Infinitival Infinities: A Sonnet in Fragments, My Crows – Changming Yuan

These two poems are the first of a series we received from Changming. We’ll be publishing the rest of our cache over the next few days. Enjoy!

Infinitival Infinities: A Sonnet in Fragments

To be   a matter when there’s no question

Or not to be  a question when nothing really matters

To sing  with a frog squatting straight

On a lotus leaf in the Honghu Lake  near Jingzhou

   To recollect  all the pasts, and mix them

Together like a glass of  cocktail

To build   a nest of meaning

Between two broken branches on  Ygdrasil

To strive  for deity

Longevity  and

Even happiness

To come  on and off line every other while

To compress  consciousness into a file, and upload it

    Onto a nomochip

           To be  dying, to   die


My Crows


Still, still hidden

Behind old shirts and pants

Like an inflated sock

Hung on a slanting coat hanger

With a prophecy stuck in its throat

Probably too dark or ominous

To yaw, even to breathe

No one knows when or how

It will fly out of the closet, and call


Like billions of dark butterflies  

Beating their wings  

Against nightmares, rather

Like myriads of  

Spirited coal-flakes

Spread from the sky  

Of another world

A heavy black snow  

Falls, falling, fallen  

Down towards the horizon

Of my mind, where a little crow

White as a lost patch

Of autumn fog

Is trying to fly, flapping   

From bough to bough


Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. Currently, Yuan lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) and BestNewPoemsOnline among others.  

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