Saturday, 20 April 2013

[archived]: Poems by Changming Yuan © -1/2011

&DRAWERS: A One-Word Poem

The drawers
In the rented rooms of those drawers
Out of the top drawer
would be full of awe
if sketched awkwardly
by the warder
only for reward
during the war


&SEPA rated

Tire dof
Havi ngto
Actc onstantly

Then ewly
Oldc ouple
Fina llyreturned
Toth emselves
Whil ethe
Stag esstill
Rema in
Betw eenthem


&Should ‘I’ Join the Word: An Anagram Poem

The flute would become futile
The printed could turn intrepid
The gale might grow agile
The glue would feel like guile
The stratagem might smell like a magistrate
The brush could look like hubris
The barter would sound like an arbiter


&Partner Perspective: For Hengxiang Liao

When we were younger
My wife and I used to
Look at each other as true equals
Since we were both 1.64 meter tall
No matter where we stood

Now we are getting newly old
She begins to look down on me
Because I have been shrinking
In every conceivable way
She can perceive


&Power/Fame/Wealth

Does exist like water:
It has a solid form
It certainly can flow
And it also evaporates


&Husband and Wife

Whether made of bamboo or ivory
They are a pair of Chinese chopsticks
That have to function together every time
To taste the dishes put on the dinner table


&Worldly Affairs (1): The Bare Truth about the USA

You are truly the world’s greatest country ever

That is because you are the only superpower in time
[Because] you can print as much money as you want
[Because] you are ready to hit anyone you are sure to win
[Because] you have the hardest fist and the longest arms
[Because] you have all the smartest people on the earth
[because] you offer the most attractive beneficial packages to new comers
[Because] your sociopolitical system is the most impressive to the senses
[Because] your founding fathers were the best designers of human society
[Because] your designers were inspired by humanity’s noblest ideals
[Because] those ideals were developed out of suffering, injustice and slavery

Because all this is from the darkest age, the darkest part of the world


&Worldly Affairs (2): Warning America
This is the 2nd battlefield rule for American GIs: “Don’t fuck with the local, or you’ll be fucked!”

You used to be the hope of the human kind
You used to lead our modern civilization
You used to be seen as a Christ-like hero
You used to stand for freedom, democracy, justice and equality
But ever since you dropped that big boy of yours
Over Hiroshima and beyond the iron curtain
Thus having had your fullest taste of sweet blood and bitter victory
You have been fucking around

Yes, you have been fucking around all the time
Across the table and the globe alike
Treating all others and othernesses as Hyenas
Tricking the strong
Bullying the weak
Setting fire in every yard you can find
Playing the big boss in front of your friends, neighbors, followers, admirers
And behaving like a wicked villain behind the backs of your rivals and the unsubjugated

Wherever you have been
You leave it in a filthy mess
Like a startled rapist
Forgetting even to pull up
Your own pants

As you keep fucking around, America
And enjoying all the thrills of
Being the only superman for the moment
Your friends’ grudges are growing behind your back
Your victims are grinding their teeth at night
You admirers are getting half-hearted on a daily basis
Until the weak become strong
Until the east wind depresses the west wind
Until the road finally turns around the mountain if not otherwise
You will then have to pay all the debts
To those you have been borrowing from
With insults and injuries
Even though you have no such intention

If you keep fucking around like this, America
You’ll be fucked by the whole world one day
Sooner or later


&Worldly Affairs (3): Fuck Off, You America

You believe you are the savior of the human world
While you are the destroyer of most living civilizations

You say you represent the biggest peace-keeping force on earth
While you are the most shameful and shameless trouble-maker

You act as if you are a highly respectable cop
While you behave like a despiteful criminal

You stand out among all nations
While you try to keep everyone else down

You claim to uphold freedom, democracy and human rights
While you treat all other fellow beings worse than animals

You feel proud of the way you have been able to live
While you forget your lifestyle is based on the suffering of all others

You enjoy setting fire in everyone else’s yard in broad daylight
While you prohibit all others from lighting a lamp at midnight

You encourage your own people to be unique or different
While you force all others to convert to your tastes

You never stop throwing stones at others’ windows
While you yourself live in a big glass house

You seldom hesitate to strike against anyone you dislike
While you are always ready to duck down before the valiant

You call yourself the greatest leader of humanity
While you are nothing but just a new member of our community

You allege your economy and high tech have made the world more livable
While the world might well have been a more peaceful planet without you

