Wednesday, 5 March 2014

[archived]: Sociopolitical Poems-2 by Changming Yuan ©

Free Verse Found Online

Cage: Law or Marriage

A structure for
confining birds
or animals, enclosed
on at least one side
by a grating
of wires or bars
that lets in
air and light

Mirror: Eye or Picture 

A surface
capable of
reflecting sufficient
undiffused light
to form an image
of an object
placed in
front of it

God: Hero or Man

A being
conceived as
the perfect
omniscient originator
and ruler of
the universe
the principal object
of faith
and worship

Theological Thesis

Nay, Eve did not
Eat the apple
Rather, she ate an onion
A really red hot onion

Nor was she seduced
By the ugly serpent
But by a handsome human
Who became her sole partner

So, the human history
Has been infused with
Womens tears
And mens guilt

Man vs Woman: A Brief Sexual History

No man is perfect
Yet every man wants women to be perfect
So, their feet used to be bound
Now their faces surgically shaped and reshaped
Their eyelids doubled
Their breasts raised
Their skin ironed and chemically treated
Their subcutaneous fat removed from their bellies or waists
Their legs made longer on high-heeled shoes
Their entire bodies perfumed, clad and decorated with all fashions
As if they were full-sized dolls

Just as god made man in his image
So has man been making women after his likeness

Talking with the Dreamless Man

Every creature, even a goat has a dream
But this man has never had one
Never knowing what a dream is or does
Just as a man born blind
Has no idea of color

A dream is a place you go to
When you fall asleep at night
So –it is a washroom?
A dream is all the crazy things
You do on the bed in darkness
So –it is masturbation or sexual play
A dream is an other life you live
While your body remains mostly still
So –it is fantasy or imagination

To dream is to be human, you know
So – I am not a human?

Of course you are, only dreamless
--Isn’t it real-is-tick?


Some times the bed is simply too big
Other times the bed is way too small
However its size seems to be changing
They never change their shared bed

Getting Newly Old

you can only talk
about what you used to do
and do
what you used to talk about

you shrink in both ways
and both ways are
the only way
to shrink

whats supposed to be hard
softens like a boiled noodle
whats supposed to be tender
hardens like a winter stone

one attempt
on top of another, they say

or, rather, one attemptable night
after another

A New Home Recipe Invented after
25 Years of Marriage
            (after Leo Dangle, for Helen Liao)

yummy, it tastes so good! he exclaimed.

really? she asked.

where did you learn the recipe?
These steamed fish chips are really delicious
With all this shredded green onion and fresh ginger.

well, this is the third time I cooked
it this way. Do you really mean
you like the dish?

of cuz! Why would I want to lie
about the food YOU cook?

well, this is the only thing
i am never sure about you.

are you?!

Last Meet with My First Love

meeting you face to face
you seem to hide yourself
behind a fog in another world

separated by the pacific in between
you often look like the flower
blooming on my window ledge

have a blue dream
and you will see a little cloud
drifting around like me
near that borderline

I have packed you up tightly
into my backpack, the luggage
I cannot consign, or sent by mail
but carry it with me
close to my chest

you are neither light
nor heavy, but you will
occupy a solid space
in the closet of my heart

You Function with Me

You function with me
Like the other Chinese chopstick

Together, we taste
Every dish put on our dinner table

Partner Perspective

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

The Man Most Handsome

The most handsome man
Is the man under the little buttocks
Of an infant boy, the one who is giving
The child a thrilling experience
By carrying it on his broad shoulders
Flapping their arms together
Like wings feathered with boyhood dreams
Making it feel as if gliding, flying
Swirling around

One day, the child will become a pilot
A pioneer, someone who operates a machine
To fly in an entirely new space

The little child will not remember
The way the man waved their arms
Nor did it see the beaming smile
On the man’s face when they
Jumped over the ditch, dodged
Blocking tree branches, or ran
Against a sudden cold wind

But the child can never forget
How it felt
As the man kept running forward
Under its little buttocks

On the Ferry Boat

We have never been here before
But I remember with every precision
The way you sat in singular silence
The muted calls of the fish
The hills beyond the bay
The smell of the west wind
That was blowing through the heartland
Within both you and me

Have we met before in a dream
Or is this meeting a dream of before?

Hamlet: the Play or the Movie
            (For David R. Slavitt)

Who does not love Hamlet,
If they show or perform it again tomorrow night,
Who would not go to watch him?

