Yuan Changming


 
 
 
Woman-Radical: A Feminist Lesson in Chinese Characters

妇:lady is a woman who has overthrown a mountain
好:wo man spelt as one word simply means good
妙:young women supporting each other are always wonderful
嫁:to marry a man is for a girl to have her own family
妖:weird would be a woman if she goes broken
姣: handsome is a woman standing with her legs crossed
婢:maid is a girl who is by nature humble
婵:beautiful is she who remains single
娘:mother is perforce a lady who is good and kind

 
 
 
 
 
 
**
 
 
 
 
 
 

To Be [Or Not to Be

Whatever or whoever you are]
To have [or not to have]
Whoever or whatever you may wish]
To do [or not to do]
Anything or nothing you would prefer, &]
To say [or not to say]
Nothing or anything you may intend to]

Given these four most common English verbs
We are all rendered equal as we cross
Every borderline, filling in every gap
In action as in thought [or otherwise]

 
 
 
 
 
 
**
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mainstreet.com

If ever at all, if only once
If you were
To have such a chance

Just keep driving
Drive forward
With no need to take a shoulder check

Despite so many beside you
Despite so much more ahead & behind

Along this new street, your car
(Like your body or thought)
Will adapt its shape like a stream
Of water running its own course
From past to future, amidst
Programmed sapiens, through
The flow of data

Until at the meeting point
Between yin & yang
Between 0 & 1
Between time & space

 
 
 
 
 
 

**

YUAN CHANGMING edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, the Jodi Stutz Award in Poetry (2020) & publications in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) & BestNewPoemsOnline, among others across 45 countries.

Kelly Clare

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KELLY CLARE is a visual artist and writer currently pursuing an MFA in Sculpture at the University of Iowa. Before attending Iowa, she graduated from Knox College in Galesburg, IL. Her visual and literary work can be found at Hobart, Natural Bridge, Dead Alive, and pulpmouth.

Charles Theonia

THE WASHING AWAY OF WRONGS (“WHAT IS GLITTER?”)

I agreed not to describe even vaguely
each thrilling although unpretty anything
wasn’t for me but you liked it so I did

anything we do is now called glitter
unlearning touch my face
trust in consensus reality

everyone clicks til we get here
evening’s executive functioning drift
you ask and I do something sideways of it

small glitter is made from bigger glitter
I don’t like everyone but you
know those inklings once in awhile

break down mid word and keep on wording
worried about tomorrow when it comes
they don’t want anyone to know it’s glitter

disposable takes one thousand years to degrade
when the light goes purple and you whisper Prince
can I come in?

 
 
 
 
**
 
 
 
 

LILY PAD (AGNÈS VARDA, DIANA HAMILTON)

before I went too far and added violet
at the last minute without exchanging
a word we forgot to break the rules
I could have popped the bottle when
Mona said champagne on the road is better
absorbed I dream you’re mad at me waiting
outside the front door we fuck on the soft
air above a pond expectation
is a narrative error marking the hours
by how often you have to empty
the rain bucket is better than labor
it is recommended that we reserve
dream reenactment for the third date
or later walk in the belly between our
apartments full of news I kiss you against
a public wall to trade the morning for
warm winter sun prosecco a bad secret
with each new person arises an ever
more highly specified self-consciousness
I would like to believe you don’t mind that
I reset skin distance at each beginning
could go on forever as the morning had
extended itself down a pink hallway
we met without sending our thoughts ahead

 
 
 
 
**
 
 
 
 

EARTHLY REASONS

say what you will about cats, but I don’t see
any of you breaking into the bathroom
out of love for me

I really do savor the moment I open the morning
door and liquid cats spill in

a favorite thing about plural cats
is, listening, you have no idea
how many there are

their foreheads’ light milk smell

a likeminded person across the world
designed a perfume called Fluffy Brow

I’d like to visit the island
where cats outnumber people

and the parallel islands of foxes, rabbits

lucky for us we dream in landscapes
beyond our experience

desert mountains scrolling by

into silver monkey and capybara
hot springs float with steamy oranges

into passionfruit, its pink egg
into two white cups, form
holding itself open
messy hair of the rambutan
its pearly egg into its own glow

blueberry vinegar
in a canker sore
brightens the mouth

a walk on the sunny side

into Kelly’s 7-hour disco
research playlist

the extended cut, a technology
for sensing forever

Wild Heart dressing room video, 1981

into mallet instruments, when Carly
drops the beat on don’t give it UP
when Gerard says my heart
in hiding / stirred for a bird

the bouquet in my lobby said Kayla I’m an idiot
and an asshole

every year I can hardly believe we live
on a planet where flowers grow on trees

our gay beach nutcracker sociality
communal limearita into pink plastic chalice
the piss fence, rainbows, literal dolphins, all of us
human chain into riptide, vomiting
saltwater back on shore to straddle
each other on hot sand, cheering
when the clouds part back
into octopuses underwater
turning colors in their sleep

their arm brains, visible
thoughts, light
they see with their skin

Hannah says we shouldn’t stop
eating octopuses because of how smart
they are but how hard they try to escape