Fuck off, you America


&Worldly Affairs (4): A Zeugma Sketch of Uncle Sam

Every time you stage a play or an election in your own yard
You cannot wait to shake hands with your audiences and their wealth
No matter whether it is the passage of a new bill or an old dilemma
You excel particularly at manipulating public will and private property

With your weeping eyes and hands
You keep waging war and peace far beyond your boundaries
While you kill non-Americans and their hope together
To turn all others and othernesses into biblical dust

More often than not, you selfish intentions prove
Much more destructive than your smart bombs
You invisible fighter jets strike far farther
Than your visible arms of peace effort

You are simply too great for a small criticism
Too super-powerful for a weak opposition
Too democratic for a totalitarian competition
And too single-minded for a double standard


&Worldly Affairs (5): Japan: A National Portrait

A damned, doomed snake
Not only wants to swallow the elephant
But also tries to bite
At the eagle flying high in the sky
The bear swimming far in the northern sea
And the dragon dreaming deep in its sleep


&Foreign feast/ Worldly Affairs (6): Today’s Special

Appetite:
North Korean pickle soup
Iranian hard nuts
Venezuelan sour coffee

Main Courses:
American democracy steamed with socialism
Chinese communism fried with free market

Deserts:
Sushi with Oettinger
Curry with Brigadeiros

Fortune Cookie Slip reads: Libya
There is a second one: s-i-r-y-a?


&Nine Paradoxes: An Autobiographical Poem

Born to a homeless family from one of China’s poorest villages
But now living in the richest area in the world’s “most livable” city

Used to be considered a quasi-dumb boy incapable of talking
But now making a living by talking myself to death all day long

Failed to pass every English test in a remote Chinese high school
But now holding a PhD in English from a Canadian university

A laugh stock because of my bad compositions in teenager years
But now having achieved my family, career and even fame through my writing skills

Always living like a puritan doing everything possible to maintain good health
But now seeing doctors everywhere for genetically-carried on diseases

Desired to live a high profiled life as a political leader
But now living like a totally marginalized recluse

Published hundreds of poems in as many journals in 15 countries
But never won a prize to have a collection put out by a book publisher

Dearly loving my wife, my sons, my country and my fellow humans
But never experienced a sense of being ever loved or even liked by anyone

Possessing a supposedly strong character with a high IQ and EQ
But could not even find a decent position in either Asia or America


&Karma-Converted

A few evenings ago, a monk in orange
Came to pat on my left shoulder
Identifying me in a muted group of
Stranger pilgrims journeying to nowhere
As the one having a doomed heart
On that clear moon-cleansed night, my heart
Was beating like a horse wildly running around
As he assured me I could definitely live
For at least another five years
But no more than nine or ten

The next morning, I conveyed this truth
To my wife, who readily shrug it off
As just another quasi dream of mine

But I took it as an oracle or miracle
Because right then I became a Buddha


&Spring Breaking

Hark! The very first cracking laughter
In the ice on the unknown river
Far beyond the prairies of last winter
Is so much louder
Than it is wide to the beholder

Is it because it is resonating
With our own heartbeats?


&Flying over the Pacific

From Vancouver to Shanghai
I lost an entire yesterday
From Beijing to San Francisco
My son gained a double today
As we keep flying across the globe
We find our tomorrows
Will never be the same

As between the east and the west


&The Last Snowflake of Last Winter

Fell as if a whole century ago
To the heart of all hardened shadows
But it has never melted there
With the least lukewarm dream
Even when summer is arriving

Is it simply because it is white as wish
Rather than red as blood
Or because its name is not writ in water?


&Orange

The swirling light of a setting sun
Turns every pip of summer
Into a halfmoon-shaped dreamer

Dreaming
About a full and golden wheel
Keep running towards another season

Wrapped within the rind are ten fleshy carpels
Ten thousand juicy associations


&Parallel Poems (9): You function with me

You function with me
Like the other Chinese chopstick

Together, we taste
Every dish put on our dinner table


&Husband and Wife

Whether made of bamboo or ivory
They are a pair of Chinese chopsticks
That have to function together every time
To taste the dishes put on the dinner table


&Parallel Poems (10): Your Frontyard

This frontyard in your heart
Has a spot where I yearn to dwell
But around it is there a tall fence
Between light and shadow
That protects your inner house
Against anyone wishing to trespass
On a windy afternoon

Behind this fence is a residence
Within a light shadow without shadow light


&Sorghum

Swarms of baby bees
Attracted to the head of every sugar cane
All busy sucking the sweet from mother earth
Or collecting sunlight for a rainy day

