Directional Denotations: Yuan Changming

September 19, 2017


"No art without startle." The opening line of the first poem presented below lead to a vision of literature that we can believe in, and Yuan Changming indeed startles us with a sense of clarity in this stunning series of works. "No Europe without a rope." That in itself is a novel, from beginning to middle to end. The footprints of history are tattooed intricately throughout Yuan Changming's work. Sounds create earworms that lead to other sounds that are loud, insistent and beautiful. "The Genetic Map of English Languaculture" manages to articulate, in a single letter, the colonial hegemony of English literature that many involved with ZiN Daily are trying to actively challenge and undo through multilingual and border-crossing cultural production and sharing in which no single language expresses universal dominance. 


Be sure to visit Poetry Pacific, a Vancouver-based magazine that Yuan co-edits, "a literary e.zine for true lovers of words and wisdom."


Yuan Changming, nine-time Pushcart and one-time Best of Net nominee, published monographs on translation before moving out of China. Currently, Yuan edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver; credits include Best of Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17), BestNewPoemsOnline, London Magazine, Threepenny Review and 1309 others across 39 countries.



35 Selected English Word Idioms


No art without startle
No belief without a lie
No business without sin
No character without an act
No coffee without a fee
No courage without rage
No culture without a cult


No entrance without a trance
No Europe without a rope
No freedom without a reed
No friendship without an end
No glove without love
No ghost without a host


No groom without a room
No infancy without fancy
No life without if
No malady without a lady
No manifestation without man
No mason without a son


No millionaire without a lion
No passage without a sage
No pharmacy without harm
No plant without a plan
No prevention without an event
No product without a duct


No sight without a sigh
No slaughter without laughter
No splurge without urge
No spring without a ring
No substance without a stance
No think without ink
No truth without a rut



In Pursuit of Dao (or the Way)








The same/The same










            Our Path/Your Way


                                    A thought/Any feeling







The Genetic Map of English Languaculture













Directional Denotations


South:  not unlike a raindrop

            on a small lotus leaf

            unable to find the spot

            to settle itself down

            in an early autumn shower

            my little canoe drifts around

near the horizon

            beyond the bare bay


West:   like a giddy goat

            wandering among the ruins

            of a long lost civilization

            you keep searching

            in the central park

            a way out of the tall weeds

            as nature wraps new york

            with mummy blue


East:    within her beehive-like room

            so small that a yawning stretch

            would readily awaken

the whole apartment building

            she draws a picture on the wall

            of a tremendous tree

            that keeps growing

            until it shoots up

            from the cemented roof


North: after the storm

            all dust hung up

            in the crowded air

            with his human face

            frozen into a dot of dust

            and a rising speckle of dust

            melted into his face

            to avoid this cold climate

            of his antarctic dream

            he relocated his naked soul

            at the dawn of summer  




Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

ZiN Daily is published by ZVONA i NARI, Cultural Production Cooperative

Vrčevan 32, 52204 Ližnjan, Istria, Croatia

OIB 73342230946

ISSN 2459-9379

Editors: Natalija Grgorinić, Ljubomir Grgorinić Rađen & Ognjen Rađen


Copyright © 2017-2018, ZVONA i NARI, Cultural Production Cooperative

The rights to all content presented at belong to its respective authors.

Any further reproduction or dissemination of this content is prohibited without a written consent from its authors. 
All Rights Reserved.

The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


are supported by:

ZVONA i NARI - Library & Literary Retreat - Vrčevan 32, 52204 Ližnjan, Croatia - + 385 99 232 7926 - - (c) 2011.-2020.