Two Poems

by Yaun Changming


Roughly, at the same height of
&&&&&&&&&Every rocky mountain
&&&Above all seasonal change
A snowline is widely & cursively cut
As if to bite a whole patch of
&&&&&&&&&&&&&Sky from heaven
With rows of rows of
&&&&&&&&&&&&&Whale-like teeth.

To escape from the tyrannical logic
Of your mother tongue
You wandered, wandering
Through earth’s length and breadth
Subjecting your old self to another syntax
A whole set of grammatical rules
Strangely new to your lips and tips
To expand the map of your mind
Far beyond your home and haven
Yet in the meantime it becomes colonized
By all the puzzling paradoxes
Of this chosen language, for example:
Quicksand can be very slow
Boxing rings are in fact square
And a guinea pig is neither a pig
Nor is it from Guinea
Like you or me.

Yaun Changming

Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. Currently, Yuan edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry and BestNewPoemsOnline, among others.

artist: robert jahns





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