Far beyond the fields of late summer
They stand tall above evening arrays
As if to salute the new crescent moon
Like red reeds, with red seeds


&Ischemia

In my line of people, especially on my father’s side
There never seems to have been ample blood
Running within the arteries behind our Chinese chests
No matter how warm-hearted we actually are

As in the case of my father, who used to
Accuse me of being an ill-hearted teenager
My heart muscle is imbalanced
As one side is less infused with blood
Than the other, thus causing palpitation
Short breath, and a strong sense of
Tightness, heaviness or tiredness about life

To diagnose my cardiovascular defection
Neither an echo nor a stress test is needed
For I am keenly aware of my own doomed
Arteries that have been clotted
With too many syllables
Voiced or voiceless
And to make all these sounds flow out of my heart
Is already stressful enough
Nevertheless, I will keep pumping out these words
Be they ever so blood-soaked


&Living a Posthumous Life

The moment it is confirmed
I could die any moment of my newly
Discovered heart disease, I began to
Perceive a dull wall between my senses
And the world around me

I write, so I still am, but this distance
Or lack of feeling of immediacy
Has caused me to die
Well before my heart stops beating
Like a dripping tab


&Curse in Verse: An Ischemic Tradition*

As if this had been a family curse
You have all the symptoms of ischemia:
Palpitations, short breaths, irregular heartbeats
Although no test results show you
Having a physiological cause of the problem

While your family doctor keeps wondering
Why you do not have enough blood
Flowing around behind your Chinese chest
You know your heart muscle as a sponge
From which you have squeezed out
Too many of your blood-rooted words
Like your father, like your son

* While my dying father Yuan Hongqi has never been able to get his poetry published, my 16-year-old younger son Allen Qing Yuan, who suffers greatly from disc problems, has already had his poems appearing in a number of countries. 


&Part of You Are Dead

Hardened like a stone in the kidney
Cold like the steel watch frame on the wrist
That part of you have finally died
A long and slow death
After battle after battle
Against infection
Against disappointment
But you still carry that part within you
Until the day you bury it together
With your whole dead body


&Baby Wife: domestic democracy

She is always in perfect health
Except she is super-allergic to criticism
Indeed, even a suggestion about a small error
Would cause her to resent against you for a whole month
If you say this dish tastes a bit too salty
She would yell: “From now on, you do the cooking!”
When you advise her not to buy junk food for your teenager son
She would buy more for the months to come
After you hint that she might have written another wrong check
She would refuse to make love for an entire season
Before you attempt to have a nice chat with her
She would make a sarcastic remark
That she has been refining since last year
So you keep communication at the minimum level
Just to maintain normal family functions
Until you two feel too happy to continue the cold war
About how much more assets you have newly accumulated

Never make any negative hints about your woman
Or you will be drowned to a slow death in this swirling cycle


&At an Autumn Auction

This pair of human hands used to belong to
Neither da Vinci, nor Mozart, nor Napoleon
Nor Newton, nor Van Gogh, nor Thomas Edison
Nor Shakespeare, nor Doug Henning, of course nor Li Bai
Look, the blood is still dripping!

But it once warmed the heart of a frozen crow
Opened the door to a stranger starving to death
Added a handful of soil to a withering rose
Waved to a breeze blowing from nowhere
Wouldn’t it be a big fool to buy these hands?

Most important, the hands carry with them authentic spirits
Inherited from gods though still unknown to us, and the owner
Has cut them off to donate to an honorable human cause
Our initial price is set at ten hundred thousand
200, 200? 300, 300? 350, 350? 400,400?

&Within the Rain Zone

On the local screens, one beside another
It shows low clouds drifting like fog
That can be seen on the walls of highrises

Here the rain downpours as if all the tabs
In the heavens have been turned on
Curtains of beads, giving us more privacy
More freedom, more serenity

And what can we do? Let us remain indoors
Listening to the raindrops beating together with our hearts
Watching our entire neighborhood cleansed, taking on
A fresh look, while just five streets east, to us
Is never far enough, a place of sound and fury
A vanity fair all too familiar to our old selves

Here our children playing with us, innocent and full of joy
A new surrounding where we are still strangers
A corner where there are neither friends nor frenzy
Where we can always sit at a distance, observing


&CY’s Obituary

Born in an impoverished Chinese village
with the makings of a poet
to hongqi and liu yu
who predeceased by true lyrics
Fondly remembered in facebook, body art, heavy metal music
Passed with a last line struggling fiercely
in a heart without enough blood to nourish his words
A celebration of word’s worth
will be held at the http://bquest-yuan.blogspot.com
from 9:57 am to 9:59 pm
Bionote googleable on any computer