into pleasure of knowing
how something works, revulsion
at how we found out

into our expanses of bleached, silent reefs

I haven’t even made it into human pain
I spend my time writing poems
and Wendy says we need those
less than a brick through a window as she
keeps writing them too

if the poem into is all those
who swipe it forward
sit for court support, manage
a bail fund, spark a rent strike
bring meals, share
meds, walk friends home

there’s a lot to go looking for
via Agnes’ room at Dia I had no reason
to worry it wouldn’t be there each
time I returned, by cellphone
photos of the 17th-century still life
lizard reaching their forked tongue
up to a tulip, via Picard arguing
before a Starfleet tribunal that Data
should be referred to not as it, but he
by June becoming, in front of us, a menace
to her enemies, via Alice always crotch
-naked for music, unowning all seeds

and when Bernadette goes nothing outside
will cure you but everything’s outside

when Arthur goes it’s a big old world
with nothing in it / I can’t wait to see you
another minute

I feel both of that

my external endocrine system
advances in vegan cheese
your ass ascending a staircase
into rain on the shower skylight
I look forward to pickles especially pink
endorphins, of any origin
what we do after the nation and after the police
my hand up your overall shorts and happy
animals running into me

 
 
 
 

Notes:

“THE WASHING AWAY OF WRONGS” incorporates language from Caity Weaver’s investigative journalism on glitter.

A recording of “EARTHLY REASONS” previously appeared online as part of The Poetry Project’s House Party.

 
 
 
 

**

CHARLES THEONIA is a poet and teacher from Brooklyn, where they’re working to externalize interior femme landscapes. They are the author of art book Saw Palmettos, on hormones, community, and the brain-time continuum (Container, 2018) and chapbook Which One Is the Bridge (Topside Press, 2015).

Rabiu Temidayo


 
 
The Glossary Of World History

A dictator is a ruler who has lost total power,
A diplomat is a person in government cleaning the desk, with other countries,
A descendant is someone who comes from within,
A constitution is basic laws that keep people off the lawn
A genocide is an attempt to kill everyone
A guillotine is an instrument for cutting someone’s head
or a poet cross with a heavy blade
A vision is something seen in the mind
A trapper is someone who traps wild animals
A theory is an explanation why something is usually based on scientific study
To recognize is to accept the government deals with business and trade
To migrate is to move away from one to settle in another
To irrigate is to bring water to dry land by means of canals
A liberator is one who frees certain group of people
A front is where the actually fighting is going on
Feudalism is most of Western Europe during the Middle Ages
To forge is to shape by heating
To smuggle is to move secretly because it is against the law,
A scapegoat is a person blamed for the mistakes and problems of others
A pyramid is a square base and four triangular sides
To repeal is to cancel
Representation is presenting the body before the government,
Pollution is the waste materials in the air or water
Nonrenewable means not replaceable
A canal is a manufactured waterway,
Imperialism is the practice of conquering other people’s lands,
To impose is to wish on others,
The parliament is the body of lawmakers,
Resistance is the act of a working class,
Reunification is the act of joining together again.
A sniper is someone who shoots down a hidden spot
A serf is legally tied to the land

 
 
 
 
**
 
 
 
 

Plateau

Holding bus tickets and waiting for salvation
at Leventis. I’ve waited for this day
where I could be bought I could be sold by then.
A lorry waits at the entrance to break the entanglement.
Trees just at the shore of the Atlantic wave to a line of sterns.
Every night I hear a goodbye that resembles tì.
An improv painter set his easels before VCD stores,
For an imprint of buses, bellied men in front
of the lottery shops called jè. Which means to win
which is same as to owe.
I owe it to lightships leaving the Lagos Island shore,
almond shade where Chidera makes its way nearer
From microstations and high-rises. P&O Neolloyd
with scrap irons to Jos. Supramatism.
jé èníyan,
A thaumaturge screamed in a starbus.
Jè hung to dry on steel rods like a Paul Cezanne. Outside the window.
Jè means to eat. In the interior Amulo Odofin. Eat
semolina in front of distribution stores, jé èníyan.
ati jè èníyan, a deflection of the tongue.
What do we owe the sea? Acculturation. The air?
Expiration. The land? Experience.
mechanics at the bank of the Atlantic sea beat Chidera together.
Guinnesses roll on to the sea.
jé means to emerge, to abstain, to ease
The painter emerges in the sun and jè paints everything else,
In the quantum level, everything in the spectrum of exchange.
The machine is perfect when there’s nothing else to remove.
Erycaryocytes are renewed every three months.
Cells die and a man reborn every seven years.
Lagos Island in the morning. Buses full are leaving.
The swallows on mainmasts. The National Anthem.
After all these years seeing you at the port, moving
towards north with a plateau of waste, Chidera.

 
 
 
 
**
 
 
 
 

7:06PM

I’m touched by the Easter holidays, because they’re
crawling up the ceiling, making the house
heartbeat under the weather changing weather.
There was no way the pain we felt
had a shape


 
 
 
 

**


RABIU TEMIDAYO writes critical essays. He is in school of psychology, he studies art and photography. He reads for Tinderbox Journal. He published Daylight (2018) on Ghost City Press. He is published on Ric Journal, Cosmopolitan Hotel, Selcouth Station, Bone and Ink, etc. @rabiutemidayo