall, under my big umbrella
How you once waited in a drizzle
With me in a broken basket on your back
To cross the widening river, not far
From our village when I was crying hard
For a large spoonful of flour soup (you were too
Weak and too hungry to produce any milk)

Seeing you do nothing about my hunger
The ferry man asked, Where is its mom?
I am his mother!  You replied, tears rolling down
With the raindrops on your childish face
How old are you then? – Almost 17.

It is raining again in Vancouver, and beyond this rain
Your voice echoes aloud on the other side of this world



Final Relaxing Moment

Don’t be afraid, pal
It’s really going to be
The most pleasurable dream
You can ever hope to have, where you

Will be put on a pile of soft light
Drifting slowly and weightlessly, just
As you used to shake in your mom’s womb
Where all your consciousness is sponged

Out of your mind, where you will have no hearing
No smelling, no tasting, no touching, except
A single outlandish idea about your selfhood
Stuffed with nothingness, which you feel as if

You could catch and throw it around
Like your own body, your own spirit



Modern/Americanization

Every year there is
As much summer
As many a tree here
Than in my native village in China

But there is not a single cicada
At any twig, or among any clusters
Of leaves, a cicada that I used to listen to
Singing aloud monotonously, like a

Fine saw working on a rusty metal
Or between my boyish ears

What I hear is a deafening American voice
About selling every human
Behavior, every human whim 
That keeps penetrating each animal ear



Y as in Yolk: for Misako Chida

totally lost in chan meditation
i perceive my yellowish spirit
bloated into a yolk-shaped balloon
hanging so high in the blue sky

as i start to float around, looking
for an answer to the question
about the first letter of my family
name, i find my entire inner being
enclosed tightly with huge rose petals
rather than sitting above a lotus flower

down on the ground is left behind my outer self
shrinking like a stuffed crow

[note: written on 12 june 2014 Thursday to pair Misako Chida's "looking for an answer"]



Autumn Wind

You have chopped off every head
Every head-shaped
Or every head-like object

In the wild field is left nothing
But stumps, each as naked as a human soul
Shivering within a skeleton



Childhood Secrets

When I was three or four, I buried
Several hard-gained marbles
Near our rented room, hoping one day
They would grow into magic trees

Half a century later, I dug them all out
On a dull afternoon. The moment
I put the first one on my table, a flock
Of crows flew up; when I thought of
The second, it burned like a forest fire

Now I hesitate to write the word ‘immortality’
Lest my last marble should melt with diamonds



Community Theater

Deep at the heart of our world is there 
No stage, a place where we can put on
Shakespearean plays, or perform
Our own shows; rather, with the
The shades of our inner beings, we create
Our drama up on a huge open wall
Where each of us makes a soliloquy
Without seeing any other human shape
While gods and ghosts are dancing
In colored costumes near the spotlight

Neither is there writing on the wall besides
Reflections of shadows of democracy