To be or not to be…we all have this question, mostly
In mind. But with audiences young or old,
The answer is all too clear, at the tongue, ah!

And the world will well remember,
Admire, study, discuss and argue
In every dialect for centuries and centuries.

Not so bad, after all, the poisoned
Wine, the poisoned sword is fatal.
The cries on all sides must be a warm comfort.

We all fall: only a few on a classic stage,
In front of so many

The Hero Is Also Dead

it took more than eighteen centuries
    and a great philosopher to declare
            god was dead
now even a sophomore in the street
     can casually claim
            hero is dead as well
does this mean man has reduced
     to an antihero, a commoner
            who will live of, by, and for his sole self?

The President and the Mouse

Nothing went wrong to begin with:
The president had made a speech
As powerful as penetrating as ever
Which was televised nation wide
But some of his diction so infuriated 
Jakes boss in their imposing building
He gave Jake a huge pile of bullshit
The first thing in the very morning

For obvious reasons Jake could
Not throw out it back at his boss
So he passed the whole shit to Jane
After returning home from his work
And so Jane passed it to little John
And so John to his bulldog
And so the bulldog translated it
Into much more dogshit and
Passed it to a mouse in the storeroom
Usually on the high alert against
A neighbors cat…

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

Your masks
So much
Real faces 
Can tell
Which face
Is not
A mask

Politicians & Public Opinion

This distorted shadow of a monster dancing widely
Or of a colossal rain cloud above the borderline between sea and sky
Constantly changing its shape and thickness
With lightning and thunder
Ready to blow or to be blown into an unseen bubble
By the whirl beaten up by another dancing monster

Confession of a Police Officer

Father, I know this is not a proud thing to do
But I really enjoy hiding myself
Somewhere in a dim corner
To catch a poor guy never known to us
Changing lanes without giving a signal
Speeding a couple of kilos over the limit
Attempting a left turn under a yellow light
Or simply looking unlikable to me

You know, father, it is always safer
Always more fun and more comfortable
Always bossier, and certainly more profitable
To give a stranger guy a ticket, a handsome fine
Than to catch an evil devil , an armed robber
A cold-blooded murderer, a violent drug addict
Even a drunkard costs me more skills
More brains, more guts, more strengths

It may be a bit too cowardly, too mean or wicked
Too ruthless or mischievous on my part
I know, but we just cannot help it, father

At the Dentist’s: A Politically Risky Poem

Do my teeth look alright, Doc?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, but you are getting newly old.

Why do I sometimes feel so awkward about my teeth, Doc?
That’s because even your wisdom teeth are retarded.

How come I keep dreaming about losing all my teeth, Doc?
I am not a psychiatrist ready to listen to you as long as you don’t make sense.

What are you trying to do with my teeth this time, Doc?
Please stop dodging my mouth mirror in such straightforward way!

How can I make sure my teeth will not deteriorate further, Doc?
Just open your mouth and shut up!           

At VGH Emergency: A BC Story

[Pale with persistent pain]…Excuse me?
[No response from three chatting nurses]
[A bit louder] …Excuse me?
[No response from two chatting nurses]
[Timidly] …Knock, knock?
[One remaining male nurse yells with a ferocious face] Are you dying?!
[Terribly embarrassed] No, sorry, but I…
[In a much louder voice] Nobody, n-o-b-o-d-y knock here!
[More embarrassed with greater pain] I am so sorry, but…
[With a bit more professionalism] Since you are obviously not dying, wait over there!

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 

Landlording at 161 West 49th Avenue, Vancouver

A whole dozen of tenants
In this unauthorized rooming house of mine:
One is a drug addict
Nosy and manipulative
Trying to play her dubious role
Of a tenant representative
And self-styled manager on site
Another has just broken his old hip
Ready to suit me
For an imagined fault on my ownership
A third has been using bed bugs
(God knows where she gets them)
As an agent to bilk every penny
Out the wallet of my kindness
A fourth has finally moved out
Tho his stuffs still piled up
Under my heavily abused sundeck
While others either unable to pay their rent 
Or bug me constantly for their endless rights

With the tenancy act here more protective
Of evil tenants than of law-abiding landlords
I wonder if I should just sell this rental property of mine
Rather than continue living with it until I get the order
To shut down this inner house of mine
All mad inside out

