poems by Changming Yuan

No Art without Startle: 35 Word Idioms


No belief without a lie
No business without sin
No character without an act
No coffee without a fee
No courage without rage

No culture without a cult
No entrance without a trance
No epicenter without an epic
No Europe without a rope
No freedom without a reed

No friendship without an end
No fundamentalism without mental fun
No heritage without a tag
No glove without love
No ghost without a host

No groom without a room
No infancy without fancy
No life without if
No malady without a lady
No manifestation without man

No mason without a son
No millionaire without a lion
No nirvana without a van
No passage without a sage
No pharmacy without harm

No plant without a plan
No prevention without an event
No product without a duct
No recovery without something over
No restaurant without rest or rant

No sight without a sigh
No slaughter without laughter
No spring without a ring
No think without ink
No truth without a rut




Musings over Metamorphosis


Of course, I would paint my skin

Into a colorless color, & I would dye my hair

Wear two blue contacts, & I would even

Go for plastic surgery, but if I really do

I assure you, I will not remove my native village

Accent while speaking this foreign tongue (I began

To imitate like a frog at age nineteen); nor will I

Completely internalize the English syntax &

Aristotelian logic. No, I assure you that I’ll not give up

Watching movies or TV series, reading books

Listening to songs, each in Chinese though I hate them

For being too low & vulgar. I was born to eat dumplings

Doufu, & thus fated to always prefer to speak Mandarin

Though I write in English. I assure you that even if I am

Newly baptized in the currents of science, democracy &

Human rights, I will keep in line with my father’s

Haplogroup just as my sons do. No matter how

We identify ourselves or are identified by others, this is

What I assure you: I will never convert my proto selfhood

Into white Dataism, no, not

In the yellowish muscle of my heart

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.