Yuan Changming

Q/A: AMERICA TODAY

Some Small Questions

                 How much more evil can they
Possibly become, say, by plaguing each &
Every one of us during this damned pandemic
By hiding themselves behind the scene to develop
Much faster & more destructive nuclear missiles
Than we can hope to intercept; by fabricating
& delivering so much more tangible goods
At a lower cost; by wrapping half of the population
With black chadors & forcing nine-year-old girls
To marry; by bowing to a nasty boy simply
Because he is the son of another dictator; by standing
Up to say no to our demand; by upholding
The broken flag of socialism right across
The Florida Straits; by using other than
Our Greenbacks in buying & selling their
Natural products? How much, just how much
More evil on earth will they probably become?

What Makes America Great (again?) Is

                   Neither the Bible or the Pilgrim’s Progress
Nor the Independence Declaration or the Articles of Confederation
Nor George Washington or Abraham Lincoln
Nor the Donkeys or the Elephants
Nor freedom or democracy
Nor our military hardware or super soldiers
Nor our advancements in science or technology
Nor our Greenbacks or Fed Reserve
Much less our Wall Street, Hollywood, Coco Cola
McDonald, Microsoft, Google, Michael Jackson
Broadway, Disneyland, or NBA…You name it
No, no, no,
None of them
Not even all of them combined either

Rather; it is nothing

But the little passenger pigeon that’s vanished into the sky, or
The helpless Indian baby that’s dying in his mom’s arms

 

THE MOMENT I PICK UP A POWERFUL NATION, 
This Little Poem of Mine Goes Straight Right

Only recently did I become alert to how
I resemble uncle Sam. They – it? – don’t
Like China. I don’t like China either
(Though not for the same reasons.) They try
To reap cash in all prospering economies; I
Try to gather every penny from the corner
Wherever I can see and lay my humble hands
They hold high their banners of democracy
And human rights; I like my rights and detest
Dictatorship (though perhaps for different
Purposes.) In particular, they enjoy bullying
The weak, dodging the strong, disturbing
Waters to fish and using dirty tricks to keep
All others down; I am ready to say foul words
To do whatever possible to rise above myself
In this harshest human condition, although I
Was not born to be a villain. The only difference
Lies in the degree to which I am selfish, villainous
Hypercritic, and they—it?—are way more so

 

MONODY TO AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES 

They are great speech actors, working with
Eight classes of words and
Seven syntactic elements
Changing singulars to plurals
Passive into active, or otherwise

A whole set of rules
All as conventional
As idioms per se

Adding some new vocab every year

Their job is to make new sentences
Based on the same old grammar


0-25YUAN CHANGMING edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include Pushcart nominations, poetry awards as well as publications in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17), & BestNewPoemsOnline, among others.

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