Sams Song

Tho my partner threw me away
Like one of her used lipsticks
After putting on a new makeup

Tho my landlord gives me shit
Each time I fail to pay him
In full amount or on the first day

Tho my boss has just fired me
Simply because he happed to see me first
After he lost a fortune this morning

Tho my only friend big mac
Is too weak to play with me
Or dream about having gold solid

Tho some call me trash
Others look down upon me
And still others never see me

Tho I have had little luck
Not to mention money
Except a few human rights

Be all that as it may
i got to eat a loaf of bread
and sleep in a dry corner
even on a rainy day

            (for Edward Field)

Everywhere else in the new world, when people meet
They would greet one anther saying
Isnt it a nice day today! Sure it is!

Only in Vancouver will you say, another rainy day, or even
Foul or gloomy, and launch into your complaints and frustrations
Then yawn and become bored as they begin
To pour out their own similar resentments in more detail

Echoing like a parrot, you try to keep yourself less wet
Look, pal, its downpouring again, we got to run…uh…
So you start to flee in opposite directions
Each trying to hide yourself somewhere in a dry corner

As both of you leave the scene in haste
You know you can never remain dry on a rainy day

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

East vs West      

breaking, broken
bare bricks on the Berlin Wall
collected from the ruins
to build a transparent bridge
between the past and the future

broken, breaking
earthen bricks for Badalin Ridge
baked in a dragon fire
to repair and strengthen the long wall
separating the prairies farther from the gobi


Short Cuts to Celebrity  

Put on the most fashionable clothing
Try to use Ipod, Ipad or Ipal before all others
Take a picture with the president (dead or alive)
Eat a dinner with Buffet, Hawking, Clint Eastwood
Get an autograph from Tiger Woods, Oprah, Bill Gates
Stay in the same hotel as Steve Jobs, Rush Limbaugh, Jim Wales
Better to get some smell when Brad Pitt, Miley Cyrus or Angelina Jolie
Happens to be farting around

Unidentified Female Outcry: A Politically Correct Complaint

I is a female
I is a coloured minority
I is disabled
I is a 100% naturalized voter
I has many years of volunteering experience
I speaks the official language without a foreign accent
I comes from a much less privileged family

But why am I not chosen yet
For the position
For the fame
For the prize?

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
You can also name yourself as a god
And live like any one of them

Narrative Viewpoints (2): Omniscient

God in the West:
As long as I can get by in my way
I believe I must be doing the right thing
So, I will keep using all my powers
To convert all others and othernesses
Into the religion I have defined, and
Refined for them, despite their black hatred
Despite their red resistance

God in the East:
Longing to live in harmony with nature
You hate to interfere in the way yin
Seeks to balance with yang, or otherwise
Even when you try to enlighten others
You respect them, be it an ant, or a blade of grass
You would never do anything to them
That you would not be done by

Gods in between:
Feeling coerced, cheated, betrayed
Manipulated, offended, they all came
Down from heaven, up from hell
On a sunny afternoon
To join common humans on earth
Making love, or trading with them
For a heart’s hijab or a soul’s turban

The Operation

So seldom succeeds
In removing the infected tissue
Reeking of pus and blood
More often than not
It makes the wound fester even worse
When it functions in effect
To take out the ruptured
Piece of peace

War, the War (Aside)

            During the Korean War, about 120 Chinese volunteer soldiers deployed themselves close to the enemy positions in ambush for a whole snowy night. At 5:00 am the regimes trumpet horn signaled the general offensive, but the company failed to move as expected, because all of them had been frozen to death, each still remaining in a position ready to charge uphill…

The Political Instructor
We will defend our motherland
With the new great wall of blood and flesh
As well as the old rifles in our hands
Yes, our weapons are out of year
But our will is more than strong
Oh, I wish to see my newly wed wife
What is she doing right now
Snowflakes, bog, beautiful
As large as in my home town
But not so white and fluffy…

The New Soldier
Whew, I am really nervous
And it is burning cold out here
But I cannot move
Or the enemy will spot us
And kill us all
With their all powerful weapons
I will wait, keep still, damn it
Once the charge horn is blown
I will rush forward
I do not want to be a coward
I cannot lose face
Yes, I will bring honor
To myself, to my parents
To my villagers and my ancestors
I will live up to my family name
Shee, my blood is frozen
But I cannot move, should not
Will not, not, no, n…

The Cook Soldier
Sorry, boys, too bad
I cannot cook at this moment
But after this battle I promise
I will find the most edible grass roots
Tree leaves for you boys
And cook you a big meal
With your fried flour
And a lot snow
And a bit more salt
You know every time when
I see you wolfing down food and soup
I think of my own boys
Always hungry as colts
Yeah, my sons, where are you?

