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  • Yuan Changming

Directional Denotations: Yuan Changming

"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


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ISSN 2459-9379


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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.


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