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Changming Yuan

The January Featured Poet is

Changming Yuan

Please feel free to email Changming at: yuans@shaw.ca

Changming

IN THE GLASS SAFE

There is a time
When engineers
Will make chips out of people’s spirits
As a hobby

Someone I used to know returns from then

I have seen her recently

But she knows me no more
Even after I told her who I am

“The spirits are installed onto various
Motherboards,” she explained

“They are all transparent
Kept in the same big glass safe.
But no one knows how to open it from within

Or whose spirits are whose.”

AT A ZOMBIE PARADE

The man chops off his own head
And tries to barbecue it with human hair
In the slaughtering square

The woman cuts open her own chest
Takes out her heart and uses it
Like a gas pump
To add all her blood to the fire

While the volcano is vomiting violently
Its lava smashing onto every creature
Running around wildly

EPILOGUES: A PARALLEL POEM

Just as both God and Devil are man’s incarnation, so are Heaven and Hell both man’s construction.

I
From the front yard of a melodious morning
From the busy road of a sweet Saturday
From the moist corner of a heavy march
From the back lane of pale winter
We have come, here and now, all gathering
In big crowds gathering in big crowds
Gathering in ever-bigger crowds gathering
For the boat to cross the wide wild waters
Before the fairy ferry is fated to fall
Under our feet too heavy with earthy mud

II
You may well hate Charon
But you cannot help feeling envious:
That business of carrying the diseased
Across the River Styx is ever so prosperous
The only monopoly in the entire universe
That has a market share
Larger than the market itself
Daydreaming, on this side
Of the river, how you might wish
To be an entrepreneur like him
A success American dreamer

III
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 hunger-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

 

Changming Yuan is the author of Chansons of a Chinaman and a three-time Pushcart nominee who published several monographs before emigrating out of China. He currently teaches in Vancouver and has poetry appearing in Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Cortland Review, Drunken Boat, Exquisite Corpse, Rhino and nearly 400 other journals and anthologies in eighteen countries.

Chansons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chansons of a Chinaman