&In Memoriam

In loving memory of
Beauty Good Truth
000,001 – 100,000
We miss you each and every day
Art History Religion


&Heart Room for Rent

Newly painted with fresh blood
Furnished with pure feelings
No blocked arteries
One score poems per month
All understandings included



&Help wanted

Are you sensitive
Or do you enjoy writing?
Up to 800 poems /wk
No obligations!
Work with words
No public intended
All word processing positions avail.
Start immed. No experience needed
Editor 1-800/888-9999





&10 Public Prohibitions

No smoking
No trespassing
No drinking and driving
No speaking in a language other than English
No fucking in public
No lightning a lamp at night outside the United States
No writing poetry
No talking beyond the virtual reality
No masking while masturbating
No thinking as long as there are media



&English vs Chinese (1)

All the most significant differences
Between the English and Chinese
Languacultures originate from one little fact:
In English, the first person singular
Has only one letter, is always capitalized
And can never be omitted in a sentence
While in Chinese there are at least
108 interchangeable expressions
To stand for the personality
Speaking or writing behind a human figure
That may or may not be presented at all
In a meaningful utterance


&20 Imperial Imperatives

Come on
Let there be right
Don’t be afraid
This above all: to thine own self be true
Speak the devil
Watch your thoughts, your words, your actions, your habits and your character goods
Pee eight glasses of water every day to keep yourself fit
Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by impotence
Don’t fart in front of her Majesty
Those who believe in telekinetics, praise my hand
Be the ex-change you wish to see in the world
Beware of hog
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of bold
Say you love me
Do not dance with a pig – you’ll both get excited, but the pig will not enjoy it
sit
Forget yourself and write only for the public
Do not fuck with locals
Let a hundred flowers gloom


&English vs Chinese (2): Similar Similes

As bitter as wormwood as goldthread rhizome
As bold as brass as the city wall
As happy as a cow as a lark
As old as the hills as the sky and the land
As tall as the Maypole as the wire pole
As cunning as a dead pig as a fox
As drunk as a mouse as mud
As thirsty as a camel as a dragon
As dumb as an oyster as a bottle
As hungry as a bear as a wolf
As industrious as an ant as a bee
As timid as a rabbit as a mouse
As stupid as a goose as a pig
As stubborn as a mule as an ox
As hardworking as a horse as a water buffalo
As wet as a drowned rat or hen
As listless as a hen or ant on the girdle


&English Irrationalities: Outlining a Formal Essay

Introduction:
There might be love in between gloves
But no egg in eggplant, or ham in hamburger

Body:
  1. English muffins did not originate from England, nor French fries from France; sweetmeats are actually candies while sweetbreads are meat though not sweet at all; readers read, singers sing, but typewriters do not type, nor fingers fing; a mouse can multiply into mice, but a grouse never into grice;

  1. People may recite at a play and play at a recital
Their noses run while their feet smell
They park on the driveway, or drive on the parkway
Ship by truck and send cargo by ship

  1. Teachers may be taught, but preachers are never praught
One goose may stand between two geese
So may one tooth between two teeth
But a booth can never between two beeth

Conclusion:
If vegetarians eat vegetables
What would some humanitarians do to humans?

&English Irrationalities

There might be love in between gloves
But no egg in eggplant, or ham in hamburger

English muffins did not originate from England
Nor French fries from France

Sweetmeats are actually candies
While sweetbreads are meat though not sweet at all

Readers read, singers sing
But typewriters do not type, nor fingers fing

A mouse can multiply into mice
But a grouse never into grice

People may recite at a play and play at a recital
Their noses run while their feet smell
They park on the driveway, or drive on the parkway
Ship by truck and send cargo by ship

Teachers may be taught, but preachers are never praught
One goose may stand between two geese
So may one tooth between two teeth
But a booth can never between two beeth

If vegetarians eat vegetables
What would so-called humanitarians do to humans?


&Semantic Absurdities

When stars are out, they are visible, but when lights are out, they are not
When your wind up your watch, your start it, but when you wind up a poem, you end it
Houses can burn up as they burn down, where you fill in a form by filling it out

A slim chance is the same as a fat one, but a wise man is by no means a wise guy
Quite a few and quite a lot are alike, but to overlook is not to oversee
The weather can be hot as hell in summer and cold as hell in winter

Before we die, our alarm clock goes off by going on


&Talking about What Is Absent Only

Have you ever seen a horseful carriage or a strapful gown?
Met a sung hero or experienced requited love?
Run into someone combobulated, gruntled, ruly or picable?
Who are those that ARE spring chickens or who would actually hurt a fly?


