Monday, 1 September 2014

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

12 feb2014:: Directory of Destines


a chord, made of sunlight
instead of grass
will lead each climber to the peak
though few can find it
on the hillside
beside the question


residing near their summer resort
through her entire year
after their marriage, (for better or for worse)
russian author catherine tries narrating
her bearish story from their wintery perspective
where her major concerns are perhaps
wrapping gershwin's rhapsody
around hieroglyphic spring sprouts


with a double hook
the sexist, the most charming shape
looking more like a naked woman
in postmodern art
than folded cloth used to cover her body
in an Egyptian tale

always ready to


the Egyptian loaf
far off the Phoenician mark
is still edible now


u is surely a part of you, while
you sound no more than a single letter
u, which is nothing but a copy of a chick
you used to be on the bank of the Nile, where
u can be changed into
v within an european word as in yvan; it's said
you have the makings of a
victor, a us or un representative who begins the
uniform, university, universe.


with the shape of victory
you are a viper in essence:
each victory is a  poisonous snake


pecking around a lion
only the little chick
knows the word's worth
as it writes the worlds' story
with its feet printed on the ground
rather than on a papyrus


only when two straight roads meet
at an intersection, or

only when you cross the road
crossing the border can you
understand why Christ's body is
nailed on the cross, but his soul
rises high above the land


You love ‘Y’, not because it’s the first letter
In your family name, but because it’s like
A horn, which the water buffalo in your
Native village uses to fight against injustice
Or, because it’s like a twig, where a crow
Can come down to perch, a cicada can sing
Towards the setting sun as loud as it wants to
More important, in Egyptian hieroglyphics
It stands for a real reed, something you can
Bend into a whistle or flute; in pronouncing it
You can get all the answers you need, besides
You can make it into a heart-felt catapult
And shoot at a snakehead or sparrow, as long
As it lands within the range of your boyhood


in opposite directions:
you are not so much like
a weird weapon, a manacle, or
a bolt for fastening the flood
of the Nile in ancient logography
as like a postmodern zebra
zigzagging with zeal
like a zealot trying to pass
through an inflated zero


meaning empty (for early indians?)
or no entry (to ancient chinese?)
definitely, it is no more, or
no less than a placeholder
between you and me
nothing that can be anything
except the wheel that keeps our civilization rolling
a circle, squeezed to look taller and slenderer
a shape, less round than a hole
but it can suck in a whole world

o that we were not all living within the circle
full of emptiness


first formed in the far east
a horizontal line
kept moving westwards
point by point
as it rose gradually
trying to stand up straight 
like the axis of the earth
to be identical with the first person singular
with or without a serif at the top
with or without a support at the bottom
until 1 and i became one and the same
presenting itself as a single unity
one that is its own factorial
its own square, its own cube, the identity
For multiplicities, each derived from tai chi or nothingness
First of all there was, there has been


one line originated from the yellow river
the other from the ganges
keep flowing parallel
until they joined each other
to form an open circle
as if to embrace
all other valleys of civilization

the first magic prime number
like yin and yang combined
to draw every human dichotomy
into double happiness, since all
good things come in pairs


first rotated
then curved
before being finally connected

The same three horizontal lines
as with the trinity
for the three gems

during wudhu
to stand in as many red words
written in solid, liquid and gas

since in a race anybody, anything
beyond this smallest prime number
is nobody, nothing. That’s why the lines

still remain parallel in Roman and Chinese:
one is almost dead, vertically
the other still very much alive, horizontally


just how a cross,
was joined between north and west
with a square, few know the truth
to grow in a twisted corner
where snow never smelts
winds blow in all other directions
where white shapes the solid, the touchable
inclusive indeed, like a glyph drawing all
the uncertainties to itself
always ready to bury, to create

the very outset of  abstractions
the legs of the whole universe
it is believed every tetramer is a sign of
speed, strength, stability


looming among the matrices
of ancient Brahmin Indians
you have come all the way
to present yourself in a bloated shape
of an equally old Chinese steelyard
rather than the Khmer glyph
with an enlarged hook
to weigh anything
even ether, even the soul
while the weight-beam is shortened
to mark our narrow senses


a forgotten European flirtation with a glyph
the Ghubar Arabs borrowed from Indians
all of whom dislike its squigglish tradition

a cherished number emulating the uppercase G
not really related to home, family, responsibility
but easy and smooth, what else on the road?


you are always lucky
though you have turned L upside down
otherwise, you would have been executed
by law, by light


first, a curved 1 from Indians
then, it was twisted until it became an S
ready to seduce, re-presenting itself like a 5
before the Arabs connected
her two closed circles
piling them one above the other
as if to round up
all sudden Chinese fortunes


a question mark without a definite dot
you stand on a single curved leg
to reach the highest level of changes
more like a shrunken dragon
than a swollen lowercased g
to be close to God
among just as many worthies, bows
and circles of hell
as though all in a divine comedy


seeing the strange belts
like little mouth masks
hung on bamboo poles
I often wondered:
what kind of clothing was that
so funny looking
in front of almost every straw-thatched cottage
but you boys don't bother about that
until one of my aunts told me
on a showering afternoon

it was only until I began dating
with a girl in a major city, so close
to beijing many years later
did I get to know them 
to be no other than menstrual rags

(a taboo of human blood?)