Qiu Shaoyun:  A Soldier Story
            Once upon a time, during the forgettable Korean War…

Neither his family background
Nor his educational level
Nor even his true name
Is meaningful here
But he was a soldier
Fresh from a remote farm
Lying flat on his belly
Burning himself second by second
To a slow and prolonged death
On a foreign busy slope
Soundless, motionless, as if feelingless
So his comrades in arms
In their ambush positions
Would not be killed by random enemy fire
While his sick mother
Called his name
In her wintry dream
His fiancée praying for his safe return
Under the oldest village tree

Yet he is no more a hero
Than a great general now

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
They may 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

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

Imperial Standard

All this time
You say this
This, this, this, this, and this
But you are doing that
That, that, that, that, and that

Aren’t you a politician
Or a spokesman
For dear Uncle Sam?

Americans Advertising America: Free Verse Found on I-39

MADISON     GUNS 533-0320
MC      SUPER           SIZED

The American Dream

like a superstitious stream
    not too wildly wide
but you cannot simply cross it
                  without a raft or a canoe
    nor too dangerously deep
but you may easily get drowned
      if unable to keep floating on the water
    nor too radically rapid
            but the current is often swift enough
                  to carry you far away to nowhere

Table of Contents

  1. The Second Departing
  2. Seeking Side by Side
  3. Birdkeeping
  4. Grape Eaters
  5. Human Culture
  6. In the Bog
  7. Human History
  8. 1435mm
  9. The Progress of Human Civilization
  10. Man’s Mutation
  11. Glass Safe
  12. The Unborn
  13. On the Recycling Day
  14. The Peril of Watching Too Much TV News
  15. The Stature at the City Square
  16. This Busy Life
  17. Class 761, Shanghai
  18. Towards a Broader Highway
  19. Worldly Affairs (1): Today’s Special
  20. Naming a Nation
  21. Worldly Affairs (2): A Chinese Portrait
  22. Worldly Affairs (3): The Canadian Comedy
  23. In Defense of Canadian Mediocrity
  24. Worldly Affairs (4): The Girl Who Danced with Democracy
  25. Worldly Affairs (5): A Japanese Sketch
  26. Worldly Affairs (6) A Zeugma Sketch of Uncle Same
  27. One More Difference
  28. Warning America
  29. Fuck off, You America
  30. Civilization
  31. We Are All Being Watched
  32. Snorting
  33. Upgraded Groupings of Animals
  34. Steeper See-Saw
  35. Self-Abuse
  36. At Fraser River Park
  37. Tree Spirits
  38. Tall Tale Newly Told
  39. Clothing
  40. The Only Difference
  41. Charon
  42. Free Verse Found Online
  43. Theological Thesis
  44. Man vs Woman
  45. Talking with a Dreamless Man
  46. Bedmates
  47. Getting Newly Old
  48. A New Home Recipe Invented after 25 Years of Marriage
  49. Last Meet with My First Love
  50. You Function with Me
  51. Partner Perspective
  52. On the Ferry Boat
  53. The Man Most Handsome
  54. Hamlet
  55. The Hero Is Also Dead
  56. The President and the Mouse
  57. Face & Mask
  58. Politicians & Public Opinion
  59. Confession of a Police Officer
  60. At the Dentist’s
  61. At VGH Emergency
  62. Patient’s Complaint
  63. Landlording at 161 W 49th Ave, Vancouver
  64. Sam’s Song
  65. Vancouverites
  66. Flying over the Pacific
  67. East vs West
  68. Short Cuts to Celebrity
  69. Unidentified Female Outcry
  70. Living a God’s Life
  71. Narrative Viewpoints (2): Omniscient
  72. Operation
  73. War, the War (Aside)
  74. Qiu Shaoyun
  75. Century Eggs, China
  76. The Bare Truth about the USA
  77. The Imperial Standard
  78. American Advertising America
  79. The American Dream

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