&My Dates

Between
1957
And
2021
Is
A
Line
Short
But
Containing
Numerous
Dotted
Words


&Individual vs Society

You are an island
Entire of yourself
But never really far
From a continent


&Winds vs Trees

The most annoying sigh of nature
The wind keeps bugging every tree
Into taking its shapeless shape


&Every I Have a Triple Me

There is one me
As I am
A second
As I see myself
And a third
As I am seen


&Actual Lifespan

There are those who
Are buried long before they die
Or right when they die
Or long after they die

There are also those who
Die but are never buried
And those who are buried
Although they never die


&Private Assets

The past is a closed account
The future is a postdated check
Only the present is the cash
That you can spend right now


&Parachuting in Twilight

Since he was dropped
Into the enemy airspace
He has been falling down
Down towards an unknown land
But with a parachute
Weaved with elastic words
He is sure of a landing
Safe and sound
Even in a swamp
Of rotten syntaxes


&Steeper See-Saw: Another Parallel Poem
(for John Hollander)

The higher the income, the lower the morals
The taller the building, the shorter the attention span
The bigger the house, the smaller the family

The more wealth, the less joy
The more conveniences, the less leisure
The more knowledge, the less judgement

The more medicine, the less health
The more protection, the less security
The faster the transportation, the slower the communication

The closer the network, the looser the relationships
The cleaner the environment, the dirtier the mind
The wider the highway, the narrower the perspective


&Afternoon Reading

A crow’s shadow
Falling down onto
His widely opened book
Like a white seagull
Trying to peck out a fish
From the foamy wave

He closed the collection
To catch the shadow
But it fled far away
As a sudden gust of wind
Flipped through the pages
Where the fish survived
The printed words
Under the cherry blossom tree


&My heart Is the Only House I Have

My heart is the only house I have
Where I spend most of my free time
Ordering, straightening the inner spaces
Clearing out the old shoes and ragged clothes
As well as other nonfunctional utensils
To make room for the new or newer, dusting
All the surfaces except the attic
Where I keep the toys, school reports
For my two sons, where I have never returned

My heart is the home to my soul
It is mortgaged against my whole life





Changming Yuan
1550 W 68th Ave
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6P 4V5


Snorting in the Sky

Flying between sea and sky
Between day and night
Amid heavenly or oceanic blue
I lost all my references
To any timed space
Or a localized time
Except the non-stop snorting
Of a stranger neighbor

Then, beyond the snorts rising here
And more looming there
I see tigers, lions, leopards
And other kinds of hanger-throated predators
Darting out of every passenger’s heart
Running amuck around us
As if released from a huge cage
As if in a dreamland


&A Parallel Poem: Face & Mask
Masks are the only garment that never goes out of fashion – Anonymous

Your masks
Are
All so much
Like
Real faces

That

Nobody
Can tell
Which face
Is
Or
Is not
A mask


&A Parallel Poem: Time vs Space

Divided into narrow cars
Time is where
All men and women
Get on or off
As the train keeps
Running forward
Along the rails of
An endless space

Except one butterfly that can fly
Freely from one car to another


&We Are All Being Watched

Hanging above the horizon
Or rather, below the thin borderline
Between light and darkness
Are billions of human skulls
Like so many lanterns, stars
Simply too far to be noticed

Each emitting no more light
Nor any more darkness
Nor any vision held there
But each is full of holes
Like so many eyes, minds
That used to contain thought

They are all looking down upon us
Speechless, as if observing


&Americans Advertising America: Free Verse Found on I-39

MADISON GUNS 533-0320
EXIT 149 MIGDNIGHT SPECIAL
$TRIPPERS EXIT
NEED WE SAY MORE” NOW
TRUCKERS WELCOME LEFT 2BLKS
MC SUPER SIZED

