Changming Yuan – Poetry

Biography: Changming Yuan, 6-time Pushcart nominee and author of Chansons of a Chinaman (2009) and Landscaping (2013), grew up in rural China but currently tutors in Vancouver, where he co-edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. With a PhD in English, Yuan has recently been interviewed by [PANK], and had poetry appearing in Best Canadian Poetry (2009; 12), BestNewPoemsOnline, Exquisite Corpse, London Magazine, Threepenny Review and 749 other literary journals/anthologies across 28 countries. 


Black is this year, both because
The ominous number has flooded the world
With America’s QE3, Snowden’s dark secrets
And war threats from Obama, the Nobel peace
Prize winner and, more important, and because
This is the year of the snake, the most difficult
Year in my entire life when I have been badly
Bitten by 3 vcious vipers; one has run away
With a piece of meat from my heart
Another trying to strangle me
Into a slow death, and the third still waiting
To swallow my hardened body
With its young and ambitious mouth, all
Sloughed out of the attractive terror of white

Should You Allow

Should you allow us to live, let it not like robots
Running and working around the clock, to give you
All the comfort and convenience available to humans
Should you allow us to live; O let us live
With the kind of freedom you enjoy, the equal rights
And democracy you are talking about aloud
So that our tears and sweat will become less salty
Than our blood, less murky than our visions
Then even the food and products we make would warm
Your hearts. Don’t try to make love with us
When you feel happy, or beat us mad, containing us
Whistling your dogs of war upon us when you have
A nightmare. True, like robots we may not be entitled
To your human rights, but even a cornered robot rabbit will bite back
Someday, somehow, like a treaded cobra, like your fore fathers


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