although they actually looked
more like shrunken flags
than thick masks

that's all I remembered about my boyhood
my native village, my motherland


coal, ebony, charcoal
crow, graphite, lactrodectus
chinese hair, african skin …
what do they all have
in common? - they are not
a color; rather, they are an absence of light
which becomes weaker and weaker
as stars keep moving farther and father
away from us

filled with light
within their dark shapes
they are quiet, but cool
and profound


as rich as old soil
from the qingzhang plateau
as long as endless water
from the huanghe river
as appealing as common rapeseed
as smooth as ripe banana skin
as noble as shiny as neon
as full as a tender egg yolk
as bold as the blatant yellow peril

as bold as blatant suggestions about the peril
from the east to the west


is, needless to say
the most powerful civilization; built
with the two pupils
of a caucasian blonde
between sea and sky, where
it has been permeating, where
it has prevailed

but until where? 


this is the most affordable color
since everyone can readily
get it by shedding blood upon gold
by staging a revolution
along the Yellow River, by smashing
rapeseed into roses, or simply
by chewing a chili heart
with mango flesh


out of thick clouds
like mountains of inflated cotton
high above spring fog, much
lighter than the snow of last year
a biblical dove flies, soaring around
as if unable to find a place
to perch on land, where reed flowers
grow tall in the fields of salt, where
ivories float around
in rivers of milk

while no pale surface is taking in any light
all colors gather into a blank filled with flour
slaked lime, or aging hair just to reflect
a whole living civilization


with the same word root as 'grass' and 'grow'
you are the only living color in the entire universe

most nutritious to the human vision, you possess
both the noblest pine tree and cheapest grass

along the trail through the forest of olive
your treading upon the season sounds like jade...


the most mediocre color
between black and white
that is engulfing every paved road
every naked building, even
every human soul
like ashes to ashes


you have degraded yourself
from the royal to the common
just as yang red has faded
into yin blue
like gray
between black and white   


Supposedly, a lightning flash
Striking from right to left
Or a lower-cased q as in question
Trying to stand up on an o
But can it be a crescent moon
Broken by darkness, a smashed star
Falling from the summer sky
Or a hook never able to catch
A lost soul that hopes to
Find an answer voiced
From a human mouth?

A lapse of the mind
An omission in the human utterance
A gathering of feeling

All dotted


we, yuan ii, by the grace
of god, emperor and autocrat of
all english words, king of dreamland
grand duke of assonance and
consonance, author of
allen qing yuan, architect of
george lai yuan, last scribbler of
poetic lines, et cetera et cetera
et cetera et cetera etc

herein proclaim ourselves as no extra ordinary line
but an ellipsis...


amidst glaring noises
dancing madly
around my cracking shape
i caught a cool euphony
drifting down gracefully
from the smiling sky
fragrant to the salty fingertips
of my soul 


with a big bang, the stage of the world
comes to the spotlight, where a shepherd
lay down for his sheep first, and
then all actors and actresses
flooded in, shuffling
between their exits and entrances
as religions, arts and science grow
from the same tree stump; where
souls are washed away
from the dust of human life; where
the crumbs of words fell down
from the feast of the mind, screen pages
are filled with breathings of the heart; and
every movement of the cursor
leads a fish biting at the hook

within this vast scene, we try to look at ourselves
beyond the entire picture


as hope grows like the twinning vine
she becomes as snug as a bug in a rug

when they compare thee to a mid-summer day
you feel happier than a tornado in a trailer park

while the highest goodness resembles water
your lines look similar to chinese chopsticks


white hair longer
than the yellow river
warm tears higher
than a tsunami
li bai grins as broadly
as the universe itself
while his words echo loud, louder
than the summer thunder, as if
to emulate an erupting volcano
to challenge God’s roaring


the sea smiling widely
with every wrinkle open
towards the morning sun, the trees balletting
in the storm of summer, the birds
chatting aloud, indeed, all is well
as God is taking a nap, dreaming
about becoming a human
both in form and in mind, where
nature imposes itself as a wild urchin
and the whole cosmos is expanding
from a past concept into its present body

that’s how we approach the world in our own terms
first, and last

            (A little tip for all crowns.)

give me the floor
lend me your ears
donkeys and elephants:
as a pen for the press
is much mightier than a sword
from waterloo, it’s high time now not
to spill out all your life in Hollywood
and march towards the white house
on the red carpet
by the sweat of your brow
while the kettle is still boiling


Bitter sweet or sweet bitter is love, a 
faith unfaithful that keeps you
falsely true to yourself, like
yinyang seen through with
mournful wisdom, at the very moment of
violent relaxation, while the
guest host stands
alone in a crowd, presenting herself in
dark night, among the
sounds of silence, to give a speech about this
sweet agony as a necessary process in
virtual reality: yes, we all
agree to disagree that
we love humanity, but loathe persons; isn’t that
American culture?

Point of View

no, no, no
no more do i want to be
a chinaman, brown-visioned
with all my yellowish
outlooks, yellowish sentiments

nor do I intend to be
a red-skinned big-foot
with my ancestors' vast land
all occupied by foreign devils

nor a rising black star
with evil pale-faced memories
nor a big white boss
with all his politically correct dollars

rather, I prefer to be a tiny rock
sitting still at a hilltop, on the roadside
watching, observing, or even
whistling when there is a wind blowing hard

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