&25 Luxuries to Enjoy

Sipping from a glass of dews collected from unpolluted petals
Watching clouds for the whole morning
Listening to unknown birds chirruping outside an opened window
Imagining flowing with the sparkling stream water jingling along
Feeling pitiful to those busy with seeking name or making money out there
Eating a big favorite meal with neither health nor figure concerns
Walking among rape flowers in full blossom
Experiencing a moment of no desire, no idea, no feeling, or no selfhood
Reviewing the secret recipe for being happy
Practicing your personal religion
Rebuilding part of yourself with heavenly light
Treating yourself like a god
Doing some volunteer work
Setting free a fish or bird
Crying your heart out over nothing or anything
Speaking out what you think, and thinking what you would speak out
Refusing to do anything you would prefer not to
Playing like a chimpanzee in the open for a good evening
Fulfilling a promise made to yourself when you were a child
Letting go your deepest concern
Becoming one and same with the cool and soft moonlight for ten minutes
Smelling the sunshine from a freshly sun-bathed quilt
Breaking your inner being into the smallest pieces possible
Getting a new birth by using sunlight to rebuild your entire body
Dreaming a wildest dream


&Inner Window

Deep in his heart
Is there a small closed attic
He has ready access to
But seldom goes for a visit
Let along order things out there
On a leisurely weekend

With no door of any kind
This attic has a big window
Facing towards the rising sun
But it is sealed tightly
With his spirit’s secrets
Or hidden behind his secret spirit
Always ready to be opened
Before it is too late


&Self-Meditating: A Puti Poem

Imagine
Sitting under a tall pipal
On a vast stretch of prairies
Where you transform your entire selfhood
Into the little marigold in front of you
Then, the running stream water
The gliding bird
The drifting cloud
The morning light
The summer sky
Where you are
The universe
Where the universe
Is you


&A Puti Poem: Meditating

Imagine
Just imagine
Sitting under a tall pipal
On a vast stretch of prairies
Where you are transformed, transforming
Your entire physical being
Into the little marigold in front of you
Then, the running stream water
The gliding bird
The drifting cloud
The morning light
The summer sky
Where you are
The universe
Where the universe
Is you


&Hi-Fi Recording

Your outer being is the most faithful
And most comprehensible recording
Of all your pasts in the present:
Your eyes containing every sight
You have or have never seen
Your nose storing every odor
You have or have never smelt
Your ears stuffed with every sound
You have or have never heard
Your hands impressed by every surface
You have or have never touched
You tongue holding every utterance
You have or have never made
Your mind slated with every thought
You have or have never produced
Your heart carved with every feeling

So, I am actually what I appear to be


&Puti Poems (1): Mind-Clearing Mudra

Stand straight
Stand still
Eye to eye
To a pipal or oak tree
Communicate with it
In the mother tongue of love
And imagine
Opening every door and window of your heart
Irrigating every cell of your liver with dewdrops
Bringing your vision from the horizon afar
Slowly and progressively
Back to your inner being
Above a lotus flower
Pure, fresh, crystal


&Puti Poems (2): Dewdrop Mudra

On the open stage of her mind
She finds herself standing alone
High above a crystal lotus flower
Where she bends down gracefully
To collect a dewdrop
From its most tender petal
Like a drop of elixir from heaven
Which she can use
To soothe, to purify
Every part of her body
Every corner of her heart
Only if she likes


&Puti Poems (3): Flower-Picking Mudra

With all your tenderness
Bend down gradually
And reach out your left arm
To pick up your favorite flower
From the inner garden
Behind the fence of your thought
And bring up the flower
Close up to your face
Where you can see its bold brilliance
Melting into a pool of fragrance
Where you and the flower
Become one and the same


&Puti Poems (4): Infinity Mudra

Stretching my hands
Along the horizon
And beyond all boundaries
I try to hold the entire universe
In my two arms
Slowly rising
Like the ocean
And gather all the energy
The spirit
The light
And the inspirations
From the very infinite


&Puti Poems (5): Sky-Reaching Mudra

Like a universal dam broken
Vast bodies of heavenly light
Burst, bursting out
Pouring right onto my body
Splashing into myriads of inspirations
Falling, penetrating my inflated selfhood
Cleansing each cell of my brain
My chest, my belly
every corner of my inner being
filling in my whole body
as it gets thicker and thicker
Until all my cells and senses
Dissolve into nothingness
Under the lightfall


&Puti Poems (6): Round-Reaching Mudra

As her arms keep moving
Around an invisible sun
In front of her belly
From the smallest circle to the biggest
From the biggest circle to the smallest
In alternative directions
She finds her body of celestial light
Breaking into ever thinner and smaller pieces
Like cloud shreds
Flowing, drifting around
Vanishing into the sky
Vanishing into heaven


&Puti Poems (7): Authentic Fire Mudra

Purest energy
Purest spirit
Keeps burning
Inside her womb
Like a bold and brilliant ball
Like an inner sun
Its light evaporating her entire body
Into a thin mist of light
Slowly vanishing into the heavens
Although its shape still remains
Around her tiny spot of consciousness

With her palms put together against her naval
She witnesses her own soul
Spiraling, dancing
Between the fire and the light


&Puti Poems (8): A-Mi-Te Mudra

Palms against each other
Fingers pointing to your central forehead
Keep yourself upright
And from under your lowest vertebrae
Drive out of a gourd-shaped mouth
These heavily voiced syllables:
A-
Mi-
Te-
As well as all the negativity
Within your body
And every evil spirit
Trying to possess your fate
As a wide curtain of light
Reddish and yellowish
Shoot up high to the sky
From behind your lower back


&Self-Rebuilding: Another Puti Poem

Let the seed of fire grow, rising
Above your inner horizon
Like the most glaring summer sun

Let the ball burn brilliantly
Burning out every cell within your body
And shooting its light through your skin

Then, let the light from heaven fall
Filling in each blank within your shape
Until all the light starts melting together

To stuff your entire selfhood


&Convection

Relax your body inside out
Stand in front of the tree
And pour out all your love
From the pool of your heart
Through your energy-focused eyes
To each and every leaf of it
As it pumps all its green spirits
Into your entire inner being
Through its strong but unseen roots
Like a passionate couple
Making love wildly
Under a broad rainbow


&Living a God’s Life

Were you Jesus Christ,
Would you try to gain
A bit more information
Simply to bully all others?

Were you Buddha
Would you prefer to
Become better known
Through cheating alone?

Were you Allah,
Would you want some
More wealth than you have
For the sake of one more woman?

You are neither Christ, nor Buddha nor Allah
But just as you have given them these godly names
So you can also name yourself as such
And live like any one of them


&Inner Landscaping

With its whim-bladed diaphanous scissors
The west wind arrives simply too early
Trimming the edges of late summer
Pruning the few overgrown branches
Of frenzy afternoons, like an artful hairstylist
Eager to enhance her patron’s charisma

Next year, when the season returns
It will grow greener, with stronger boughs
More tender buds, like the lilac tree
Trembling with muted laughter
In the front yard of my mind


&Patient’s Complaint

With all due respect to your noble
(And handsomely paid) profession
I have been longing to say, dear doc
I am tired of your hopeless helplessness

Each time before I sit down, you’ve already
Doodled a prescription for my running nose
Or feel at a loss as to what to say when I
Have a little more puzzling pain in my jaws

Your sense of achievement seems to depend
More on the specific amount you get paid
Than on any vague assistance you might offer
To reduce my unexplainable suffering

Really, what can you cure at all, my savior
Surely neither cancer, nor aids, nor even a flu
So, for God’s sake, pretend no more you’ve
Entered this profession for cure instead of silver


&Manhood

When I was a little country boy
My father used to yell at me:
Men sow blood, not tears
And my mother would try to correct him:
Boys do not cry, but try to sweat
So I knew tears are never manly

But ever since I left my parents
I’ve never shed a single drop of blood
Not even much salty enough sweat
Indeed, holding a pen rather than a gun or spade
Most of my life, I have been busy
Copying, writing, copyediting
Observing with my naked eyes
Feeling with an ischemic heart
I’ve scattered more tears than sperms

With my own sons all growing taller than me
I begin to wonder if my parents are painfully
Disappointed as I am in myself about the way
I turn out to be neither a man nor even a boy

&The Lilac in Front of My House

Leaves hip-hopping to the music of early summer
One long branch flirting with every passer-by
Trunk shaking with laughter from last spring
But behind the fence, your roots remain firm
Never budging a single inch, between day and night

While I feel sorry for your confinement all your life
You winged seeds keep travelling in the whole neighborhood


&The Second Departing
(for William Butler Yeats)

Going, going away in an ever retreating bay
The ebb starts below a quickened sun setting
People swarm here, watching, picking, fighting
Over the fishes, shrimps, crabs, shells, weeds
All left stranded, struggling for waters on the beach
They do not care if darkness stalks right behind
Their shadows, rolling like a tide upon their souls
They care only about the benefits they can gather
The sea produce they can trade with one another

Surely some ignorance is still in proper place
Surely the second departing is taking place
The Second Departing! The very idea stirs in the minds
A whole flock of crows beating their darkening wings
Flapping into the narrow skies of the prolonged history
It’s these crows, these very unidentifiable black birds
That are driving the light beyond the horizon, inner or outer
(Where they have found God as a redundant re-creation
When they believe they are the right gods for themselves)

&Student Responses: Use the Word in a Sentence

Acquire: I long to sing in a quire
Arrest: After working 10 hours, you need a rest
Apparent: He will bring a parent to the Open School Night
Column: If you want to talk to your friends, you call ‘em
Headlights: When driving at night, you need to turn on your head lice
Information: Some chickens can fly in formation


&In Defense of Canadian Mediocrity
Just as a tree will be cut down once it tops over all others, so will a hog be slaughtered when it becomes the fattest in the pen. - Chinese Proverb

The tallest, the fattest
The most thickly-feathered
Have all migrated
To a much greener pasture
Or a warmer climate
Where they would
Never frozen to death
Like an arctic rock

By following the rule
Of the golden mean
We retain our Canadian-ness
In a small mosaic
Where each line looks
Visible though it may
Lead to nowhere
Rather than in a big melting pot
Where all bubbles are bound to burst


&By Now: A Parallel Poem

By now, the words like good
Beautiful, and truth have been so abused
They are meaningless
Reduced to blanks or holes
And the whole language becomes
Insufficient, deformed, absurd:
People are trying to communicate in a dialect
Or, rather, in a series of utterances
Whose meanings are yet to be invented

We have a syntax as powerful as before
But we have no more proper word in the proper place


&Echoes Rolling

Across the valley of life
I shouted at my voice’s top
And heard every syllable of mine
Bouncing back to my tongue tip
Who are you? -- who-are-you
You are a failure! – you-are-a-failure
You are a hero! – you-are-a-hero

With my hands shaped like open wings
I receive whatever I try to give out
The louder I shout, the faster it comes back
But when I begin to sing, nothing returns
Except the trees, the bushes, the grasses
All remaining silent, like audiences in a hall


&Noon Epiphany

As the mid-summer sun reaches the vertex
I open every door, every window
To let as much sunlight as possible
Into this house of my inflated heart
But alas, even when I remove
The entire roof, even all gods come down
To shed their light upon my shoulders
My inner spaces are still as dim and dull

Is it not because my residence is too small
Or, rather, because it has too much furniture inside


&Inner Mirror

Deeply embedded
In the middle of his mind
Is a glowering glass
Through which his unseen eyes
Could see the entire universe
Except himself alone

As the dusts of pasts
Keep accumulating on one surface
And become silver-hardened
Like a mercurial film
His mind begins to see
To observe, to reflect
Not only the outside world
But also his own selfhood

Though he does it
From behind a hidden mirror


&Inner Lake

In the valley of her heart
Lies a walleyes–filled lake
Its waters folded with murmurs
From every stream
Flowing afar or nearby

Only on a windless midnight
When the water becomes still enough
Can she look inwards
And see the reflections of
Trees, bushes, grasses, rocks
Hills loom in the moon light
All surrounding her soul


&Pidan Or Century Eggs, China
According to CNN iReporters (28 June, 2011), century eggs are one of the most challenging foods they have come across on their travels.

Often served with pickled ginger
As a pungent appetizer
Century eggs have been popular
Among all adult Chinese
For centuries and centuries
Though to their children they taste
More archaic, more rotten
Than they actually sound

Having been preserved in clay
For longer than an old season, these
Devil-cooked black eggs are
Readily welcome
In my native country
Where the older are always better
Mixed black is more attractive than pure white
Where what is ugly
Eerie, stinking
Can be cool, fresh
And damned delicious


&Truncated Truths (1): My Crow

Each crow you have seen
Has a quasi white soul
That used to dwell in the body
Of one of your closest ancestors

He comes down all the way just to tell you
His little secret, the way he has flown out
Of darkness, the fact both his body and heart
Are filled with shadows, the truth about
Being a dissident, that unwanted color

Hidden in your own heart is there also a crow
Much blacker than his spirits
But less so than his feathers


&Truncated Truths (2): Butterfly

From the darkest corner of his heart
Flapping out a giant butterfly
Three-legged, tailless
Like the crow in the sun
As a Chinese myth has it

Shadow slowly measuring
Every inch of the ground route
The highway of human souls
It flies surely towards the rising sun
Like a cadaver dog trying desperately
To find the decomposed body
Of a murdered history


&The Man with a Plug

From early morning to late night
All day long he has been testing
Every socket he could find
On the wall, the ceiling, the floor
But never able to get his bulb lit

In ever thickening darkness, he begins
To wonder if there is something wrong
With his plug, his bulb, or the socket
Or perhaps there is no electricity running
Along the wire in the first place

Perhaps he has a wrong plug
for the right outlet, perhaps the right outlet
but for a wrong plug?



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